LINCOLN, Neb. – The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission approved recommendations for 2018 deer, antelope and elk hunting seasons when it met April 19 at Fort Robinson State Park near Crawford.
Among the big game changes to Commission orders:
— 1,550 buck permits are added in the Calamus East, Frenchman, Keya Paha, Loup East, Loup West, Plains, Platte, and Sandhills units.
— 700 buck permits are removed from the Blue Northwest and Wahoo units.
— 750 any-deer permits are removed and 550 whitetail permits are added in the Pine Ridge Unit.
— 855 doe permits are added in the Buffalo, Calamus East, Calamus West, Frenchman, Plains, Platte, Sandhills, and Upper Platte units.
— 1,200 doe permits are removed from the Blue Northwest, Elkhorn and Wahoo units.
— 7 either-sex and 80 doe/fawn antelope permits are added.
— increased doe/fawn permits in Banner North Late (30 permits), Cheyenne (30), and North Sioux Late (20) units.
— expanded Cheyenne Late season to entire unit.
— 350 elk permits are authorized (119 bull and 231 cow).
— 12 cow elk permits are added and three bull elk permits removed in the North Platte River Unit.
— 6 cow elk and three bull elk permits are added in the Niobrara Unit.
— 3 bull elk permits are added in the Box Elder Unit.
The 2018 big game season dates are:
— Deer: archery, Sept. 1-Dec. 31; firearm, Nov. 10-18; muzzleloader, Dec. 1-31; antlerless late season, Jan. 1-15, 2019; DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge muzzleloader, Oct. 27-28 and Dec. 8-9; Mule Deer Conservation Area, Nov. 10-18 and Dec. 1-31; Season Choice Antlerless, Sept. 1-Jan. 15, 2019; River Antlerless, Sept. 1-Jan. 15, 2019; youth, Sept. 1-Jan. 15, 2019; landowner, Sept. 1-Jan. 15, 2019
— Antelope: archery, Aug. 20-Dec. 31; muzzleloader, Sept. 15-30; firearm, Oct. 13-28; doe/fawn late season, Nov. 1-Jan. 31, 2019
— Elk: archery bull, Sept. 1-Oct. 31; firearm bull, Sept. 21-Oct. 31; private land cow, Aug. 15-Oct. 31 and Dec. 1-Jan. 15, 2019; public land cow, Sept. 21-Oct. 31 and Dec. 1-Jan. 15, 2019
Staff also approved the creation of regulations for a passage peregrine falcon trapping season. Licensed falconers have the opportunity to capture a limited number of migrant juvenile peregrines during a short period in fall. Captured birds would be trained and used in falconry.
In other business, the Commission:
— approved the 2018 Nebraska Game and Parks Policy Manual;
— established fees for select activities and facilities at Eugene T. Mahoney, Platte River and Ponca state parks;
— approved an agreement for the sale and purchase of the Spencer Hydro Facility, which is located in a portion of Holt and Boyd counties.
The Commission also heard staff updates regarding mountain lion public informational meetings, aquatic habitat projects at Fort Robinson, a fishing forecast for Game and Parks’ northwest district, and an environmental report.