Outdoors notes: Plentiful deer for firearm season opener

Firearm deer season opens Saturday.

“Hunting prospects have improved in all management units as herds are mostly recovered from the drought and disease losses of 2012,” said Kit Hams, big game program manager for the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. “Mule deer in five southern units are at record highs and whitetail are increasing in several units.

“An increase in antlerless permits this fall will limit whitetail growth and provide hunters an opportunity to share their venison with family and friends.”

Among the advantages of deer hunting in Nebraska are ample opportunities on private and public land, and the opportunity for mixed-bag hunts. Fishing trips and state park area visits also can complement deer hunts.

Deer permits are available in most units and may be purchased at OutdoorNebraska.org or at any Game and Parks permitting office. To check the availability of remaining permits, visit the website, click on “Buy a Permit,” then click “Remaining Permits.”

OutdoorNebraska.org also has other resources for deer hunters. Hunters can view the 2016 Big Game Hunting Guide and the 2016 Public Access Atlas to plan a hunting trip. They can also find places to hunt using interactive maps or find areas to camp and make reservations through the site.

Hunters are reminded that anyone hunting deer with a firearm permit during a firearm season must wear blaze orange.

Game and Parks offers these additional reminders:

» Be sure of your target and make good shots at standing deer. The best shot is made on a broadside or quartering-away deer.

» Have a plan for cleaning, cooling, transporting and processing your deer. Deer may be quartered in the field for easier transport. Punch and notch your permit at the time of kill.

» Firearm deer hunters and archers harvesting deer during the November firearm season must deliver their deer to a check station no later than 1 p.m. on the day following the close of the season. Telecheck and Internet check of deer is closed during the nine-day November firearm season.

» Game and Parks staff at check stations in the Blue Northwest, Blue Southeast and Wahoo units of southeast Nebraska will be taking 700 lymph node samples from deer to test for chronic wasting disease.

» To view a summary of deer regulations and a list of check stations, visit OutdoorNebraska.gov/HuntingSeasons.

» Hunters may donate deer to the Hunters Helping the Hungry Program by signing up at OutdoorNebraska.gov/hhh.

» The Deer Exchange allows hunters to donate whole or processed deer to persons who sign up at OutdoorNebraska.gov/DeerExchangeProgram.

» Call Nebraska Wildlife Crimestoppers at 800-742-7627 to report game law violations.

The season closes Nov. 20.

One step in preparing for the season is locating a site to check in your deer. Omaha-area hunters are reminded that Hitches Plus in Papillion no longer is a deer check station.

To view available stations, visit OutdoorNebraska.gov/HuntingSeasons.

McConaughy help needed

The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission is seeking information on vandalism at Lake McConaughy State Recreation Area.

The Martin Bay RV dump station was damaged beyond repair sometime between the night of Oct. 15 and Oct. 16.

Anyone with information should contact conservation officer Scott Eveland at 308-289-0017.

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