Nebraska Deer Hunting

Anyone know the recipe for making big game considerably larger?
This is an easy one. We say feed them. How about creating a food plot for deer to feast on, the size of say, Nebraska. Once named the Great American Desert, the state now yields corn, soybean, and wheat. You may call it deer bliss.

Deer hunters faced restrictions as early as 1901, when anyone hunting outside their county was required to buy a $1.00 hunting/fishing license. In 1905, two deer could be harvested yearly. There were an estimated fifty deer in the state.

The nickname Cornhusker State, where corn was husked by hand before the machine, was adopted in 1945 replacing the Tree Planter’s State. The same year, a December season was opened for deer hunters on the Bessey Ranger District which allotted five hundred permits. This notable time marked the first such permit sold since 1906, when legislation banned deer hunting. From 1949 it would remain open. Gun season was statewide by 1961.

Other than a severe winter in the 1978-1979 winter season that likely halved the herd, population has been increasing. Good harvest rates and more browse than deer can stomach seem to be the ingredients for a successful trophy hunt. Rutting peaks from the middle to end of November.

Nebraska Deer Hunting Facts

  • Over 200,000 deer in the state
  • Nearly 40,000 deer taken yearly
  • Top typical buck is 200 3/8, taken by Miles Lemley in Scotts Bluff County with a muzzleloader in 1983
  • Top non-typical buck is a world record 279 7/8, taken by Del Austin in Hall County with a bow in 1962

From an Oto Indian word meaning flat water, Nebraska is a food source for whitetail and mule deer alike. May your next buck be a monster.

Popular Public Hunting Areas in Nebraska

Ponderosa WMA – Over 3,500 acres to hunt, mostly grassland covered with pines. For more information, check out 2009 Nebraska Guide to Hunting and Public Lands or information about the Ponderosa Wildlife Management Area.

Nebraska Private Hunting Areas

Do you own private hunting land or offer guided hunts in Nebraska? Contact us about a listing in this section!

Other Resources

For Nebraska hunting license information, rules and regulations, visit the Nebraska Game Parks Whitetail and Mule Deer Hunting permit information and the Nebraska deer hunting regulations.