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Hunting Seasons and Application Dates

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. View the list of 2018 big game check stations to learn where and how to check your deer, antelope, or elk.

Big game seasons

Deer

Season dates

Archery: Sept. 1, 2018 – Dec. 31, 2018
November firearm: Nov. 10, 2018 – Nov. 18, 2018
Muzzleloader: Dec. 1, 2018 – Dec. 31, 2018
Late firearm (antlerless only): Jan. 1, 2019 – Jan. 15, 2019

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. 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.)

Permit application dates

June 11, 2018  after 1:00 pm CST – June 22, 2018

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

Download 2018 big game application
Download 2018 big game landowner application

Permit sale dates

July 9, 2018 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 2018 summary deer regulations
Download 2018 DeSoto summary deer regulations
Download 2018 mule deer conservation area restrictions
Download 2018 refuge and public land restrictions for statewide deer permits

Firearm 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, 2018 – Dec. 31, 2018
Muzzleloader: Sept. 15, 2018 –Sept. 30, 2018
Firearm: Oct. 13, 2017 – Oct. 28, 2018
November late doe/fawn: Nov. 1, 2018 – Jan. 31, 2019
Download 2018 summary antelope regulations

Permit application dates (after 1:00pm CST)
Residents and landowners: June 11, 2018 – June 22, 2018
Residents, nonresidents and landowners: July 9, 2018 – close of season
Download 2018 big game application
Download 2018 Landowner Big Game Application
Apply/buy online

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, 2018 – Oct. 31, 2018
Firearm bull: Sept. 21, 2018 – Oct. 31, 2018
Cow, private land: Aug. 15, 2018 – Oct. 31, 2018; Dec. 1, 2018 – Jan. 15, 2019
Cow, public land: Sept. 21, 2018 – Oct. 31, 2018; Dec. 1, 2018 – Jan. 15, 2019
Download 2018 summary elk regulations

Permit application dates (after 1:00pm CST)
Landowners: May 21, 2018 – June 1, 2018
Residents: June 11, 2018 – June 22, 2018
Landowners and residents: July 9, 2018 – close of season

Download 2018 Landowner Elk Application
Download 2018 elk landowner application zones

Apply/buy 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 2018 bighorn sheep brochure

Season dates
Bighorn sheep: Nov. 27, 2018 – Dec. 22, 2018

Permit application dates (after 1:00pm CST)
Resident bighorn sheep lottery: April 16, 2018 – Aug. 3, 2018
Apply/buy online

Turkey

Season dates

  Spring youth archery: March 25, 2018 – May 31, 2018
  Spring archery: March 25, 2018 – May 31, 2018
  Spring youth shotgun: April 7, 2018 – May 31, 2018
  Spring shotgun: April 14, 2018 – May 31, 2018
  Fall youth archery and shotgun: Sept. 15, 2018 – Jan. 31, 2019
  Fall archery and shotgun: Sept. 15, 2018 – Jan. 31, 2019

Download spring 2018 turkey regulations

Permit sale dates (after 1:00pm CST)
Spring season: Jan. 9, 2018 – May 31, 2019
Fall season: Aug. 14, 2018 – Jan. 31, 2019
Download 2017 turkey application
Download 2017 turkey landowner application
Apply/buy online

Mountain lion

Season dates
Mountain lion: No season has been authorized.

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, 2018 – July 7, 2018
Apply/buy online


Upland game seasons

Small game seasons

Squirrel
Aug. 1, 2018 – Jan. 31, 2019

Cottontail and jackrabbit
Sept. 1, 2018 – Feb. 28, 2019

Webless migratory bird seasons

Snipe
Sept. 1, 2018 – Dec. 16, 2018

Virginia and sora rail
Sept. 1, 2018 – Nov. 9, 2018

Woodcock
Sept. 23, 2018 – Nov. 6, 2018

Crow
Oct. 1, 2018 – Nov. 15, 2018; Jan. 20, 2019 – April 6, 2019

Mourning, white-winged, and Eurasian Collared doves (in aggregate)
Sept. 1, 2018 – Oct. 30, 2018

Eurasian collared-dove (only)
Oct. 31, 2018 – Aug. 31, 2019; (year round)

Upland bird seasons

Grouse
Sept. 1, 2017 – Jan. 31, 2018

Pheasant, quail, and partridge
Oct. 27, 2018 – Jan. 31, 2019

Youth pheasant, quail and partridge
Oct. 21, 2017 – Oct. 22, 2018


Waterfowl seasons

Waterfowl seasons

Nebraska Waterfowl Zones

Dark goose
East unit: Oct. 30, 2017 – Feb. 11, 2018
North central unit: Oct. 7, 2017 – Jan. 19, 2018
Platte River unit: Oct. 30, 2017 – Feb. 11, 2018
Panhandle unit: Oct. 30, 2017 – Feb. 11, 2018
Niobrara unit: Oct. 30, 2017 – Feb. 11, 2018
Download dark goose units map

Light goose
Statewide: Oct. 7, 2017 – Dec. 31, 2017; Jan. 24, 2018 – Feb. 11, 2018
Download light goose conservation order zones map

Light goose conservation order*
East zone: Feb. 12, 2018 – April 15, 2018
Rainwater basin zone: Feb. 12, 2018 – April 5, 2018
West zone: Feb. 12, 2018 – April 5, 2018
Download light goose conservation order rainwater basin zone map

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

White-fronted goose
Statewide: Oct. 7, 2017 – Dec. 10, 2017; Feb. 3, 2018 – Feb. 11, 2018

Early teal
Low plains: Sept. 2, 2017 – Sept. 17, 2017
High plains: Sept. 2, 2017 – Sept. 10, 2017
Download teal zones map

Duck and coot
Zone 1: Oct. 14, 2017 – Dec. 26, 2017
Zone 2:
____Low plains: Oct. 7, 2017 – Dec. 19, 2017
____High plains: Oct. 7, 2017 – Dec. 19, 2017, Jan. 8 – Jan. 28, 2018
Zone 3:
____Low plains: Oct. 26, 2017 – Jan. 7, 2018
____High plains: Oct. 26, 2017 – Jan. 7, 2018; Jan. 8 – Jan. 28, 2018
Zone 4: Oct. 7, 2017 – Dec. 19, 2018
Download duck zones – low plains detailed map
Download duck zones – high plains detailed map
Download duck – statewide zones map

Youth
Zone 1: Oct. 7, 2017 – Oct 8, 2017
Zone 2: Sept. 30, 2017 – Oct 1, 2017
Zone 3: Oct. 21, 2017 – Oct. 22, 2017
Zone 4: Sept. 30, 2017 – Oct 1, 2017


Furbearer seasons

Furbearer seasons

Muskrat, beaver
Trap only: Nov. 1, 2017 – March 31, 2018

Badger
Hunt and trap: Nov. 1, 2017 – Feb. 28, 2018

Mink
Hunt and trap: Nov. 1, 2017 – Feb. 28, 2018

Bobcat
Hunt and trap: Dec. 1, 2017 – Feb. 28, 2018
Running, no harvest: March 1, 2017 – Nov. 30, 2018

Raccoon
Hunt only: Sept. 1, 2018 – Oct. 31, 2018
Hunt and trap: Nov. 1, 2018 – Feb. 28, 2019
Running, no harvest: March 1, 2018 – Aug. 31, 2018

Virginia opossum
Hunt only: Sept. 1, 2018 – Oct. 31, 2018
Hunt and trap: Nov. 1, 2017 – Feb. 29, 2018
Running, no harvest: March 1, 2017 – Aug. 31, 2017

Striped skunk
Hunt and trap: year-round

Long-tailed weasel
Hunt and trap: Nov. 1, 2017 – Feb. 28, 2018

Red fox
Hunt and trap: Nov. 1, 2017 – Feb. 28, 2018
Running, no harvest: March 1, 2017 – Oct. 31, 2017

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.