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Nebraska Hunting

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Written by:  Devn Schumacher 

May, 10 2021

Nebraska offers an abundance of game and wildlife and it is quite an adventurous state for hunting in the USA. The department for fish and wildlife defines the hunting seasons in a year and the bag limits for each specie

Nebraska Hunting Regulation

Hunters in Nebraska must abide by all federal, state, and hunting laws and regulations. Furthermore, there may be other regulations for municipalities and private landowners.

Nebraska hunting regulations include the following:

Firearm Hunting Regulations:

Some of Nebraska hunting regulation concerning the possession and use of firearms include the following

Possession of Hunting Firearms in Vehicles

Nebraska prohibits the possession of loaded firearms in vehicles, regardless of if it is a hunting firearm or not. Gun laws of the state only allow those with registered handguns and revolvers to possess them in vehicles.

Use of Rifles and Handguns for Hunting

Nebraska does not allow the use of rifles, revolvers, and handguns that operate with a.22 or larger ammunition for hunting. Also, in areas leased for hunting by the state, or areas that require the possession of permits to hunt, any type of rifle or handgun is prohibited. It is also illegal to make use of handguns and rifles to hunt waterfowls, turkey, and all other migratory birds found in the state. Exceptions are however made for crows.

Hunting with Shotguns

Shotguns that fire more than 2 shots are not allowed for hunting in land leased or owned by states, and parts of the state where a permit is required to hunt. Shotguns are also prohibited on land owned by private owners.

It is illegal to make use of a lead shot for waterfowl hunting. But you can make use of shotguns that have less than 10 gauge to hunt waterfowls in the state.

Shotguns required for hunting waterfowls and other migratory bird species in Nebraska should contain, at most 3 shells, 2 for the magazine and 1 for the chamber. Exceptions are allowed for turkey hunting in Nebraska, crow hunting in Nebraska, and deer hunting in Nebraska.

Another exception to shotgun regulations in Nebraska is that you can make use of unplugged shotguns while hunting during the goose season in September. Depending on where you are hunting, there may be additional regulation for the use of shotguns.

Hunting with Muzzleloaders

Muzzleloaders are either shotguns or rifles with at least .45 calibers that make use of a gun powder and projectile attached at the muzzle end of the firearm. In Nebraska, it is legal to make use of a shotgun converter but there is the same prohibition on smoothbore muzzleloaders as shotgun prohibition.

However, there is an exception for the use of muzzleloaders on lands owned by the state and it is legal to use muzzleloading rifles with about .36 calibers and with round ball ammunition.

Bow Hunting Regulations

Some of Nebraska Bow Hunting Regulation include the following:

Bowhunter Education

You must complete a bowhunter education course before you can take wildlife and games with bow and arrow. Nebraska mandates all bowhunters in the state to have proof to show that they have completed the course while hunting small games.

Lawful Bow and Arrows

Not all bows and arrows are accepted in Nebraska. For turkey and deer hunting in Nebraska, the bow permitted must be long, possess compound bows, recurved, and have a draw weight of at least 40 crossbows and pounds. You are also allowed to use mechanical strings, but coating a projectile with chemicals, poison or drugs is a prohibition.

Crossbows

Crossbows are legal for the hunting of a lot of games. However, the crossbow should have a draw weight of at least 125 pounds. It must also have a permanently fixed rifle and an efficient automated safety device.

The state also permits the use of crossbow sticks that are adjustable, but the folding stock may not be adjustable. The arrow must not be less than 18 inches long, and this does not include the broadhead length. A crossbow is loaded when it has been pulled to its limit, and the bolt is in place.

For deer and turkey hunting in Nebraska, the arrowhead that is accepted should possess a minimum of 2 blades and should be at most 8 inches wide. It does not matter if an arrowhead was manufactured to open at impact, as long as it meets these measurements, it is legal.

Possession of Firearms for Bowhunting

It is a prohibition to have a firearm with you while bow hunting in Nebraska.

Bag Limit Regulation

Another important regulation that hunters must take note of is the bag limit regulation. It includes the following:

Daily Bag Limit

This refers to the number of game species that a hunter can take within a day, estimated as the hours between 12 am to 12 am the next day. While hunting in these 24 hours, it is a violation for a hunter to take more than this daily limit.

Possession in Storage

This is a seasonal bag limit for the amount of non-migratory wildlife and game species that may be stored for a specific game, from the inception of the season. It is a violation of bag limit regulation to exceed the required limit for a season. For migratory games like snipe, waterfowls, and coots, their possession in storage limits are regulated by federal hunting laws.

Season Bag Limit

This is the limit of the number of wildlife and games that can be taken during the period of open season.

Hunter Harassment Law

Nebraska also has hunter harassment laws to protect the activity in the state.

The law states that on no account should any individual interfere with a legal hunting practice taking place in a wildlife area or any other location in the state.

Violation of this law occurs when someone deliberately does any of the following:

  • Drives in wildlife to disturb hunting activities.
  • Prevents hunting by impeding or harassing a hunter carrying out the activity
  • Performs any artificial or olfactory stimuli to disturb the behavioral pattern of wildlife.
  • Mount barriers to prevent or limit the activities of hunters.
  • Enters a hunter line of fire while trying to shoot down a game.
  • Disturb a publicly or privately owned property meant for the legal hunting of games in the state.
  • Impedes a private land portion without any permission from those in charge.

Open Carry While Hunting.

You can open carry while hunting in Nebraska, but this does not include bow hunting.

Also, nobody shall make use of a firearm to hunt games like deer and antelope while possessing just an archery permit.

Nebraska hunter harassment law includes the following:

  • Nobody shall disturb, pursue, or scare away games such as birds, wild animals, animals with furs, or fishes. This does not include animals without furs.
  • Nobody shall interfere with a person that is taking part in a legal hunting activity such as fishing or trapping.
  • Nobody shall intentionally try to affect the environment of a property used for a licensed hunting activity.
  • Nobody shall deliberately place themselves in a firing line to prevent or interfere with hunting.

Nebraska Hunting License Permits and Tags

License, permits, and tags issued for hunting in Nebraska include the following:

Resident Hunting License

This license is only valid for residents of the state, and the age requirement to purchase the license is 16 years old. The license is used for the taking of mammals and bird games in the state and it costs $52.66.

Non-Residents Hunting License Nebraska

This license is valid for nonresident hunters that want to take birds and mammals in Nebraska. The age limit to apply for the permit is 16 years old and it costs $183.60.

Junior Hunting License

A junior hunting license can be purchased by both residents and non-residents of Nebraska. The age limit for this license is 16 years old, and it can be used for the taking of mammals and birds. It costs $14.04.

One Day Non-Resident Hunting License

This is a Nebraska non-resident permit that is valid for one day. Holders of this permit can take migratory game boards in Nebraska. It costs $25.10.

Two Day Non-Resident Hunting License

Just like the one-day nonresident hunting license, this license is valid for two days and can be used for the taking of migratory game birds, small game. Even though you can use this license to take certain wildlife, some of them may require tags. It costs $52.66.

Disabled Veteran Reduced Free Hunting License

This license is valid for residents and nonresidents that are honorable discharged veterans with a service-connected disability of 50%. After veterans qualify for this license for the first time, they will have access to purchase it from anywhere it is being sold in the nation. The price for this license varies. It costs $7.98 in the game commission offices and $8.38 when purchased from licensed agents.

Recovering Serviced Member Reduced Free Hunting License

This license can be purchased by recovering service members, who are members of the US armed forces or national guard that are in the process of recovering from any treatment or illness acquired while in line of duty. When you qualify for this license for the first time, you can then buy it anywhere it is being purchased in the USA. It costs $7.98 in the game commission offices and $8.38 when purchased from licensed agents

Duplicate Hunting License

This is the duplicate license sold to those that lose their original license, and it costs $7.98.

Hunting Tags in Nebraska

Hunting tags available in Nebraska include the following

  • Bear Tags
  • Elk Tag
  • Pronghorn Antelope Tag
  • Bighorn Sheep Tag

Aside from these tags, there are others that are only valid for drawing applications in Nebraska.

Nebraska Fishing License Permits and Tags

Fishing licenses, permits, and tags available in Nebraska include the following:

Resident Sport Fishing License

This fishing license can be purchased by only residents of Nebraska that are at least 16 years old. It costs $52.66.

Non Resident Sport Fishing License

This is a Nebraska out-of-state fishing license for non-residents that are 16 years old or more. It costs $142.02.

Reduced Fee Sport Fishing License for Disabled Veterans

This fishing license is for both residents and non-residents that are honorable discharged veterans with a service-connected disability of 50%. After veterans qualify for this license for the first time, they will have access to purchase it from anywhere it is being sold in the nation. The price for this license varies. It costs $7.98 in the game commission offices and $8.38 when purchased from licensed agents.

Reduced Fee Sport Fishing License for Recovering Service Member

This fishing license can be purchased by recovering service members, who are members of the US armed forces or national guard that are in the process of recovering from any treatment or illness acquired while in line of duty. When you qualify for this license for the first time, you can then buy it anywhere it is being purchased in the USA. It costs $7.98 in the game commission offices and $8.38 when purchased from licensed agents.

Reduced Fee Sport Fishing License for Low-Income Earners

Residents of Nebraska that are low-income earners and at least 65 years old can purchase this permit. However, there are specific income requirements earned on a yearly basis to qualify for this fishing license. It costs $7.98.

Free Sport Fishing License for Low-Income Americans

This license is available for anyone that is a native of the USA and a resident of Nebraska who is not financially capable of purchasing the state sport fishing license. This license is free of charge.

Free Sport Fishing License for Disabled

This fishing license is valid for only those that are mobility impaired, blind, and disabled. The license is free of charge.

One-day Sport Fishing License

This license will only be valid for one day. It is available for both residents and non-residents of the state. It costs $17.02.

Two-day Sport Fishing License

This fishing license allows residents and non-residents in the state to fish for two days consecutively. It costs $26.49.

Ten-day Sport Fishing License

This license is valid for ten days consecutively, and it costs $52.66.

Lifetime Fishing Licenses

There are 2 types of Lifetime Fishing Licenses in Nebraska.

The first one is issued to residents based on age and the four age categories are:

  • Ages 0-9: $579.25
  • Ages 10-39: $946.75
  • Ages 40-61: $853.00
  • Ages 62 and above: $579.25

The second life lifetime permit is the Fishing Privilege Package that costs $391.50.

Some licenses are also issued in Nebraska based on the species of fish that is to be taken. These types of licenses are called Validation and Report Cards.

Nebraska Hunting Season

Hunting season in Nebraska varies for the game animals and majorly the types of firearms used to take them.

The 2020/21 hunting season for various wildlife in Nebraska includes the following:

Nebraska Deer Hunting Season

  • General Season (10th of August to 10th of November)
  • Archery Season (11th of July to 27th of September)

Nebraska Bear Hunting Season

  • Archery Season (15th of August to 6th of September)

Nebraska Pronghorn Hunting Season

  • General Season (8th of August to 13th of September)
  • Apprentice Hunts Season (22nd of August to 30th of August)

Nebraska Elk Season

  • General Season (25th of July to 1st of November)

Elk hunting season in Nebraska is usually between August and November, but there is usually a variation in regions and zones. In some areas, elk hunting is no longer allowed because the military makes use of the land for training.

Nebraska Desert Bighorn Hunting Season

  • General Season (15th of August to 27th of September and 5th of December to 7th of February)

Bighorn hunting season in Nebraska is usually between the months of August and February, but there is usually a variation based on regions and seasons. Some parts of the state have very high altitudes which means that hunters will have to take more precautions.

Nebraska Small Games Hunting Season

  • Tree Squirrel Hunting Seasons
  • Archery Season (1st of August to 11th of September)
  • General Season (12th of September to 31st of January)
  • Rabbits and Hares Hunting Seasons
  • General Season (1st of July to 31st of January)

It is important to note that various areas in a zone can have different start and end dates to a season. Also, there can be a variation for dates in a season based on the method of taking games and wildlife.

Also, regulations and bag limits in Nebraska will vary based on hunting season and the game that is being taken.

Nebraska Wildlife Game and Fish

Wildlife and games available in Nebraska include the following:

Nebraska Mountain Lions Hunting

Mountain lions are common in Nebraska, their population is high, and they are one of the stable games in the state. They are also referred to as specially protected wildlife. Mountain lions inhabit deserts and humid forested areas of Nebraska.

Nebraska Bobcat Hunting

Bobcats are common predators found in the Northern part of America. They are different from normal household cats and are almost twice their size.

Nebraska Coyote Hunting

Coyotes are another common predator found in Nebraska. They are found in almost every part of the state except major cosmopolitans’ regions.

Nebraska Fox Hunting

The species of fox common in Nebraska is the red fox. They are well dispersed all over the state as well as other northern parts of America. Foxes are very smart games and are quite challenging games for hunters.

Nebraska Wolves Hunting

Initially, wolves have been extinct in Nebraska, but in the past few years, they have returned to the state through human dispersal from other states in the USA. Gray wolves are the most common species in the state

Nebraska Black Bears Hunting

The population of Black Bears in Nebraska today is about 40,000, and there are two species common in the state, namely the northwestern black bear and Nebraska black bear. Some national parks in Nebraska provide access for the taking of bears. Examples are the sequoia and the Yosemite National Parks.

Nebraska Deer Hunting

Mule deer is indigenous to the Northern part of America, including Nebraska. These deer get the name from its ears that resemble the mule’s ear.

Nebraska Elk Hunting

Elks are one of the largest deer species found in North America and Nebraska. They are also a great hunting choice since they are one of the largest mammals in the state.

Nebraska Bighorn Sheep Hunting

There are various populations of bighorn sheep in Nebraska and they inhabit the snowy heights and arid regions of the state. The two most occurring species of bighorn sheep in the state are desert bighorn and the Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep.

Nebraska Waterfowl Hunting

To hunt waterfowls in Nebraska you must obtain a permit. The issuance of such a permit is by random drawings.

Nebraska Rabbit Hunting

Rabbits and hares are some of the most hunted small games in Nebraska. The board regulates rabbit hunting with a bag limit of 5 animals and a possession limit of 10 animals.

Nebraska Shooting Ranges

Some of the shooting ranges in Nebraska include the following:

  • Camp Clarke Raiders Blackpowder Club/Range
  • Fremont Izaak Walton Gun Club - Valley Trap Range
  • Harry A. Koch Trap & Skeet Range
  • Heartland Public Shooting Park
  • Jefferson County Sportsmen's Club
  • Sumac Sporting Clays
  • Eustis Gun Club

Nebraska Hunting Land for Sale and Lease

Hunting lands for sale in Nebraska include the following:

  • Kearney, Nebraska (Buffalo County) 182 acres.
  • Harrisburg, Nebraska (Banner County) 2,270 acres.
  • Elyria, Nebraska (Valley County) 26.37 acres.
  • Crawford, Nebraska (Sioux County) 1,789 acres.
  • Long Pine, Nebraska (Brown County) 128.51 acres.

Hunting lands for lease in Nebraska are:

  • Great Archery Whitetail Lease in Norfolk County, 80 acres.
  • Whitetail and Turkey lease Birds and Beast Whitetail Hunts in Niobrara County, 600 acres.
  • Whitetail Lease in NE Nebraska with big bucks and a growing deer population in Norfolk County, 988 acres.
  • Hunt Club with Waterfowl Lease Memberships in Otoe County, 300 acres.
  • Duck/pheasant/deer land along the Missouri river in Honey Creek County, 300 acres.
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