A Captive Wildlife Permit is required to retain any wild birds or wild mammals in captivity for personal use or to raise game birds for release and/or sell game birds or mammals. Wild mammals and birds including their eggs may not be taken from the wild, but are to be obtained from those holding appropriate permits. Controlled Shooting Areas and Falconry regulations allow for the possession of wild birds and do not require a Captive Wildlife Permit.
Pheasants, quail, mallards, and partridge (chukars, Hungarian) can be raised and released onto privately owned land, but may not be released on public land. A Captive Wildlife Permit is required if these birds are kept for more than fourteen days beyond the date of purchase. Birds purchased for dog training that are released within fourteen days of purchase do not require a Captive Wildlife permit. See Dog Training for more information.
If you live within city limits, check with your local Animal Control Office, City Attorney or applicable city office to determine if a specific animal may be kept in captivity. Animals such as raccoons are not allowed in some cities and towns.
To apply for a Captive Wildlife Permit contact the nearest Commission District or Service Center Office to obtain an application packet.
Send a completed application form along with payment of $33 to the Commission District or Service Center Office closest to the location the Captive Wildlife will be kept. Before a permit is issued a Conservation Officer will come to your property and inspect pens or enclosures to ensure there is adequate shelter and structures for the animals you wish to acquire. After you pass inspection, a permit will be issued and you can purchase the animals you indicated you want to raise.
For some animals, such as raccoons, proof of purchase may be required. An annual accounting of animal inventory and a renewal form is to be submitted by December 31st each year to the appropriate Commission District or Service Center Office.
Animals that require a Captive Wildlife Permit
Animals that require a Captive Wildlife Permit:
- Fox (Gray, Red)
- Mink (except mutation)
- River Otter
- Weasel (long tailed)
- Squirrel (Flying, Fox, Gray)
- Cottontail Rabbit
- Partridge (Hungarian, Chukar)
- Pheasant (Ringneck or Common Pheasant)
- Quail (Bobwhite)
- Swan (Trumpeter, Tundra*)
- Geese* (Wild Geese: Blue, Snow, Canada, Whitefront, Ross, Brandt, Etc.)
- Grouse Sharptail, Prairie Chicken
- Turkey (All wild species)
- Sheep Bighorn (restricted in Banner, Box Butte, Cheyenne, Dawes, Kimball, Morrill, Scotts Bluff, Sheridan and Sioux counties)
- Migratory (All species protected by Migratory Bird Treaty Act.*)
- And Eggs of the approved species
*Federal permit required in addition to state permit
**For commercial purposes only
NO PERSON SHALL KEEP THE FOLLOWING IN CAPTIVITY IN NEBRASKA NOR WILL A PERMIT BE ISSUED:
- Felidae (wild cats, cougars, tigers, Savannah Cats, Serval Cats (except bobcats and Lynx see previous list) except Felis domesticus)
- Ursidae (bears)
- All Threatened and Endangered Species
- All Hawks, owls, eagles
- Species in need of Conservation Jackrabbits (blacktail and whitetail)
- Short horned Lizard
- Asian Raccoon Dog
- Whitetailed Deer
- Mule Deer
- Red Deer
- Bighorn and Thinhorn sheep (Unlawful in Banner, Box Butte, Cheyeene, Dawes, Kimball, Morill, Scotts Bluff, Sheridan and Sioux counties.)
- Wild Pig