Deer Hunting in Nebraska

Some simply call it deer season. In Nebraska, we like to think of it as permit season. From mule deer to whitetail, no matter how you prefer to take your shot, Nebraska has an over-the-counter permit for you. That’s right, no lotteries here, just easy access to public land and thousands of trophy-quality deer. Plus, with $8 youth permits, Nebraska is the perfect place for young hunters. Here in Nebraska, we make it easy to get into the stand. Explore this page and start planning your Nebraska deer hunt.

About deer hunting in Nebraska

Nebraska’s, modern deer season began in 1945, with a harvest of 275 mule deer and two whitetail deer from Nebraska National Forest near Halsey. Since then, deer hunting has become a treasured tradition enjoyed by countless hunters, who have harvested more than 2.2 million deer. Careful management the past five years has resulted in growth in mule deer herds and a reduction in whitetail herds. Season recommendations for 2019 will allow a harvest of approximately 10,000 mule deer and 46,000 whitetail deer. Population goals in 2019 are for slight increases in northern and eastern whitetail herds and a modest reduction in mule deer herds in Southwest Nebraska and continued pressure on whitetails along river corridors. Biologists will collect lymph nodes for CWD testing from deer taken in six Panhandle and Northeast deer units.

Season dates
November firearm:
Season choice antlerless:

Sept. 1, 2019 – Dec. 31, 2019
Nov. 16, 2019 – Nov. 24, 2019
Dec. 1, 2019 – Dec. 31, 2019
Sept. 1, 2019 – Jan. 15, 2020

Purchasing dates
Residents and non-residents can apply for permits in draw units from June 10, 2019 – June 28, 2019. Remaining permits and permits for non-draw units an be purchased from Aug. 5, 2019 through the close of season.

Find detailed maps of all deer and antelope units, as well as summary regulations on the hunting seasons page.

Information on draw units
The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission provides information on the previous year’s draw results.

Check stations

Deer harvested during the November firearm deer season and antelope harvested during the October firearm season must be taken to a check station. Names and locations of check stations are listed on our interactive check stations map and also on pages 3 and 4 of the summary deer regulations.

View check station map
View summary regulations and check station list



All deer harvested outside the November firearm season must be checked via Telecheck.
Manual check stations will only be available for the November firearm season. Learn more

Where to hunt

Deer can be found in every county in Nebraska. White-tailed deer are now found statewide with higher densities in the east and in riparian corridors. Mule deer occupy the western two-thirds of the state and are the dominant species in 20 counties. Nebraska offers ample opportunity to hunt public land, particularly in the western part of the state. View the Public Access Atlas to view land open to hunting in Nebraska.

Special Antlerless Deer Opportunities

Additional hunting opportunities exist for those willing to harvest antlerless deer. A large number of Antlerless Only Season Choice permits are offered in units across the state, allowing for harvest in any open season with whatever weapon is legal until the tag is filled. This permit allows for hunting during the late season firearm period of Jan 1-15, 2020. The River Antlerless Private Land Only permit also allows for hunting and harvest throughout open seasons (with the corresponding legal weapon) and an additional period open to firearm hunting October 1-10 on private land in areas along several river systems in Nebraska. Loup East and Frenchman deer management units have additional antlerless opportunities for 2019 in response to depredation issues in those units. Antlerless permit quotas were increased in Loup East and Frenchman deer management units in response to depredation complaints and an additional bonus tag for an antlerless whitetail was added to both the Loup East November Firearm and Antlerless Only SCA permits. As always, Nebraska law requires permission to hunt on private land. Please consult the 2019 Nebraska Big Game Guide pages 12-29 for more details on these permits.

Special antlerless hunting opportunities are offered within Eugene T. Mahoney State Park, Platte River State Park, and Schramm Park State Recreation Area. Archery and muzzleloader seasons are on specific dates in December and January. Please consult the 2019 Nebraska Big Game Guide page 16 for specific dates. Hunters wishing to hunt these seasons must apply during the application period of October 1-31 at one of the parks where the hunts will take place. Successful applicants will be issued a special access permit that allows them to hunt antlerless deer in designated areas of a park for the specified season. Hunters must attend an orientation session in order to receive the access permit. Hunters must also have a valid deer permit for the specific season (Archery, Wahoo SCA or Youth).

Download application


View the 2018 Big Game Meeting Presentation

Planning your trip

There’s some key factors to take into account when planning a trip to hunt Nebraska To save yourself time and get the most out of your adventure use our 2019 Mule Deer Trip Planner as a guide.

View 2019 Mule Deer Trip Planner

Those hunting in Nebraska will encounter the state’s famous Midwestern hospitality. Across the state, hunters will find great places to stay, eat and be entertained.  The additional resources below will help you plan your trip.

  • Nebraska’s state parks and recreation areas make for great places for hunters to stay or camp. You can find a cabin or camping spot through our park amenities search.
  • The Nebraska Department of Agriculture maintains a statewide list of outfitters, hunting lodges and other resources for hunters. View the list on the Department of Agriculture website.
  • The Nebraska State Tourism Commission website can help you find hotels, restaurants and interesting attractions throughout the state.

Giving back

The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission is proud to offer hunters the chance to give back through Hunters Helping the Hungry, philanthropic program that allows hunters to donate venison to Nebraskans in need.

More hunting opportunities

Thanks to its diverse habitat, Nebraska is an upland game hunter’s paradise, with a dozen species of birds and small mammals available to hunt. The state also offers the best turkey hunting opportunities in the country; permits are plentiful and turkeys can be found in every county in the state.

big game guide