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Captive Wildlife Permit

A Captive Wildlife Permit is required to retain any wild birds or wild mammals in captivity for personal use or to raise game birds for release and/or sell game birds or mammals. Wild mammals and birds including their eggs may not be taken from the wild but are to be obtained from those holding appropriate permits. Controlled Shooting Areas and Falconry regulations allow for the possession of wild birds and do not require a Captive Wildlife Permit.

If you live within city limits, check with your local Animal Control Office, City Attorney or applicable city office to determine if a specific animal may be kept in captivity. Animals such as raccoons are not allowed in some cities and towns.


To apply for a Captive Wildlife Permit, visit and select “Commercial Hobbyist” or download and fill out an application form and send payment of $33 to: Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, P.O. Box 30370, Lincoln, NE 68503.

Online captive wildlife permits

Things to note before applying

  • Applicants should review all state regulations (see below) and prepare pens or enclosures before applying.
  • Before a permit is issued, a Conservation Officer will come to your property and inspect pens or enclosures to ensure there is adequate shelter and structures for the animals you wish to acquire. After you pass inspection, a permit will be issued, and you can purchase the animals you indicated you want to raise.
  • For some animals, such as raccoons, proof of purchase may be required.
  • When applying in November or December, select the year you want your permit to start. If you receive a permit in November or December, you will still be required to report and renew in January for the next year.
  • Permits expire on Dec. 31 of the designated permit year.  Animal reporting and renewal is due no later than Jan. 15 of the next year.
  • Annual reporting is required even if you do not have captive wildlife in your possession.  Permit renewal can be declined at the time of reporting.
  • Annual reporting and renewal may be done online through the permit system or via paper renewal form. Mail completed paper forms along with payment to: Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, P.O. Box 30370, Lincoln, NE 68503.
  • A sale/transport tag is to be issued when selling or transferring animals held under a Captive Wildlife permit. To purchase sale/transport tags contact Regina Linn at or visit your local commission office.

*Note: If you find a wild animal in need of assistance, please contact Nebraska Wildlife Rehab.

  • Badger
  • Beaver
  • Bobcat**
  • Lynx**
  • Fox (Gray, Red)
  • Mink (except mutation)
  • Muskrat
  • Opossum
  • Raccoon
  • River Otter
  • Weasel (long tailed)
  • Squirrel (Flying, Fox, Gray)
  • Cottontail Rabbit
  • Partridge (Hungarian, Chukar)
  • Pheasant (Ringneck or Common Pheasant)
  • Quail (Bobwhite)
  • Swan (Trumpeter, Tundra*)
  • Crows
  • Ducks*
  • Geese* (Wild Geese: Blue, Snow, Canada, Whitefront, Ross, Brandt, Etc.)
  • Grouse Sharptail, Prairie Chicken
  • Turkey (All wild species)
  • Sheep Bighorn (restricted in Banner, Box Butte, Cheyenne, Dawes, Kimball, Morrill, Scotts Bluff, Sheridan and Sioux counties)
  • Migratory (All species protected by Migratory Bird Treaty Act.*)
  • And Eggs of the approved species

*Federal permit required in addition to state permit
**For commercial purposes only


  • Wolf
  • Skunk
  • Felidae (wild cats, cougars, tigers, Savannah Cats, Serval Cats (except bobcats and Lynx see previous list) except Felis domesticus)
  • Ursidae (bears)
  • All Threatened and Endangered Species
  • All Hawks, owls, eagles
  • Species in need of Conservation Jackrabbits (blacktail and whitetail)
  • Short horned Lizard
  • Asian Raccoon Dog
  • Whitetailed Deer
  • Mule Deer
  • Red Deer
  • Bighorn and Thinhorn sheep (Unlawful in Banner, Box Butte, Cheyeene, Dawes, Kimball, Morill, Scotts Bluff, Sheridan and Sioux counties.)
  • Wild Pig

Raising wild birds

Pheasants, quail, mallards, and partridge (chukars, Hungarian) can be raised and released onto privately owned land but may not be released on public land. A Captive Wildlife Permit is required if these birds are kept for more than fourteen days beyond the date of purchase. Birds purchased for dog training that are released within fourteen days of purchase do not require a Captive Wildlife Permit.

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