LINCOLN – Plenty of deer hunting opportunities are available this fall for Nebraska big game hunters. Archers have been in the field since the start of September and rifle hunters are preparing for the Nov. 14–22 firearm season.
Permits still remain in 38 of the 53 deer permit types. Most of the permits that typically sell out do not do so until early November or later. Frenchman, Republican and Platte mule deer are among the sold out permits. Archery, muzzleloader, youth and statewide buck permits are unlimited in quantity and never sell out. All youth deer permits are $6, including issuing fee.
New big game hunters or those new to Nebraska should be aware of the requirements for deer hunting. They include permit, stamp, age, hunter education, accompaniment and checking requirements. Read the 2015 Big Game Guide, available where permits are sold, for more information.
A hunting (small game) permit is not required to hunt deer, but a deer-specific permit is needed. All nonresidents and most residents require a habitat stamp. Permits and stamps may be purchased at OutdoorNebraska.org or at any Game and Parks permitting office. To check the availability of remaining permits, visit the website, then click on Buy a Permit, then Remaining Permits.
Hunter Education or an Apprentice Hunter Education Exemption Certificate is required of many hunters.
All November firearm hunters must check their deer at check stations. Telephone and Internet checking is required in all other deer seasons.
Hunting is allowed on private property if permission is granted. In addition, the Open Fields and Waters program offers public walk-in hunting access on private property, with sites displayed in the 2015 Public Access Atlas. Available public ground includes nearly 250 state-owned wildlife management areas.
“Deer numbers are on the increase in most areas of the state due to the restrictions on antlerless permits since 2012,” said Kit Hams, big game program manager with the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. “The percentage of age 3-and-older bucks in the harvest set new records in 2014, so the opportunity for a trophy remains high.”
Hunters may donate their deer to the Hunters Helping the Hungry Program, which provides ground venison to Nebraskans in need. Visit http://www.outdoornebraska.com/hunting/programs/HHH/index.asp for more information.
OutdoorNebraska.org is an excellent resource for planning a hunting trip. Find hunting sites using the site’s interactive maps or find areas to camp and make reservations through the site.