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 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 2017 will allow a harvest of approximately 10,000 mule deer and 56,000 whitetail deer. Population goals in 2017 are for modest increases in northern and eastern whitetail herds and a modest reduction in mule deer herds in Southwest Nebraska. Biologists will collect lymph nodes for CWD testing from deer taken in six Panhandle and Southwest deer units.
Late firearm (antlerless only):
Sept. 1, 2018 – Dec. 31, 2019
Nov. 10, 2018 – Nov. 18, 2018
Dec. 1, 2018 – Dec. 31, 2018
Jan. 1, 2019 – Jan. 15, 2019
Residents and non-residents can purchase permits starting June 11, 2018 until Jan. 15, 2019.
Find detailed maps of all deer and antelope units, as well as summary regulations on the hunting seasons page.
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.
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 Season Choice Antlerless 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, 2019. A River Antlerless Private Land Only Permit also allows for hunting and harvest throughout open seasons (with the corresponding legal weapon) on private land in areas around several river systems in Nebraska. As always, Nebraska law required permission to hunt on private land. Please consult the 2018 Nebraska Big Game Guide for more details on these permits.
Special antlerless hunting opportunities are offered within Eugene T. Mahoney and Platte River state parks, as well as Schramm Park State recreation Are.a Successful applicants will be issued a special access permit that allows them to hunt antlerless deer in designated areas of a park on certain dates, using specific equipment. Successful applicants and interested alternates must attend an orientation session in order to receive the access permit.
Applications, limited to one per person, will be accepted through 5 p.m. on Oct. 31. If more applications are received than can be accommodated, a drawing will be held Nov. 5.
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 2018 Mule Deer Trip Planner as a guide.View 2018 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.
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 vension 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.