Outdoor notes: Multispecies lottery permits; Ice-fishing safety

LINCOLN, Neb. – Applications for multispecies Super Tag and Combo lottery permits will be accepted by the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission beginning Jan. 2.

The Super Tag lottery permit will be valid for one elk of either sex, one antelope of either sex, one deer of either sex and two turkeys (only toms and bearded hens may be taken in the spring). One permit will be authorized for residents only, and one permit will be authorized for residents/nonresidents. Persons may apply for the residents-only permit once per year for $25. Persons may apply for the resident/nonresident permit multiple times per year for $10 per application.

The Combo permit will be valid for one antelope of either sex, one deer of either sex and two turkeys (only toms and bearded hens may be taken in the spring). One permit will be authorized for residents only, and one permit will be authorized for nonresidents only. Qualifying persons may apply multiple times per year for $10 per application.

These multispecies lottery permits will be valid in 2019 and 2020 in open seasons with the appropriate weapons. Winners of these permits will require a Habitat Stamp.

Applications will be received beginning at 1 p.m. Central time on Jan. 2. They must be received by Game and Parks by 5 p.m. (11:59 p.m. if applying online) on July 5. Beginning Jan. 2, visit OutdoorNebraska.org to apply.


Game and Parks suggests tips for safe ice-fishing

LINCOLN, Neb. – Stay safe on the ice this winter while enjoying a day of ice-fishing. Follow these tips from the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission for safety on the ice:

— The minimum ice thickness for supporting one person is at least 4 inches of clear, solid ice.

— Drill holes or use an ice chisel or spud bar to check the ice conditions while working your way out to your fishing spot.

— Wear a life jacket.

— Commercial or homemade ice picks should be worn around your neck in case you fall through and need something to grip the ice and pull yourself out.

— Fish with others in case trouble arises.

— Have a long rope with you so someone can rescue you if you break through the ice.

— Before heading out, tell a family member or friend where you will be fishing.

— Avoid alcoholic beverages. These affect your judgment and increase your chances for hypothermia.

Fishing permits can be purchased at OutdoorNebraska.org.

Prescribed burn training workshops scheduled

LINCOLN, Neb. – Pheasants Forever and the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission will host prescribed burn training workshops across the state early in 2019.

These workshops will provide guidance and instruction for completing safe and effective prescribed fires. Landowners, resource professionals, volunteer fire departments and other interested persons are invited to attend. No prior burn experience is required. Most workshops are scheduled for 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

Basic workshops will be held Jan. 17 in Grand Island and Wayne, Jan. 23 in Alma, Jan. 24 in Lincoln, Jan. 28 in Rushville, Jan. 29 in Scottsbluff, and Feb. 28 in Sumner.

Advanced topics will be covered at workshops that will be held Jan. 9 in Broken Bow, Jan. 10 in Curtis, Jan. 16 in Stockville, Jan. 23 in Niobrara, Jan. 30 in Imperial, and in March or April in Wahoo.

The $10 workshop fee includes a meal and training materials. To register, visit NebraskaPF.com and then click on Events, or call 308-850-8395.

Electronic payments to be restricted during Aksarben Aquarium’s transition

LINCOLN, Neb. – Some services will be restricted as the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission transitions from the Aksarben Aquarium’s temporary office to the new aquarium building from Dec. 17 through Dec. 22.

During the transition period at the aquarium south of Gretna, there will be periods in which credit and debit card payments cannot be accepted. Cash and check payments will not be affected. Contact the aquarium office at 402-332-3901 before visiting to verify payment methods that can be accepted.

Exhibits remain under construction and are scheduled to open to the public in the spring of 2019.

State park, fishing and hunting permits can be purchased at OutdoorNebraska.org or purchased at other Game and Parks offices.

Spring turkey permits available Jan. 14

LINCOLN, Neb. – Spring turkey hunting permits for 2019 will be available from the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission beginning Jan. 14.

Nebraska offers the best turkey hunting opportunities in the entire country. Nebraska offers birds in every county of the state. The state also offers plentiful and affordable permits, long seasons, great public access and $8 permits for youth.

Wild turkey hunters in Nebraska enjoy high success rates. In the spring, hunters can purchase as many as three permits, with a bag limit of one turkey per permit.

The spring archery season opens March 25, youth shotgun on April 6, and the regular shotgun on April 13. All spring turkey seasons close May 31.

Visit OutdoorNebraska.org or Game and Parks permitting offices to purchase permits starting Jan. 14. For more information on turkey hunting in Nebraska visit OutdoorNebraska.gov/wildturkey.


Public Access Atlas web application offers more features for hunters

LINCOLN, Neb. – The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission has updated the web application for the Public Access Atlas to help hunters more easily find land open to public hunting within species-specific units.

A new feature allows hunters to select a species, then search Nebraska’s game management units and apply the unit of choice to the Public Access Atlas as an overlay layer. Doing so will allow hunters to see wildlife management areas, federals lands, properties enrolled in the Open Fields and Waters program and other lands open to public hunting within that unit.

“Increasingly, we are seeing hunters rely on technology to find places to hunt,” said Will Inselman, wildlife research manager for the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. “This tool will make it much easier for hunters – especially those new to hunting in Nebraska or who are trying a new unit – to find a place to go.”

Land enrolled in the Open Fields and Waters program increased in 2018, and Nebraska now boasts nearly one million acres of land open to public hunting.

Those wishing to use the improved Public Access Atlas application can do so by visiting maps.outdoornebraska.gov/publicaccessatlas, then using the search tab in the upper left hand side of the screen to select the species and unit or zone they wish to apply. If you have trouble viewing the application, try clearing your browser history.

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