Deer hunting prospects looking good for 2017
Excitement and anticipation are building for Nebraskans as the Nov. 11 opener of firearm deer season approaches.
Deer populations for 2017 are higher for mule deer and about the same for whitetails. Favorable habitat and weather conditions this past year should provide for good fawn production and good survival of adults and fawns.
“Hunting prospects have improved in all management units as herds are mostly recovered from the drought and disease losses of 2012,” says Kit Hams, big game program manager for the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. “Mule deer in five southern units are doing very well and whitetails are increasing in several units.”
The firearm season closes on Nov. 19.
Deer permits may be purchased online or at any Game and Parks permitting office. Visit the Game and Parks website for more information on deer hunting in Nebraska. You can also find places to sight in your rifle online.
Game and Parks seeks information on poached elk
The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission is seeking information on two elk shot in Boyd County.
The two elk – a cow and her calf – were shot and left in a field northwest of Gross sometime between Oct. 25 and the early morning hours of Oct. 26. Conservation officers investigated the site on the morning of Oct. 26 and found the calf already dead and the cow fatally wounded. Conservation officers euthanized the cow.
Anyone with information on this case can call conservation officer Jonathan Andreasen at 402-340-3981. Those wishing to remain anonymous can call Nebraska Wildlife Crimestoppers at 1-800-742-7627. Information resulting in an arrest may result in a cash reward.
Standing crops limit hunter success on pheasant opener
Hunters from around the country returned to rural Nebraska on Oct. 28-29 to partake in a coveted outdoor tradition – the upland bird hunting season opener.
Overall, hunter success on the opening weekend was slightly lower than 2016, but hunter success for pheasants was highest in the southwest and northwest regions. Good quail numbers were reported throughout the southern half of Nebraska but very few hunters were targeting bobwhites.
Reports indicate the 2017 delayed crop harvest left an abundance of cover on the landscape, which proved challenging for upland hunters on opening weekend. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Nebraska’s corn harvest as of Oct. 29 was 45 percent complete, well behind the five-year average of 67 percent. According to producers, harvest is delayed due to precipitation in late September and early October. In some parts of the state, high winds have caused stalk breakage and ear loss, which contributes to a slower harvest.
Pheasant hunting opportunities and hunter success are expected to improve significantly once harvest is complete. Read more about the opener at our website.
Pheasant, quail and prairie grouse seasons continue through Jan. 31. Permits can be purchased online.