Let’s Go Hunting

Nebraska offers great hunting opportunities, varied species, plenty of public land, and many willing volunteers and educators to help you learn the basics. Let’s get started!

Hunter education

A great place to begin your hunting journey is to take a hunter education class. Classes are offered online and in classrooms across the state and cover the basics of learning to hunt and shoot safely. Additionally, students will learn principles of hunting and acquaint themselves with hunting regulations and best practices.
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Mentored hunts

Learning from an experienced hunter is one of the most effective and enjoyable ways to acquaint yourself with hunting. In Nebraska, many organizations offer mentored hunts in which new hunters are paired with seasoned veterans, who share techniques and stories you can’t learn any other way. Expand the toggles below for more information.

Pheasant and dove mentored hunts

In 1996, Pheasants Forever developed a program with the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission that allows boys and girls ages 12 to 15 who have recently completed a Hunter Safety Education class to attend a mentored youth hunt.

Youth enrolling in this program are given instruction on various hunting related topics such as dog training, reloading shot shells, hunter safety, blue rock shooting, how to ask a landowner for permission to hunt, and much more.

The highlight of the day is an actual pheasant or dove hunt with a mentor and dog handler.

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Turkey mentored hunts

The National Wild Turkey Federation saw a need to get youth outdoors and began the JAKES program in 1981. JAKES Take Aim events give youth ages 12 and younger the chance to explore their outdoor world through events that help pass on the traditions of responsible hunting, teach the principles or habitat management, hunting ethics, and safety.

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Deer mentored hunts

The Nebraska Game and Parks Mentored Youth Archery Program helps young hunters hone their skills under the guidance of an experience, veteran hunter. It is open to Bowhunter Education graduates who are 12 to 17 years old and have not yet graduated from high school. Hunters are paired with qualified mentors for a full archery season. Participants will learn how to scout, hang tree stands, interpret animal sign and care for their harvest.

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Nebraska Game and Parks also offers a program called the Last Chance Deer Camp. This weekend deer camp, designed for youth with little to no deer hunting experience, teaches the basics of deer hunting. For more information, email Aaron Herschberger or call him at 402-471-6144.

Law Enforcement mentored hunts

Game and Parks conservation officers seek out recent hunter education graduates in their areas to offer mentored hunts for deer and turkey. A hunt is offered in each Nebraska Game and Parks Commission district. For more information, contact Duane Arp.

A partnership among the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, the National Wild Turkey Federation, and the Cabela’s Outdoor Fund, this program pairs experienced collegiate hunters with college students new to hunting and shooting. For more information, or to see what programs are offered at your college, email the program.

Youth Hunter Education Challenge

The Nebraska State Youth Hunter Education Challenge is an advanced hunter education program designed to build and further develop skills taught in basic hunter education courses. This is a free competition offered annually to youth ages 11 or older, who have successfully completed Hunter Education and have not yet graduated from high school. To learn more about this program, contact Christy Christiansen.

PATH (Passing Along the Heritage)

The PATH program provides Nebraska youth and their mentors access to hunt on private lands and selected public lands. Only youth under the age of 18 may hunt on this land. The mentor is there to help the youth and ensure a safe hunting experience.

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Learn to Hunt Workshops

Each year, the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission offers workshops across the state for those who want to learn more about hunting waterfowl, upland game, turkey and deer. These classes are offered at no charge and offer tips useful to both beginning and intermediate hunters.
View workshop schedule and registration info

Five easy steps to start hunting

  1. Visit our website to purchase your hunting license and habitat stamps.
  2. Complete your hunter education course.
  3. Review the appropriate guide for information on laws and regulations.
  4. Find a place to hunt.
  5. Practice your shooting skills.

Programs for women

Becoming an Outdoors-Woman

Becoming an Outdoors-Woman, or BOW, offers hands-on workshops for adult women with an interest in learning outdoor skills such as hunting, fishing, canoeing and kayaking, among other outdoor endeavors. Workshops are tailored primarily to women who are new or who are beginners eager to improve their skills.

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Women in the Outdoors

Women who seek outdoor adventures and more quality time with family and friends will find that connection through hundreds of Women in the Outdoors events hosted by the National Wild Turkey Federation chapters around the United States. Events are affordable and offer activities such as archery, shot gunning, and various introduction to hunting classes.

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Programs for families

Becoming an Outdoors Family

This fun and exciting family camp is designed to teach basic outdoor skills to help families enjoy the outdoors together. Experts provide hands on instruction in skills related to fishing, camping, kayaking, archery, shooting sports, hunting and more.

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Fort Kearny Outdoor Expo

This annual event is designed to meet the needs of anyone interested in an outdoor lifestyle, regardless of age or experience. Attendees to this expo, held each May at Fort Kearny State Recreation Area, can try fishing, archery, kayaking, camping, shooting sports, outdoor cooking, and much more. The expo is FREE for the entire family.

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Missouri River Outdoor Expo

Held in picturesque Ponca State Park each September, the Missouri River Outdoor Expo is the largest outdoor expo is the Midwest and is FREE for the entire family. This event features over 90 hands-on events, including shooting sports, kayaking and much more

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Summer day camps

These fun, activity filled camps are a great way to keep kids entertained. Day campers will have the opportunity to explore archery, campfire cooking, outdoor games and more. Available in Lincoln only.

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Shooting sports facilities

Nebraska Game and Parks Outdoor Education Center

The Nebraska Game and Parks Outdoor Education Center is located in Lincoln. This facility is a unique combination of a public shooting range and education center, featuring a 32 lane 30 yard indoor archery range, 10 lane 25 yard indoor firearm range and outdoor archery target range, broadhead range and 3D range. This family friendly center provides educational programming for new and experienced shooters as well as a destination park for recreational shooting.

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Roger G Sykes Outdoor Heritage Complex

The Roger G. Sykes Outdoor Heritage Complex is a family-friendly shooting sports complex located at Platte River State Park, near Louisville. This center features an outdoor archery range with a shooting tower, small-bore rifle range, a trap range with 5 stand feature and indoor pellet gun shooting gallery. All are welcome, regardless of age, ability, or skill level.

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Wildcat Hills Shooting Sports Complex

The Wildcat Hills Shooting Sports Complex is a family-friendly shooting sports education center located in Scottsbluff, Nebraska. The center features archery, small bore, indoor pellet gun shooting gallery, shotgun, and rifle ranges.

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