Nebraska’s most popular hunt is the 9-day firearm deer season (Nov. 14 through Nov. 22).
This is one of the absolute best times of year to be outside and participate in it with the deer breeding period called “rut” happening.
My lovely wife of well over 30 years, Polly Wagner, says that everything comes to a grinding halt in the Wagner family with the “rifle deer season.” It’s a terrific event, though. For many of us in the hunting lifestyle, the firearm deer season is a time-honored tradition as ingrained as Husker football. I can still remember as a child tagging along with my dad in pursuit of that elusive trophy white-tailed deer buck and the excitement in the house on any night before we hunted. None of us ever slept much.
To me, personally, the firearm deer season means many wonderful things.
It means passing on the heritage that my dad gave me, and his father gave him. It means spending time with younger family members and coaching their hunts (it’s so much fun to be a coach for a new hunter and be part of our new Take ‘Em Hunting challenge (Remember to stick to COVID-19 directed health measures/prevention guidelines unless these folks live in your same household).
It means reconnecting with other family members and friends, too, in a socially distant way.
It means reinforcing relationships with neighboring relatives and farmers.
It means relishing the landscape on my Aunt Norma’s and my friend Rob’s southeast Nebraska farms where my ancestors settled and more than likely hunted white-tailed deer for food some 154 years ago.
It means taking pleasure in the peace and serenity of the countryside. It means just listening to the wind gently blow through the trees and the trickle of water glide over the leaves and rocks in the creek.
It means enhancing an appreciation for the deer resource and all wildlife.
It means delighting in every bit of nature and agriculture, including hiking through fields and savoring the small features such as wildlife tracks in the snow or mud on the way to the deer stand.
It means acquiring bonus protein if I’m able to get a deer or two and have family, friends and neighbors enjoy some fresh, lean, free-ranging, local meat at the dinner table.
And, it means witnessing those incredible Nebraska sunrises and sunsets. Ah, those picturesque Nebraska sunrises and sunsets …
I want you to keep in mind that we at the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission are here to assist you with your firearm deer hunt and answer any questions you may have about it. Please do not hesitate to contact us.
For those with hunts already underway or set, there is a change this year regarding how we have to check our deer during the November firearm season because of COVID-19 concerns. We must use the Telecheck system. See information about that on your permit or by going here.
Visit OutdoorNebraska.gov for more deer hunting information, to purchase deer permits and habitat stamps and to enter our Take ‘Em Hunting Challenge.
I wish you a good, safe firearm deer hunt this year. Don’t forget, it’s about enjoying the experience.