LINCOLN, Neb. – Preliminary deer check-in numbers indicate that statewide harvest numbers are up approximately 8 percent compared to the 2018 opening weekend of Nebraska’s firearm season.
During the 2019 opening weekend of the November firearm season, Nov. 16-17, the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission’s northeast district check stations recorded 17% more deer than last year. The number of checked deer was up 9% in the southeast, up 3% in the northwest and up 5% in the southwest district.
“Many factors can be related to the higher numbers of checked deer,” said Luke Meduna, the big game program manager for Game and Parks. “While there is still some corn standing in the fields, the nice weather contributed to lots of hunters getting into the field and harvesting deer.”
Meduna added that warmer temperatures also do not allow hunters to hang their deer carcasses for extended periods of time. Rather, to avoid spoilage, hunters needed to get deer broken down and cooled quickly. Deer cannot be broken down any further than quarters before completion of the check-in process.
“While some hunters reported slower activity than normal, many hunters also reported excellent rutting activity,” Meduna said. “Deer activity isn’t constant across a unit or even a single property, but can be quite variable by location and day.”
Many units, including the Loup East and Frenchman, had additional antlerless permits and/or bonus tags added for 2019.
Some reminders to hunters still in the field until the nine-day season closes Nov. 24:
— Make safety your highest priority. Know what your target is and what is behind your target. Be aware of where your weapon’s muzzle is pointed at all times.
— It is illegal to duplicate permits. Only hard copy permits are allowed; no electronic deer permits are allowed.
— Firearm deer hunters and archers harvesting deer during the November firearm season must deliver their deer to a check station no later than 1 p.m. on the day following the close of the season. To find a list and map of check stations visit Outdoornebraska.gov/deer. Notch the carcass tag on your permit immediately upon harvesting a deer.
— Many check stations in the northwest and northeast are collecting lymph nodes for chronic wasting disease testing. Those interested in test results can visit OutdoorNebraska.org in four to six weeks for results.
— In Nebraska, a person must have permission to enter private property.
— The season also is an opportunity to take a new or lapsed hunter afield as part of the Take ‘Em Hunting challenge. For more information, visit OutdoorNebraska.org/TakeEmHunting.
Many management unit permits are available, as well as some statewide permits. Permits can be purchased at OutdoorNebraska.org.