Between 60,000 to 70,000 hunters are expected to be out in the field for the rifle deer season starting Saturday, with more than half harvesting a deer.
The nine-day season runs until Nov. 21.
All deer harvested must be accompanied by the hunter and taken to a check station no later than 1 p.m. on the day following the close of the season. That’s a change from 2020.
“We didn’t last year because of COVID,” said Alicia Hardin, wildlife division administrator for the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. “We are fully functioning as we did in the past. Our team enjoys talking to hunters, we really missed that last year.”
Check stations change from year to year, so hunters are urged to find their locations before they hunt. A list may be found on the 2021 deer regulations sheet, which, along with maps and information, is available at outdoornebraska.gov/deer and outdoornebraska.gov/huntingseasons. An interactive map of check stations can be found at outdoornebraska.gov/maps.
When checking in a deer, the permit and check station seal number or check station verification number must be retained when transporting all or a portion of the carcass to a point of permanent storage or processing.
Several units have sold out of permits but some remain for antlerless deer.
Hardin said population numbers have remained fairly steady for whitetail deer in the southeast part of the state although numbers have declined more for mule deer out west.
About 35,000 to 45,000 deer are expected to be killed.
“I think the weather is looking great and more crops are out of the fields than past years and so there are positives to that,” Hardin said. “It makes you forget about the pandemic and everything else once you get out there.”