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Nebraska Sets 2009 Deer Seasons

March 18, 2009.

Big game seasons were set March 13th by the Nebraska Game and Parks Board of Commissioners.

Season Dates
Archery Sept. 15-Nov. 13 and Nov. 23-Dec. 31
Firearm Nov. 14-22
Muzzleloader Dec. 1-31
Season Choice (antlerless) Archery: Sept. 15-Nov. 13 and Nov. 23-Dec. 31
Muzzleloader: Dec. 1-31
Firearm: Nov. 14-22 and Jan. 1-15, 2010
Youth and Landowner Archery: Sept. 15-Nov. 13 and Nov. 23-Dec. 31;
Muzzleloader: Dec. 1-31
Firearm: Nov. 14-22; Jan. 1-15, 2010 (antlerless only)
DeSoto Muzzleloader Oct. 17-18; Dec. 19-20; and Jan. 2-3, 2010
Boyer Chute Oct. 24-25 and Dec. 5-6

It was a record year in many ways for deer hunters in Nebraska in 2008. The following all-time highs were set: harvest (80,467), permits sold (131,392), whitetail antlerless harvest (32,397), whitetail buck harvest (36,235), mule deer buck harvest (9,115); and nonresident permits sold (12,022).

Record harvests of mule deer, whitetails and elk are expected again this fall as more permits are available and herd sizes remain strong in most areas. The harvest of antlerless whitetails may exceed that of whitetail bucks for the first time this fall. The average age of whitetail bucks is expected to increase for the fourth straight year.

Concern about the age of bucks in some central Nebraska hunting units led the Commissioners on Friday to authorize a reduction in either-sex permits in some of those firearm deer units. This is aimed at increasing the average age of mule deer and whitetail bucks.

Also, in an effort to improve the age structure and population of mule deer bucks in three units in south-central and southwest Nebraska, statewide buck permits will not be valid for mule deer bucks south of Interstate 80. This is expected to reduce the harvest of mule deer bucks by about 250.

One of the biggest changes in this year’s deer hunting seasons is the result of a need to harvest even more deer in eastern Nebraska. A new October antlerless season has been created for a portion of eastern Nebraska along the Missouri and lower Platte rivers where too few antlerless whitetails were harvested last year. The Commission hopes this season will add 3,000 antlerless whitetails to the 2009 harvest.

The October antlerless season – Oct. 9-11 – is for hunting only in the Season Choice Areas 18 and 21. Deer may be taken with archery equipment, muzzleloader, rifle or crossbow. Hunters may take two antlerless deer with each permit, and there will be an unlimited number of permits available. Hunter orange is required.

Other highlights of the 2009 deer hunting regulations are:

  • The number of either-sex deer hunting permits decreased by 1,200.
  • The number of season choice antlerless deer hunting permits increased by 1,800.
  • The number of bonus tags for antlerless white-tailed deer hunting permits increased by 3,300.
  • Hutners who have met their limit of having two deer permits that allow the harvest of a buck will now be allowed to participate in an auction or lottery.
  • It is now unlawful to take an antelope or deer with: a rifle smaller than 22 caliber, a rifle that delivers less than 900 foot-pounds of bullet energy at 100 yards, or a muzzleloading handgun that delivers less than 400 foot-pounds of bullet energy at 50 yards.
  • Portable tree stands on wildlife management areas must be taken down from Feb. 1 through Aug. 31 of each year.

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