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Commissioners approve 2022-2023 waterfowl recommendations

The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission approved 2022-2023 waterfowl hunting season recommendations at its March 23 meeting in Nebraska City.

Staff recommended opening duck season in zones 2 and 4 a week earlier than the 2021-2022 season. Waterfowl recommendations are developed balancing hunter preferences with chronology of migration, hunter harvest, and hunter participation. Goose hunting dates in the North Central Unit start concurrently with duck season, which was strongly preferred by waterfowl hunters in Zone 2.

The full approved 2022-2023 Nebraska waterfowl orders are:

Early Teal:

Low Plains – Sept. 3-18

High Plains – Sept. 3-11

Daily bag limit – six; Possession limit – 18

Youth Hunt:

Zone 1 – Oct. 8-9

Zone 2 – Sept. 24-25

Zone 3 – Oct. 15-16

Zone 4 – Oct. 15-16

Daily bag – Tier 1: six ducks, with restrictions; Tier II: three ducks, any species, any sex; Possession limit – three times the daily bag limit

Duck and Coot:

Zone 1 – Oct. 15-Dec. 27

Zone 2 – Oct. 1-Dec. 13 and Jan. 4-25 (High Plains)

Zone 3 – Oct. 22-Jan. 3 and Jan. 4-25 (High Plains)

Zone 4 – Oct. 22-Jan. 3

Daily bag – Tier 1: six ducks, with restrictions; Tier II: three ducks, any species, any sex; Possession limit – three times the daily bag limit

Dark Goose:

Platte River Unit – Oct. 28-Feb. 9

Niobrara Unit – Oct. 28-Feb. 9

North Central Unit – Oct. 1-Jan. 13

Daily bag limit – five; Possession limit – 15

White-fronted Goose:

Statewide – Oct. 1-Dec. 11 and Jan. 25-Feb. 9

Daily bag limit – two; Possession limit – six

Light Goose Regular Season:

Statewide – Oct. 1-Dec. 28 and Jan. 25-Feb. 9

Daily bag limit – 50; Possession limit – none

Light Goose Conservation Order:

East Zone – Feb. 10-April 15

West Zone – Feb. 10-April 5

Rainwater Basin Zone – Feb. 10-April 5

Daily bag and possession limits – none

Crow:

Statewide – Oct. 15-Dec. 15 and Jan. 13-March 14

Daily bag and possession limits – none

Falconry:

Concurrent with teal, youth and regular duck season dates, plus,

Zone 1 – Feb. 25-March 10

Zone 2 – Low Plains: Feb. 25-March 10; High Plains: Concurrent with all duck season dates in High Plains Zone

Zone 3 – High Plains: Concurrent with all duck season dates in High Plains Zone

Zone 4 – Feb. 25-March 10

The commissioners also amended wildlife regulations to create additional purchase periods for big game permits. The result allows resident hunters to buy deer and antelope permits in non-draw management units before nonresidents, giving residents preference over nonresidents.

Staff also gave a report on the state’s first river otter harvest season, which closed in January. The season, which only allows trapping, opened last Nov. 1. It closed three days after the 75th otter was harvested, per Commission order.

Game and Parks’ goal is to manage and maintain healthy, thriving wildlife populations for the long term. The pilot season will provide data about statewide river otter distribution, while continuing to allow the population to expand.

Staff members Gene Hunt of the Parks Division and Mike Remund of the Wildlife Division received 50- and 45-year service awards, respectively, in recognition for their years of service to the State of Nebraska.

About Jerry Kane

Jerry Kane is the news manager with the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. He can be contacted at jerry.kane@nebraska.gov or 402-471-5008.

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