Keep safety top of mind during firearm deer season
It’s almost go time! Nebraska’s firearm deer season starts this Saturday (Nov. 11), and thousands of Nebraskans who want to put meat in their freezer, create memories and carry on traditions with friends and family will be heading out into the field.
While enjoying the hunt, make safety your priority and keep the following recommendations top of mind:
— Treat every firearm as if it’s loaded, keep the firearm muzzle pointed in a safe direction, and keep your finger off of the trigger until you’re ready to fire.
— Know your target and what is beyond it, never pull the trigger unless you are sure your target is a deer, and know the potential distance of your shot.
— Use the firearm’s safety, but don’t rely on it, because safeties can fail.
— Don’t shoot at flat, hard surfaces or water, as bullets can ricochet.
— Unload firearms when climbing into and out of tree stands and when carrying them in a vehicle.
— Tell someone when and where you are hunting and when you expect to return home. Check in with them when you return. Avoid hunting alone, if possible.
— Have the proper clothing and gear for the weather, and keep an eye on the forecast.
— Check your hunting equipment to make sure everything is in proper working order, including your tree stand.
— Tree stand hunters should wear a fall-arrest system, use a haul line to raise and lower gear into your stand, and always maintain three points of contact when climbing.
— In Nebraska, anyone hunting deer under a firearm permit during a firearm season must display at least 400 square inches of hunter orange on their head, chest and back. This also applies to anyone archery hunting during the November firearm deer season.
Find a place to hunt with the Public Access Atlas
Find the site of your next hunt by consulting Game and Parks’ Public Access Atlas, which offers a comprehensive view of all lands in Nebraska that are open to hunting and fishing.
This annual publication includes information on land enrolled in the Open Fields and Waters program, which allows private land to be open to hunters and anglers for walk-in access. It also provides information on public state and federal lands open to hunting and fishing.
Visit the Game and Parks website to view the most up-to-date printable map sheets, an interactive GIS map, a digital flipbook, and more. Printed atlases are available where hunting and fishing permits are sold.
Spring turkey hunters report high satisfaction, success in 2017
According to survey results, spring turkey hunters in Nebraska enjoyed a high rate of success and satisfaction in 2017.
In its annual spring turkey hunter survey, the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission asked hunters about their experiences in the field.
The results show that almost all resident (98 percent) and non-resident (96 percent) hunters would hunt Nebraska again. For resident hunters, some of the most important reasons they chose to hunt in Nebraska were the availability of permits, turkey abundance, and having family in the state. Among non-residents, subspecies available, the number of permits allowed per hunter, and success rates were also important.
Results also showed that spring turkey hunters continue to enjoy a high rate of success in Nebraska, but fewer turkeys were harvested in the spring 2017 season compared to 2016, following a slight drop in the number of permits sold. The full survey reports may be viewed online.
Report game violations to the Wildlife Crimestoppers
If you see violations of game law while out in the field, contact the Wildlife Crimestoppers, a cooperative wildlife law enforcement program sponsored by the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission and the Nebraska Wildlife Protectors Association. It is similar to the well-known Crime Stoppers program and offers rewards for information resulting in arrests for game law violations.
You can reach the Nebraska Wildlife Crimestoppers toll-free hotline in Lincoln at 1-800-742-7627. You may also contact your nearest conservation officer at any time. In many cases, an investigation can be initiated much faster if information is given directly to the nearest conservation officer.
Whether you call the hotline or the nearest officer you can remain anonymous. Information and reward payments are processed under that number so anonymity is maintained throughout the process. More information is available at the program website.