LINCOLN – Total deer harvest in Nebraska is up 11 percent compared to this time one year ago.
As of Dec. 8, nearly 50,000 deer have been harvested, compared to 45,000 last year and 42,500 in 2013.
The biggest change is the mule deer buck harvest of 8,307 – up 1,200 from 2014. That is an increase of 17 percent from last year and 25 percent from 2013.
“This is great news for hunters, as mule deer are clearly responding to good weather and a reduction in doe harvest over the past five years,” said Kit Hams, big game program manager for the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission.
Whitetail buck harvest (26,846) is up 3,128 animals. That is a jump of 13 percent from last year and 18 percent from 2013.
“We are pleased to see the increases in whitetail bucks as the herd continues to recover from the drought and EHD events of 2012,” Hams said.
Archery and Muzzleloader seasons continue through Dec. 31, while the Late Antlerless season is Jan. 1 – 15, 2016.
“We expect hunters to harvest about 57,000 deer this year, which is well below the 88,014 taken in 2010, but well ahead of the 48,000 taken in 2013,” Hams said.
Archery, Muzzleloader, Youth, River Antlerless and some Season Choice antlerless permits remain available throughout the state. They may be purchased at Game and Parks permitting offices or at OutdoorNebraska.org.
Hunters are reminded that mule deer does are protected in many management units and public lands across the state. Refer to the 2015 Big Game Guide for details.
In addition, hunters can use the Hunters Helping the Hungry and Deer Exchange programs to donate their venison. Go to OutdoorNebraska.org for more details.