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Big game hunters should be aware of two regulation changes

LINCOLN, Neb. – Nebraska big game and turkey hunters should be aware of wildlife regulation changes for 2021 regarding hunting over bait and carrying a handgun while hunting.

The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission passed these regulations in June.

The amended baiting regulation states that it is illegal to hunt any big game animals or turkeys within 200 yards of a baited area. An area is be considered baited for 10 days following the complete removal of all bait. The hunter and the animal must be outside of the baited area during the harvest or attempted harvest.

A baited area is any location where grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, hay, minerals (including salt), or any other natural food materials, commercial products containing food materials, or by-products of such materials are that may attract big game or turkey. The use of scents alone, normal environmental conditions, standard farming and ranching practices, forest management, wildlife food plantings, orchard management, or similar land management activities do not constitute a baited area.

Big game animals in Nebraska are deer, elk, antelope, bighorn sheep and mountain lions.

The other regulation allows big game and turkey hunters to carry a handgun, with a barrel of no longer than 5 inches, while pursuing game with bow and arrow or muzzleloader.

Any take or attempted take of wildlife with the aid of the handgun, other than for the immediate protection of human life, is prohibited.

Updated Sept. 30, 2021, to clarify baiting.

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