The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission is suspending the sale of nonresident spring turkey hunting permits in a proactive effort to prevent the potential for the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). This is being done by the Commission in coordination with Gov. Pete Ricketts Executive Order No. 20-11 to help protect the health of Nebraskans by discouraging unnecessary travel.
Game and Parks will stop selling 2020 nonresident spring turkey permits effective immediately. Nonresidents who have purchased permits will be able to use them, but will not be able to purchase additional permits. Nonresidents with Nebraska turkey permits will be contacted by Game and Parks through email in the next week with additional information, including potential refunds.
Nebraska’s spring turkey season opened March 25 for archers. The shotgun season opens April 11 for youth and April 18 for adults. All turkey seasons close May 31.
The Commission reminds all hunters to honor CDC, state and local health regulations when hunting. Honor social distancing guidelines, staying at least 6 feet away from your fellow hunters and from property owners on whose land you’ve already gained permission to hunt. Avoid knocking on doors to gain last-minute hunting permission.
Where possible, identify potential hunting locations early using our Public Access Guide. If hunting on lands not in the public access guide, contact landowners by phone or email ahead of time; and share contact information so you can let landowners know when you are arriving to reduce person-to-person contact.
Per the CDC guidelines, any person who is sick, has a fever of 100.4 degrees or higher, has knowingly been exposed to sick individuals, or has traveled outside of the country or to any areas with the community spread of COVID-19 should remain at home.
Our wild turkeys are calling
Nebraska offers the best turkey hunting opportunities in the entire country. It’s not just that Nebraska’s got an awful lot of turkeys – including the highly sought-after Merriam’s – though it certainly does. Nebraska also offers plentiful and affordable permits, long seasons, great public access and $8 permits for youth.
Spring 2020: Nebraska’s spring season is among the longest around. Archery opens March 25, shotgun opens April 18 and the season doesn’t close until May 31.
Fall 2020: Hunters get another long season later in the year with the fall season running from Sept. 15 through Jan. 31.
2020 Season Dates
|SPRING Youth Archery||March 25 – May 31, 2020|
|SPRING Archery||March 25 – May 31, 2020|
|SPRING Youth Shotgun||April 11 – May 31, 2020|
|SPRING Shotgun||April 18 – May 31, 2020|
|FALL Youth Archery and Shotgun||Sept. 15, 2020 – Jan. 31, 2021|
|FALL Archery and Shotgun||Sept. 15, 2020 – Jan. 31, 2021|
Buying a permit: Permits are plentiful and may be bought at Game and Parks permitting offices, online or by mail. In the spring, hunters may buy up to three permits good for one bird each; fall hunters may buy two permits good for two birds. In 2015, Nebraska also began offering mobile turkey permits.
Resident: $30 | Nonresident: $109 | Youth: $8
All permits must have a $25 habitat stamp.
Where to hunt
With a turkey population that’s exploded over the last decade, it’s no secret turkeys can be found in every county in the state. Hunters will find good turkey opportunities on more than 500,000 acres of public and public-access land in Nebraska.
Planning your trip
We have put together a couple turkey hunting trip planner options, highlighting areas of the state where hunters will find some of the highest concentrations of turkeys as well as abundant public hunting lands. Also included are suggestion on lodging and other activities and attractions in the area.
The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission has produced a series of educational turkey hunting videos. Learn more about equipment, techniques, turkey biology and more.
Learn about spring turkey hunting strategies from set up approach to walking in search of them (run’n’gun).
A basic introduction to equipment including shotguns, decoys, camouflage and blinds.
Calling turkey information with demonstrations of different turkey noises using slate, box and mouth calls.
Learn more about turkey biology and places to find them.
Each year, turkey hunter surveys are conducted at the end of the spring and fall seasons. The information obtained is compiled, summarized and provided in the following reports.
2019 Spring Turkey Harvest Report
2018 Spring Turkey Harvest Report
2018 Fall Turkey Hunter Survey Report
2018 Fall Turkey Harvest Report
Spring 2018 Turkey Hunter Survey
2017 Fall Turkey Hunter Survey Report
2017 Fall Turkey Harvest Report
In the 2017 spring hunter survey report, almost all hunters (96%) would hunt Nebraska again based on their experiences and reported high satisfaction.
Past Survey Reports
Breast Feathers The breast feathers of a hen are fringed in white or buff, making the bird appear frosted or lighter colored. Male breast feathers are fringed in black, making them appear darker than the female.BeardsMale turkeys and some females (about five percent) have beards. Growth rate is normally 4-5 inches per year, so it is common for juvenile males to have beards less than 6 inches long and for age two and older males to have beards greater than 6 inches in length. Normal wear and tear causes beards to wear and break so beard length varies considerably in older birds and may be less than 6 inches on occasion.