LINCOLN – The opening two days of the Nebraska’s firearm deer season started off strong, according to the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. The season opened Nov. 12.
“Although final harvest numbers are still being calculated, hunters got off to a great start this weekend,” said Kit Hams, the Commission’s big game program manager. With mild weather and dry roads, Commission staff saw successful hunters and lots of youth at the check stations.
The number of deer brought in to check stations on the opening weekend was similar to 2015, suggesting that deer herds appear to have recovered from the drought and epizootic hemorrhagic disease events of 2012, in most areas. Commission staff checked in nearly 18,000 deer on opening weekend, representing a 4 percent increase in the northwest district, 3 percent decrease in the southwest and no change in the northeast or southeast.
“Commission staff are pleased to see numbers similar to last year; the 2015 firearm season saw an 11 percent increase statewide in deer harvest, compared to 2014,” Hams said.
With the firearm season open until Nov. 20, Game and Parks offers these additional reminders:
— Firearm deer hunters and archers harvesting deer during the November firearm season must deliver their deer in person to a check station no later than 1 p.m. on the day following the close of the season. Telecheck and Internet check of deer is closed during the nine-day November firearm season. Find a check station nearest you at maps.outdoornebraska.gov/checkstations/.
— Don’t forget to punch and notch your permit at time of kill.
— Seek permission before hunting private land. It is the responsibility of hunters to know their location and to follow the rules and regulations. To view a summary of deer regulations, visit OutdoorNebraska.gov/HuntingSeasons.
— Hunters may donate deer to the Hunters Helping the Hungry Program by signing up at OutdoorNebraska.gov/hhh or participate in the Deer Exchange at OutdoorNebraska.gov/DeerExchangeProgram.
— Call Nebraska Wildlife Crimestoppers toll-free at 800-742-7627 to report game law violations.
Firearm deer permits are still available for some areas of the state, particularly for antlerless deer. Statewide whitetail buck and youth permits are also available throughout the season. Archery season continues through Dec. 31. Muzzleloader season is Dec. 1- 31, while the Late Antlerless season is Jan. 1-15, 2017. Permits can be purchased at OutdoorNebraska.org.