Deer Hunting in Nebraska

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  • B
  • 280,000

    Est. Whitetail Population

  • 135,000

    No. Licenses Sold Annually

  • $136.50

    Resident deer permit is $37. Resident statewide whitetail buck tag is $74.50; resident gun tag, archery or muzzleloader tag is $31. Habitat stamp is $25.

    Resident hunting license and deer permit

  • $804

    Non-resident deer permit is $242. Non-resident statewide whitetail buck tag is $537; non-resident gun tag, archery or muzzleloader tag is $216. Must also have $25 habitat stamp.

    Non-resident hunting license and deer permit

  • 199 2/8"

    Taken by Vernon A. Virka in Saunders Co. in 1983.

    Record B&C Typical Stat

  • 208

    Total B&C Typical Entries

  • 284"

    Taken by Wesley A. O'Brien in Richardson County in 2009.

    Record B&C Non-Typical Stat

  • 130

    Record B&C Non-Typical Entries

Grant Taylor and his big Nebraska buck. (Photo courtesy of Grant Taylor)

Season Dates (2017):

Bow season runs from Sept. 1 to Dec. 31. Gun season is Nov. 11-19. Muzzleloader season runs Dec. 1-31.

These are the dates set when published, please check the state DNR's website to confirm.

The Grade: B

Nebraska is somewhat of a sleeper state for whitetails but it does have a couple of issues that prevent it from earning an A.

For starters, the November firearms season falls during the peak of the rut and that likely has an impact on age structure of antlered bucks. That said, Nebraska kill tallies include higher-than-average percentage of bucks over two years of age. Also, the price of admission is sky-high. It costs alot to hunt this state.

The state has quite a bit of public land based on Midwestern standards. There're about 800,000 acres of publicly-owned land in State and Federal systems. About 270,000 acres are available through the state's excellent Open Fields and Waters program which pays private landowners to allow public hunting access to their land. And the Federal CRP-MAP program adds another substantial chunk of private land acreage that's open to walk-in hunting access. That's good news for deer hunters hunting this state this fall.

The deer herd is plentiful, with the higher densities located in the southeastern part of the state and along major river corridors. Some of the bucks in the state get old. That's what it takes to have big deer.

Antler Nation Knowledge:

Nebraska is one of the few states that publishes detailed harvest data in its annual regulations book. And that data is worth looking at. You'll find a breakdown of each region, how many deer were killed, how many bucks per square mile were killed and the age class of the bucks taken.


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Nebraska Harvests

  • Cameron Milke

    Richardson, Nebraska

From the Realtree Trophy Den