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Nebraska Deer Regulations: Essential Guide 2024

Navigating the intricacies of Nebraska’s deer hunting regulations can be a daunting task, even for seasoned hunters. To ensure a safe and legal hunt, here’s a comprehensive breakdown of the key regulations you need to know.

NE Important Regulations

Deer Hunting Schedule

Archery Season: (September 1, 2023 – December 31, 2023)

  • This extended season gives archery enthusiasts ample time to outsmart cunning bucks and graceful does.
  • Unleash your inner Robin Hood and bag both one antlered deer and one antlerless deer throughout the statewide season.
  • Landowners on qualifying properties can take advantage of a one-antlered deer limit during this period.

Muzzleloader Season: (October 21, 2024 – November 4, 2024)

  • Feel the nostalgia of hunting with the tools of yesteryear during the dedicated muzzleloader season.
  • Put your marksmanship to the test and claim one deer of either sex with your black powder masterpiece.

Firearm Season: (November 12, 2024 – December 31, 2024)

  • For those who prefer the swift action of a rifle, the firearm season brings the thrill of the chase.
  • Fill your freezer with venison by bagging one antlered deer and one antlerless deer across the state.
  • Landowners holding qualifying permits can harvest one antlered deer during this timeframe.

Beyond the Buck: Exploring Antlerless Opportunities

  • Don’t let the trophy antlers distract you! Nebraska offers dedicated antlerless-only seasons or designated areas with special regulations where you can ethically manage deer populations.
  • Stay informed about these additional opportunities by consulting the official Nebraska Hunting Guide for 2024.

Deer Regulations

Permitted Weapons:

  • Firearm Season: Only specific firearms meet the criteria, including .22 caliber rifles with at least 900 ft-lbs energy, .357 magnum and .45 Colt rifles, and hand-thrown spears. Handguns and muzzleloading handguns must deliver at least 400 ft-lbs energy at 50 yards.
  • Archery Season: Bows and spears are the only legal hunting tools.
  • Muzzleloader Season: Muzzleloading rifles and muskets of specific calibers, firing single slugs, are permitted.

General Regulations:

  • Shooting Hours: Hunting is only allowed during legal shooting hours, typically 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset.
  • Sight Restrictions: Electronic devices that amplify light or project beams/images onto targets are prohibited, except for red-dot and illuminated reticle sights/scopes.
  • Permit Requirements: All hunters must possess a valid permit signed in their name; permits are non-transferable.
  • Minimum Age: Deer hunting is allowed for individuals aged 10 years and older, with specific requirements for youth hunters.
  • Habitat Stamp: A habitat stamp is mandatory for big game hunting for those over 16 and non-residents, except for fee-exempt permits and landowners hunting their own land.

Prohibited Activities:

  • Hunting from Vehicles: Shooting from moving motor vehicles is strictly prohibited.
  • Spotlighting and Technology: Using a spotlight or electronic device to transmit information about game is illegal.
  • Baited Areas: Hunting within 200 yards of a baited area is strictly against the rules.

Additional Information:

  • Deer Part Sales: While the sale of deer parts (hide, hair, hooves, bones, and antlers) is permitted, selling or purchasing deer meat is illegal.
  • Hunter Orange Requirement: During firearm season, hunters must wear visible hunter orange clothing.
  • Baited Area Restrictions: Hunting within 200 yards of a baited area is prohibited, with exceptions for scents and standard land management practices.
  • Harvest Reporting: Depending on the season, harvested deer must be reported within a specified timeframe at a check station or via Telecheck.
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