Duck hunters again have to choose between two daily bag limits when they sign up for their Harvest Information Program number this year.
Nebraska and South Dakota are entering the third year of a “two-tier” program for the regular season ducks.
Tier I is a traditional bag limit of six ducks with species and sex restrictions. Tier II is a three-duck bag limit with no species or sex restrictions.
HIP registration begins August 1. During the registration process, hunters will be asked if they plan to hunt ducks. If they do, they will be prompted to select a level. Hunters will be subject to that bag limit throughout the season.
The regulations will not apply to goose limits or early season teal, which have their own bag limits.
All hunters age 16 and older, including residents, nonresidents, lifetime permit holders, veterans, and senior permit holders, must register with HIP if they plan to hunt migratory game birds in Nebraska between September 1, 2023 and July 31, 2024. .
Residents under the age of 16 are exempt from the HIP requirement only if they select the Tier I baggage allowance. All hunters must register for HIP if they select Tier II. All non-residents, regardless of age, must register for HIP at any level.
Hunters who choose the Tier II option will receive a journal, where they will record information about hunting activity and harvest. The journal will be submitted to the Nebraska Park and Game Commission at the end of the hunting season.
In addition, postage-paid envelopes will be provided to most Tier II hunters with the expectation that one wing will be shipped from each duck hunted. This process is crucial to federal collection efforts when estimating the harvest. Duck harvest and species composition will be compared to hunters using the Tier I option. If sufficient wings are not received to assess harvest for Tier II hunters, it is unlikely that the program will continue beyond the experimental phase.
New this year, starting August 1, hunters must register for HIP through their permit system customer profile at GoOutdoorsNE.com. Registered hunters are assigned a number that they must carry with them while hunting. Learn more at OutdoorNebraska.gov.
Required by federal regulation of the US Fish and Wildlife Service, HIP helps wildlife managers estimate the number of migratory game birds taken each year. Migratory birds include pigeons, ducks, geese, snipes, rails, coots, and woodcocks.
The two-tiered program will continue for the next two seasons and will then be re-examined to determine if it affected the number of waterfowl hunters and duck populations.