Garmin Golf GPS
You are here: Home Page > Tahoe Activities Guide > Hunting

Award Winning Guide to TahoeMore Activities...

Hunting at Lake Tahoe

Hunting in the Lake Tahoe Area

Nevada's wide open spaces provide great hunting opportunities. Hunt for big game, small game, waterfowl or furbearers.

This hunting guide includes information from Nevada Dept. of Wildlife and California to get your muzzle pointed in the right direction and on your way to bagging a successful hunting trip in the Lake Tahoe area.

Print This Page

Hunting at Tahoe > Nevada

The Nevada Division of Wildlife provides this information for hunters and Lake Tahoe Nevada and other Nevada locations. "Nevada's big game species include mule deer, Rocky Mountain elk, three sub-species of bighorn sheep, pronghorn antelope, and mountain goat.

"Nevada’s big game hunts are conducted by a random draw process and are available to those 12 years old or older. Applications are generally available in mid-March and the application deadline is around mid-April. A second drawing is conducted for remaining tags in June, and any remaining tags after that draw can be applied for on a first-come, first-served basis.

"Mountain lion tags are available over the counter and furbearers can be hunted or trapped with a trapping license.

"Upland game birds like chukar partridge, California and Gamble's quail, ruffed grouse, blue grouse, dove, and the Himalayan snowcock are popular upland game, or hunters may choose to hunt waterfowl or certain migratory birds.

"Unprotected species like coyote and black-tailed jackrabbit may be hunted without a hunting license by both residents and nonresidents, but a trapping license is required to trap them."

Nevada Dept of Wildlife

Going Hunting in Nevada? You'll need...

To Know the Basics
A Nevada hunting license
An upland game bird stamp if you are hunting upland game birds
Proof of Hunter Education if you were born after Jan.1, 1960.
A state and a federal duck stamp if you are hunting waterfowl
A big game tag to hunt big game
To follow all hunting regulations
To adhere to game seasons

More Nevada Publications...

All Nevada Dept. of Wildlife Publications & Brochures

California Dept of Fish and Wildlife

Going Hunting in California? You'll need...

California Publications

All Calilfornia Dept. of Fish & Wildlife Publications & Brochures

Hunting at Tahoe > California > Hope Valley

Hope Valley Wildlife Area in Alpine County is approximately 12 miles south of South Lake Tahoe on either side of Highway 89 at the junction of Highway 88 and 89 known as Picketts Junction. Expansion areas are located south of this main parcel on either side of Highway 88.

The following information was provided by the State of California Department of Fish and Game. For more information, phone (916) 358-2900

Area Regulations:

  • Backpack camping east of Highway 89 only
  • Trailers and open fires are not allowed
  • Access is limited to non-motorized uses only

Special Restrictions:

Hunting is allowed only from the opening of archery deer season through January 31

Access: The Wildlife Area spans Highway 89 at its junction with Highway 88, known as Pickett's Junction. Expansion areas are located south of this main parcel on both sides of Highway 88.

Description: The area consists of 2,869 acres of high elevation wet meadow, montane chaparral, Jeffrey pine forest, and aspen-lodgepole pine forest communities. Wildlife species commonly seen here include mule deer, black bear, bobcat, blue grouse, northern goshawk, Clark's nutcracker, and white-headed woodpecker. The west fork of the Carson River flows through the southern portion of the property, supporting beaver and occasionally willow flycatcher.

Recreational Use: Type C Wildlife Area - no passes or reservations are required.

  • Nature walks, birdwatching and photography are common activities.
  • Fishing is allowed during open season.
  • Cross-country skiing and snowshoeing are popular activities during winter months.
  • Backpack camping is allowed east of Highway 89 only.

Hunting: Permitted for deer, bear, rabbit, tree squirrel, quail, grouse, and dove.

Facilities: Disabled accessible parking and restroom facilities are located on the west side of Pickett's Junction on Highway 88. Disabled accessible fishing piers are located north of the restroom.

Get More Hope Valley Info: page and maps

This Lake Tahoe Adventure Set: Trail Map & Wildlife Guide is great...

Lake Tahoe Wildlife Map

...for your enjoyment of birds, plants and other wildlife. The Lake Tahoe Adventure Set consists of a Pocket Naturalist Guide and National Geographic Map, offering a perfect resource for travelers wanting "hands on" information on what to see and where to go to find some of the world's most dramatic natural attractions. Lake Tahoe Basin Plants & Animals is a durable, lightweight guide that highlights familiar species found in this region with beautiful full-color illustrations and clear, concise descriptions. It is a great, easy to use reference while exploring through this diverse area. It is packaged with National Geographic's Lake Tahoe Trails Illustrated Map.

Find and buy on Amazon...

Hunting at Tahoe > California > Truckee River Wildlife Area

Location: Nevada and Placer counties - approximately 2 to 7 miles east of Truckee.

The following information was provided by the State of California Department of Fish and Game. For more information, phone (916) 358-2900

Area Regulations:

  • Camping, trailers, and fires are not allowed
  • No rifles or pistols may be used or possessed


  • There are no developed roads providing access to the Polaris Unit.
  • To access the West River Unit, take South River Street west from Brockway Rd. in Truckee; the middle of the parcel is across the river from a gravel pit.
  • To reach the Boca Unit, take the Hirschdale exit from I-80 east of Truckee; there is some limited parking under the westbound span of the I-80 overpass and along Highway 40 to the left of the exit.
  • The Union Ice Unit consists of three parcels. The first parcel is about one half mile east of Hirschdale. The second is a mile further east and extends for a mile along the river. Both of these parcels are accessed from Iceland Road. The third parcel, north of I-80, is inaccessible.

Description: Total acreage for all parcels is 740. These four units consist of gently sloping river banks, and uplands scattered with lodgepole and Jeffrey pines. The open areas are covered with sage and bitterbrush. Alder and willow are clustered along the gravel bars in the river.

Recreational Use: Type C Wildlife Area - no passes or reservations are required.

  • This area was acquired primarily for fishing access. Natural reproduction supports a good trout fishery in the Truckee River.

Hunting: Allowed daily during open seasons. Legal species include deer, bear, rabbit, squirrel, waterfowl, quail, and dove, however opportunities are limited due to the sizes of the parcels.

Facilities: None

Get More Truckee River Info: page and maps

Hunting at Tahoe > California > Smithneck Creek Wildlife Area

Location: Sierra County - approximately 1 mile southeast of Loyalton, CA and 3 miles south of State Route 49 (CA 49) surrounding the Sierra Brooks subdivision. Loyalton is about an hour's drive North of Lake Tahoe, via CA 267 going North to Truckee, then continuing North on CA 89 to CA 49.

The following information was provided by the State of California Department of Fish and Game. For more information, phone (916) 358-2900


The approximately 1,400-acre Smithneck Creek Wildlife Area consists of a variety of habitats typical of the east side of the Sierra. The sagebrush-bitterbrush habitat is a critical deer winter-range area for migratory deer. Limited stands of yellow pine, mountain mahogany and juniper provide additional habitat for resident deer. Wet and dry meadows are found along Bear Valley Creek. Riparian habitat consisting of alders, willows and aspen provide cover along Bear Valley, Smithneck and Badenaugh Creeks for both game and non-game wildlife. Some of the species which may be viewed include goshawks, falcons, a variety of warbler species, and snowshoe hares. Mountain lion tracks are often seen imprinted in muddy areas near streams.


All 3 units of this Wildlife Area can be reached by taking Smithneck Road south from Highway 49 at Loyalton. The northern unit lies along Smithneck Road. The western unit can be reached by turning west onto Antelope Valley Road from Smithneck Road. To reach the eastern unit, turn east onto Badenaugh Canyon Road from Smithneck Road.

Activities: fishing, hiking, wildlife viewing, birdwatching, photography, and hunting. The area provides access to extensive public lands such as the Tahoe National Forest. Be aware of posted private lands.

Facilities: None

Hunting: Type C Wildlife Area. Deer, bear, rabbit, quail, and dove may be present. Opportunities are limited by the safety considerations for residents of the Sierra Brooks Subdivision, which is bordered on three sides by the Wildlife Area.

Get More Smithneck Creek Wildlife Area Info: page and maps

Please Note: Area regulations are subject to change. Special restrictions on recreational uses, hunt days and methods of take are listed in the current year's issue of Hunting and Other Public Uses on State and Federal Areas, available at DFG offices and where licenses are sold.

If you are willing to drive a little, there are many more wildlife areas for hunting and fishing in the Lake Tahoe region. More hunting and fishing info and maps in the Lake Tahoe and High Sierra of California.

Thank you for visiting our page for hunting and fishing at Lake Tahoe!