With crop down, Nebraska places limits on deer permits

With Nebraska permit fees reduced for upcoming deer seasons, hunters may find that easily obtained tags of the past will be in limited supply. You can help improve your chances of obtaining a permit by applying during the respective periods in June and July.

The changes to permit fees are driven by changes in the field, particularly a severe decline in deer harvest last year.

The 2022 deer harvest was down 11% statewide from the prior year and down 22% from 2020. The mule deer harvest was the lowest since 1981 and the whitetail deer harvest was the lowest down since 1994.

As a result, non-residents will find fewer permits available to them.

Some of the permit changes for 2023 are:

  • Non-residents will be limited to a total of 10,000 permits for deer of either sex and bucks only. Young people and landowners are not included in that quota.
  • Non-residents will be limited to 15% of the firearms permits available in November in each of the following units: French Mule Deer Conservation Area, Platte MDCA, Pine Ridge MDCA, Upper Platte, Sandhills, Plains, and Calamus West .
  • The state’s quota for non-resident archery permits will be reduced to 3,000 from 5,000 in 2022. The permit will also not be valid for mule deer on MDCA. Non-residents wishing to hunt mule deer with archery on an MDCA unit must use a Buffalo, Frenchman, Pine Ridge, Platte or Republican MDCA permit; archery season has been added to that permit to accommodate that opportunity.
  • The state quota for muzzleloaders will be reduced to 1,000 from 2,000 in 2022. MDCA restrictions continue to apply.

Like previous years, antelope archery has a non-resident quota of 250 permits. General moose permits are not available to non-residents.

Overall, the Nebraska Park and Game Commission is reducing November firearm permits available to all hunters by 5.9% and antlerless-only seasonal choice permits by 7.4%. .

The statewide whitetail harvest was largely flat in the years following a large outbreak of epizootic hemorrhagic disease in 2012. But between increased harvest due to predation complaints beginning in 2019 and outbreaks minor to moderate EHDs in 2021 and 2022, whitetail numbers and harvest have declined greatly. of the State.

The mule deer take has declined sharply from record and near-record levels in many western deer units in recent years. But this decline in deer harvest and populations has been faster than Game and Parks anticipated. In addition, cases of meningeal brainworms have been reported in several central and southwestern deer units in recent years, and fawn production has declined significantly in recent years.

To read more about Nebraska’s big game species and permit application dates and processes, visit OutdoorNebraska.gov and search for “big game permits.”