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Nebrasaka Firearms Deer Harvest at All-Time High

December 1, 2008.

From Nebraska Game and Parks Commission:

Hunters harvested a record 57,529 deer during the recent November firearm season, according to preliminary results by the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission.

The November firearm season harvest breaks the previous record, set last year, by 8,100 (16 percent).

The highest firearm harvest was in southeast Nebraska, where 14,096 deer were taken, an increase of 26 percent from last year. Every permit in that district included a bonus tag.

Kit Hams, the Commission’s big game program manager, attributes the sharp increase to the issuance this year of 85,000 bonus tags that allow the harvest of antlerless white-tailed deer.

“This is good news,” he said. “It’s definitely what we were trying to accomplish with the bonus tags.”

The goal of the bonus tags is to thin the antlerless whitetail herd, especially in eastern Nebraska, where crop-damage complaints and deer-vehicle collisions are common.

The 2008 November firearm deer harvest totals by district, and percentage of increase from 2007, are:

Southeast, 14,096, 26 percent;
Northeast, 12,900, 11 percent;
Southwest, 6,223, 17 percent;
South-central, 9,142, 8 percent;
North-central, 9,428, 20 percent; and
Panhandle, 5,740, 17 percent.

The Commission’s objective to control the expanding deer population continues. The muzzleloader season is Dec. 1-31 and the January season is Jan. 1-15, 2009.

Hams expects the total harvest from all deer seasons this year to be 75,000-80,000, which would be a record. Last year’s total harvest was 68,500.

Following are some deer hunting reminders from the Commission:

  • November firearm deer season bonus tags may not be used during any other season. Muzzleloader bonus tags may be used only in December. Youth, landowner, and season choice bonus tags may be used in December or January.
  • Deer hunters with permits that have bonus tags should remember that the tags may be filled in any order.
  • Hunters still may take advantage of the Deer Exchange. It is a program that allows for the transfer of deer meat from hunters to people who want to receive it. Go online to for more information or to sign up for free. Nearly 1,000 people have signed up so far.
  • Hunters should read the 2008 Nebraska Big Game Guide before purchasing permits. The guide is available where permits are sold, as well as online at
  • Permits may be purchased at Commission permitting offices or online at


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