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Hunting Seasons and Application Dates

Attention, nonresident hunters: At this time there are NO restrictions on nonresidents purchasing permits or recreating in Nebraska. While that could change, whether it will is entirely unknown. There are no current plans to make any such restrictions.

With a broad diversity of species and seasons, all hunters in Nebraska can have a busy year. Following is a comprehensive list of season dates and applications periods by species. Season dates are tentative, pending Commission approval. For detailed information about each season check out the annual hunting guides. Complete regulations and Commission orders can be found on the regulations page.

Big game seasons

Download printable season dates card

Deer

Season dates

Archery: Sept. 1, 2020 – Dec. 31, 2020
November firearm: Nov. 14, 2020 – Nov. 22, 2020
Muzzleloader: Dec. 1, 2020 – Dec. 31, 2020
Antlerless Late Season: Jan. 1, 2021 – Jan. 15, 2021

Permit requirements

Deer hunters in Nebraska are required to have a Statewide or Unit Deer Permit and a Habitat stamp. (view big game guide for exceptions)

Deer permits are issued as Draw units or Buy units. Draw units are determined by overall demand and may be applied for during the draw unit application period. The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission provides information on the previous year’s draw results. Buy units (over-the-counter permits) are issued on a first-come, first served basis. Additionally, youth permits are available to youth under the age of 16.  (See the Big Game Guide for more on permits, unit names, species of deer and bag limits.)

View 2019 Deer Harvest Report

Permit application dates

June 8, 2020  after 1:00 pm CST – June 26, 2020

Resident and nonresident application period for draw units. Submit applications online or via mail.

Download the big game application
Download big game landowner application
Landowner additional land form

Permit sale dates

Aug. 3, 2020 after 1:00 pm CST – close of season

Residents and nonresidents can purchase remaining permits on sale. (all units)

Buy/apply online

Download step-by-step instructions on the big game draw application and payment process:
How to apply for a big game draw permit PDF
How to pay for an awarded big game draw permit PDF

Deer regulations and restrictions:

Download 2020 summary deer regulations and check stations
Download 2020 mule deer conservation area restrictions
Download 2020 refuge and public land restrictions for statewide deer permits
Download Deer Species Information

DeSoto Bend NWR Deer Hunting Information
Boyer Chute NWR Deer Hunting Information
Gifford WMA Deer Hunting Draw Application

Deer Management Unit Maps

 

Big Game Check-In (Telecheck)

The Nebraska Telecheck Program allows hunters to check deer or antelope by telephone or online, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Learn more and access Telecheck

Antelope

Season dates
Archery: Aug. 20, 2020 – Dec. 31, 2020
Muzzleloader: Sept. 19, 2020 – Oct. 4, 2020
Firearm: Oct. 10, 2020 – Oct. 25, 2020
November late doe/fawn: Nov. 1, 2020 – Jan. 31, 2021
Download 2020 summary antelope regulations

Permit application dates

June 8, 2020  after 1:00 pm CST – June 26, 2020

Resident and nonresident application period for draw units. Submit applications online or via mail. The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission provides information on the previous year’s draw results.

Download big game application
Download big game landowner application

Permit sale dates

Aug. 3, 2020 after 1:00 pm CST – close of season

Residents and nonresidents can purchase remaining permits on sale. (all units)

Buy/apply online

Download step-by-step instructions on the big game draw application and payment process:
How-to apply for a big game draw permit PDF
How-to pay for an awarded big game draw permit PDF

Unit maps


Big Game Check-In (Telecheck)
The Nebraska Telecheck Program allows hunters to check deer or antelope by telephone or online, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Learn more and access Telecheck

Elk

Season dates

Archery bull: Sept. 1, 2020 – Oct. 31, 2020
Firearm bull: Sept. 21, 2020 – Oct. 31, 2020
Antlerless Aug. 1, 2020 – Jan. 1, 2021
Download 2020 summary elk regulations

Permit application dates

May 18, 2020  after 1:00 pm CST – June 5, 2020

Landowners application period for draw units. Submit Application
2020 Landowner Elk Zone Description

June 8, 2020  after 1:00 pm CST – June 26, 2020

Residents application period for draw units. Application and application fee to be delivered to specific Commission district offices depending on unit. See Big Game Guide for additional information.

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

Download big game application

Permit sale dates

Aug. 3, 2020 after 1:00 pm CST – close of season

Residents and nonresidents can purchase remaining permits on sale. (all units)

Buy/apply online

Unit maps


.

Bighorn sheep

Bighorn sheep lottery
This once-in-a-lifetime hunt includes up to four days of guide service from Nebraska Game and Parks staff and up to four nights of meal and lodging at Fort Robinson State Park. Proceeds from the lottery provide support for the management of this historic species in five areas of Nebraska’s panhandle region.
View 2019 bighorn sheep brochure

Season dates

Bighorn sheep: Dec. 1-22, 2020

Permit application dates (after 1:00pm CST)

April 20, 2020 after 1:00 pm CST – Aug. 7, 2020

Residents can apply for the bighorn sheep lottery during this period.

Buy/apply online

Turkey

Season dates

  Spring youth archery: March 25, 2020 – May 31, 2020
  Spring archery: March 25, 2020 – May 31, 2020
  Spring youth shotgun: April 11, 2020 – May 31, 2020
  Spring shotgun: April 18, 2020 – May 31, 2020
  Fall youth archery and shotgun: Sept. 15, 2020 – Jan. 31, 2021
  Fall archery and shotgun: Sept. 15, 2020 – Jan. 31, 2021

Download fall 2020 turkey regulations

Permit application & sale dates

SPRING: Jan. 13, 2020 – May 31, 2020

Hunters may purchase as many as three spring permits.

FALL: Aug. 10, 2020 after 1:00 pm CST – Jan. 31, 2021

Hunters may purchase as many as two fall permits.

Download turkey application
Download turkey landowner application

Buy/apply online

Mountain lion

Season dates

The 2021 mountain lion season in the Pine Ridge runs from Jan. 2-Feb. 28, 2021, with an application period from Nov. 2 – Dec. 9, 2020.
Mountain lions have recolonized three areas in Nebraska: the Pine Ridge, Niobrara River Valley and Wildcat Hills. Dispersing mountain lions have been documented throughout the state including agricultural areas where suitable habitat may be limited. In order to provide hunting opportunities for this species the Commission approved Nebraska’s inaugural mountain lion harvest season during 2014. A fourth season will be held in 2021. Click here to learn more about mountain lion hunting.
View 2021 mountain lion regulations

Multispecies lottery permits

Nebraska offers two big game multi species lotteries for resident and nonresident hunters. One permit in each lottery is awarded annually. The application period for the lotteries generally starts in January and ends in early July.
Learn more

Permit sale dates (after 1:00pm CST)
Super tag and combo applications: Jan. 2, 2020 – July 3, 2020

Buy/apply online


Small game seasons

Upland game birds

Pheasant, quail, and partridge
Oct. 31, 2020 – Jan. 31, 2021

Prairie Grouse
Sept. 1, 2020 – Jan. 31, 2021
*special permit required east of U.S. 81

Youth pheasant, quail and partridge
Oct. 24 – 25, 2020

Webless migratory birds

Mourning, white-winged, and Eurasian collared-doves (in aggregate)
Sept 1., 2020 – Oct. 30, 2020

Eurasian collared-dove (only)
Year-Round

Snipe
Sept. 1, 2020 – Dec. 16, 2020

Virginia and sora rail
Sept. 1, 2020 – Nov. 9, 2020

Woodcock
Oct. 3, 2020 – Nov. 16, 2020

Crow
Oct. 15, 2020 – Dec. 15, 2020; Jan. 13, 2021 – March 14, 2021

Other small game

Squirrel
Aug. 1, 2020 – Jan. 31, 2021

Cottontail
Sept. 1, 2020 – Feb. 28, 2021

Jackrabbit
Allowed west of U.S. 81 only
Sept. 1, 2020 – Feb. 28, 2021

For additional information and other regulations, find the Small Game and Waterfowl Guide here.

Waterfowl seasons

Waterfowl seasons

Nebraska Waterfowl Zones

Dark goose
East unit: Oct. 26, 2020 – Feb. 7, 2021
North central unit: Oct. 3, 2020 – Jan. 15, 2021
Platte River unit: Oct. 26, 2020 – Feb. 7, 2021
Panhandle unit: Oct. 26, 2020 – Feb. 7, 2021
Niobrara unit: Oct. 26, 2020 – Feb. 7, 2021

Daily bag limit: five; Possession limit: Three times the daily bag limit.

Download dark goose units map

White-fronted goose
Statewide: Oct. 3, 2020 – Dec. 6, 2020; Jan. 16, 2021 – Feb. 7, 2021

Daily bag limit: two; Possession limit: Three times the daily bag limit.

Light goose
Statewide: Oct. 3, 2020 – Dec. 23, 2020; Jan. 16, 2021 – Feb. 7, 2021
Download light goose conservation order zones map

Daily bag limit: 50; Possession limit: None.

Light goose conservation order*
East zone: Feb. 8, 2021 – April 15, 2021
Rainwater basin zone: Feb. 8, 2021 – April 5, 2021
West zone: Feb. 8, 2021 – April 5, 2021
Download light goose conservation order rainwater basin zone map

Daily bag and possession limits: None.

*For special regulations see the Waterfowl Guide on our guides page.

Early teal
Low plains: Sept. 5, 2020 – Sept. 20, 2020
High plains: Sept. 5, 2020 – Sept. 13, 2020
Download teal zones map

Duck and coot
Zone 1: Oct. 10, 2020 – Dec. 22, 2020
Zone 2:
____Low plains: Oct. 3, 2020 – Dec. 15, 2020
____High plains: Oct. 3, 2020 – Dec. 15, 2020, Jan. 6 – Jan. 27, 2021
Zone 3:
____Low plains: Oct. 24, 2020 – Jan. 5, 2021
____High plains: Oct. 24, 2020 – Jan. 5, 2021; Jan. 6 – Jan. 27, 2021
Zone 4: Oct. 3, 2020 – Dec. 15, 2020

Daily bag limit: six (with restrictions); Possession limit: Three times the daily bag limit.

Download duck zones – low plains detailed map
Download duck zones – high plains detailed map
Download duck – statewide zones map

Youth
Zone 1: Oct. 3, 2020 – Oct 4, 2020
Zone 2: Sept. 26, 2020 – Sept. 27, 2020
Zone 3: Oct. 17, 2020 – Oct. 18, 2020
Zone 4: Sept. 26, 2020 – Sept. 27, 2020

Daily bag and possession limits same as regular duck season.

Falconry
Concurrent with teal, youth and regular duck season dates, plus:
Zone 1: Feb. 25-March 10
Zone 2:
____Low Plains: Feb. 25-March 10
____High Plains: Concurrent with all duck season dates in High Plains Zone
Zone 3:
____Low Plains: Feb. 25-March 10
____High Plains: Concurrent with all duck season dates in High Plains Zone
Zone 4: Feb. 25-March 10


Furbearer seasons

Furbearer seasons

Muskrat, beaver
Trap only: Nov. 1– March 31

Badger
Hunt and trap: Nov. 1 – end of Feb.

Mink
Hunt and trap: Nov. 1 – end of Feb.

Bobcat
Hunt and trap: Dec. 1 – end of Feb.
Running, no harvest: March 1 – Nov. 30

Raccoon
Hunt only: Sept. 1, 2020 – Oct. 31, 2020
Hunt and trap: Nov. 1, 2020 – end of Feb., 2021
Running, no harvest: March 1, 2020 – Aug. 17, 2020

Virginia opossum
Hunt only: Sept. 1, 2020 – Oct. 31, 2020
Hunt and trap: Nov. 1, 2020 – end of Feb., 2021
Running, no harvest: March 1, 2020 – Aug. 17, 2020

Striped skunk
Hunt and trap: year-round

Long-tailed weasel
Hunt and trap: Nov. 1, 2020– end of Feb., 2021

Red fox
Hunt and trap: Nov. 1, 2020 – end of Feb., 2021
Running, no harvest: March 1, 2020 – Oct. 31, 2020

Gray fox
Hunt and trap: Nov. 1, 2020 – end of Feb., 2021

Permits are valid only for species-specific season, weapon and unit/area for which was issued.
Permits are not transferable, refundable and cannot be exchanged for another.