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Special elk depredation season designated in southwest Nebraska

A special elk depredation season has been ordered for July in a portion of southwest Nebraska because of excessive crop damage caused by elk.

Nebraska Game and Parks Commission Director Tim McCoy signed a Special Depredation Order for a season July 1-31 in specific parts of Lincoln, Perkins, Keith, Deuel and Garden counties.

The season will be valid on private land only.

Game and Parks staff have worked with landowners in this area for several years to lower elk herds to an acceptable level in cropland areas. Several small elk herds inhabit crop fields through harvest, then disperse randomly, making it difficult for hunters to take elk during the late general season.

The special season will allow hunters and landowners the opportunity to help reduce the population before the general elk season in this area. The objective is to alleviate damage to crops and property caused by consumption of crops, trampling and wallows.

Permits will be available to residents, nonresidents and landowners owning at least 80 acres within the hunting area. Landowners must hunt their own land.

Starting June 27, permits will be available for purchase at the Game and Parks office in North Platte. Applications also are available at outdoornebraska.gov/depredation. They can be mailed to: Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, 301 E. State Farm Road, North Platte NE 69101-0430.

The fees for the permits, which are unlimited in quantity, are $20 for general residents, $40 for general nonresidents, $5 for resident landowners, and $10 for nonresident landowners.

The permit bag limit is one elk of either sex. Hunters may purchase more than one permit.

Harvested elk must be checked in via internet or telephone. Permits issued to hunters participating in this season will not count against their personal limits or ability to hunt during a regular big game season.

Hunters are reminded that permission is required to hunt on private land. Game and Parks strongly encourages hunters to obtain permission before purchasing a permit.

For a map of the specific hunting area, and additional information about the season, visit outdoornebraska.gov/depredation.

Game and Parks is exercising the authority granted under Nebraska Revised Statue 37-448 to designate a special elk depredation season. In June 2021, Game and Parks adopted regulations for the special depredation season that was passed during the 2021 Legislative session.

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