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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. 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

2021 Season Dates

Archery: Sept. 1, 2021 – Dec. 31, 2021
November firearm: Nov. 13, 2021-Nov. 21, 2021
Muzzleloader: Dec. 1, 2021 – Dec. 31, 2021
Antlerless Late Season: Jan. 1, 2022 – Jan. 15, 2022
October River Antlerless: Oct. 1-15, 2021
Late River Antlerless: Jan. 1-31, 2022
Special Landowner: Nov. 6-8, 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

2021 application dates

June 14, 2021  after 1:00 pm CST – June 25, 2021

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. 2, 2021 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
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

2021 Season Dates
Archery: Aug. 20, 2021 – Dec. 31, 2021
Muzzleloader: Sept. 18, 2021 – Oct. 3, 2021
Firearm: Oct. 9, 2021 – Oct. 24, 2021
November late doe/fawn: Nov. 1, 2021 – Jan. 31, 2022
Download 2020 summary antelope regulations

2021 permit application dates

June 14, 2021  after 1:00 pm CST – June 25, 2021

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. 2, 2021 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

2021 Season Dates

Archery bull: Sept. 1, 2021 – Oct. 31, 2021
Firearm bull: Sept. 21, 2021 – Oct. 31, 2021
Antlerless Aug. 1, 2021 – Jan. 31, 2022
Antlerless, Private Land Only Aug. 1 – Sept. 20, 2021
Early Antlerless Aug. 1 – Oct. 31, 2021
Late Antlerless Nov. 1, 2021 – Jan. 31, 2022

Download 2021 summary elk regulations

Permit application dates

May 17, 2021  after 1:00 pm CST – June 4, 2021

Landowners application period for draw units.
Submit 2021 Landowner Elk Application
2021 Landowner Elk Zone Description

June 14, 2021  after 1:00 pm CST – June 25, 2021

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. 2, 2021 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 2021 Bighorn Sheep Brochure

Season dates

2021 Season Dates: Nov. 30, 2021-Dec. 22, 2021

2021 permit application dates (after 1:00pm CST)

April 19, 2021 after 1:00 pm CST – Aug. 6, 2021

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

Buy/apply online

Turkey

2021 Season Dates

  Spring archery: March 25, 2021 – May 31, 2021
  Spring youth shotgun: April 10, 2021 – May 31, 2021
  Spring shotgun: April 17, 2021 – May 31, 2021
  Fall youth archery and shotgun: Sept. 15, 2020 – Jan. 31, 2021
  Fall archery and shotgun:  Sept. 15, 2020 – Jan. 31, 2021; Sept. 15, 2021-Jan. 31, 2022

Download spring 2021 turkey regulations

2021 permit application & sale dates

SPRING: Jan. 11, 2021 – May 31, 2021

Hunters may purchase as many as three spring permits.

FALL: Aug. 9, 2021 after 1:00 pm CST – Jan. 31, 2022

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

Fill out the mountain lion permit application

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, 2021 – July 2, 2021

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

Youth pheasant, quail and partridge
Anticipated dates: Oct. 23-24, 2021

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; Aug. 1, 2021-Jan. 31, 2022

Cottontail
Sept. 1, 2020 – Feb. 28, 2021; Sept. 1, 2021-Feb. 28, 2022

Jackrabbit
Allowed west of U.S. 81 only
Sept. 1, 2020 – Feb. 28, 2021; Sept. 1, 2020 – Feb. 28, 2021; Sept. 1, 2021-Feb. 28, 2022

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.