LINCOLN, Neb. – The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission approved recommendations for 2021 deer, antelope and elk hunting seasons at its meeting April 20 in Kearney.
Commissioners approved staff recommendations to increase deer permits and bonus antlerless-only whitetail tags in several management units to stabilize populations.
For antelope management units, an additional 39 either-sex permits and 390 doe/fawn permits were approved.
An additional 78 bull elk and 267 antlerless elk permits were approved to reduce elk populations in many elk management units.
“We have listened to hunters and landowners and are issuing more big game permits,” said Alicia Hardin, wildlife administrator for Game and Parks. “We are continuing to address depredation complaints in a variety of ways, including the addition of wildlife staff and other resources.”
The approved 2021 big game season dates are:
Deer: Archery – Sept. 1-Dec. 31; November Firearm – Nov. 13-21; Muzzleloader – Dec. 1-31; Late Antlerless – Jan. 1-16, 2022; October River Antlerless – Oct. 1-15; Late River Antlerless – Jan. 1-31, 2022; Antlerless Only Season Choice – Sept. 1-Jan. 16, 2022; Youth – Sept. 1-Jan. 16, 2022; Limited Landowner – Sept. 1-Jan. 16, 2022; Special Landowner – Nov. 6-8
Antelope: Archery – Aug. 20-Dec. 31; Muzzleloader – Sept. 18-Oct. 3; Firearm – Oct. 9-24; Late doe/fawn – Nov. 1-Jan. 31, 2022
Elk: Archery bull – Sept. 1-Oct. 31; Firearm bull – Sept. 21-Oct. 31; Antlerless – Aug. 1-Jan. 31, 2022; Antlerless, Private Land Only – Aug. 1-Sept. 20; Early Antlerless – Aug. 1-Oct. 31; Late Antlerless – Nov. 1-Jan. 31, 2022
In other business, Game and Parks Conservation Officer Doug Pollard received the Shikar-Safari Club International Wildlife Officer of the Year Award for 2020.
The commissioners approved a staff recommendation to approve a resolution of support for Merritt Reservoir State Recreation Area to apply to be recognized as an International Dark Sky designation.
In addition, the commissioners heard a staff update on the status of whooping cranes in Nebraska, and updates on shooting range development across the state, fisheries research at Harlan County Reservoir, water policy, and the National Archery in the Schools Program.