Permit Cancellation

Upon harvesting any big game animal, hunters are required to:

  1. Immediately Invalidate the Permit/Tag: Hunters must punch or notch the permit or tag to mark the sex and date of the kill right after the animal is harvested.
  2. Attach to the Animal or Retain: The invalidated permit or tag must be securely attached to the animal. If the carcass remains in the hunter's possession, the canceled permit or tag must stay with the hunter throughout the entire check-in process.

Checking Deer, Antelope, and Elk

In Nebraska, hunters are required to follow specific steps for legally harvesting deer, antelope, and elk:

  1. Mandatory Registration: Harvest of deer, antelope, and elk must be registered before the carcass leaves Nebraska.
  2. Carcass Handling: It is illegal to break down the carcass into smaller sections than quarters before the harvest check-in is completed. Quartering is specifically defined.
  3. November Firearm Season Requirements:
    • Deer must be checked in by 1 p.m. the day after the season closes.
    • Check stations and information are available on deer regulation sheets and at OutdoorNebraska.gov.
  4. Accompaniment at Check Station: The permit holder must accompany their deer to the check station.
  5. Telecheck System: Outside of the November firearm season, deer, all antelope, and elk must be checked via Telecheck within 48 hours of the kill and before 1 p.m. following the close of the season.
  6. Transportation: Retain the permit and either the seal number from the check station or the check station verification number when transporting any part of the carcass.
  7. Record Keeping: Hunters are required to record the seal number on their permit.

Telecheck for Hunters in Nebraska

Telecheck provides a convenient method for hunters in Nebraska to report their harvest of deer, antelope, or elk. Here are the steps and requirements:

Accessing Telecheck

  • Online: Visit goOutdoorsNE.com and log into your permit profile. Select "Game Check Reporting" to submit the required information or use the "Report Your Harvest – Big Game Check-In" option on the login page.
  • By Phone: Call 844-279-4564 to complete the process over the phone.

When to Use Telecheck

  • All deer harvested outside the November firearm season, and all antelope and elk, must be checked via Telecheck.

Information Required for Telecheck

  • Permit Details: Species, permit code, permit number, date of kill, county of kill, and management unit.
  • Animal Details: Weapon used, sex of the animal, and age of the animal (adult or fawn).
  • Biological Information: Inside spread for deer, horn length for antelope, and main beam length for elk might be requested.

After Completing Telecheck

  • Write the provided seal number on your permit.

Recovering Deer

  • Tracking Dogs: Use of tracking dogs is permitted for recovering deer.
  • Private Land: Obtain landowner permission to track or recover deer on private property.

Shooting Hours

  • Big Game: Legal hunting hours are from 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset.

Hunter Orange Requirements

  • Firearm Seasons: During authorized firearm seasons for antelope, elk, mountain sheep, or deer, hunters must display at least 400 square inches of hunter orange material on their head, chest, and back.
  • Muzzleloader Seasons: The same requirement applies during muzzleloader seasons.
  • Archery Deer Hunters: Must wear hunter orange during the November firearm deer season and late antlerless seasons.
  • Special Landowner Deer Season: Firearm hunters must wear hunter orange, while archery hunters are exempt.

Hunting Near Dwellings

  • 200-Yard Rule (Rifle): Unlawful to hunt wild mammals or birds within 200 yards of an inhabited dwelling or livestock feedlot with a rifle without permission.
  • 100-Yard Rule (Other Firearms): Unlawful to hunt with archery equipment, handgun, or shotgun within 100 yards of an inhabited dwelling or livestock feedlot without permission.

Liquidated Damages for Illegal Killing

Penalties vary based on the species and specifics of the big game:

  • Bighorn Sheep: $25,000
  • Elk:
    • Bull, 12 points or more: $10,000
    • Other elk: $3,000
  • White-tailed Deer:
    • 8 points or more with 16-inch spread: $10,000
    • Other antlered bucks: $2,000
    • Antlerless: $500
  • Mule Deer:
    • 8 points or more with 22-inch spread: $10,000
    • Other mule deer: $2,000
  • Antelope:
    • Buck with 14-inch horn length: $5,000
    • Other antelope: $1,500
  • Mountain Lion: $5,000
  • Bear or Moose: $1,500

Unlawful Acts in Hunting

Shooting from the Road

  • Regulation: Illegal to shoot from a bridge, public road, its traveled surface, or right of way.

Hunting Over Bait

  • Regulation: Illegal to hunt big game animals or turkeys within 200 yards of a baited area.
  • Definition: An area remains baited for 10 days after all bait is removed.
  • Clarification: Normal environmental conditions, farming, ranching, forest management, and similar activities do not create a baited area.

Carrying Firearms While Archery Hunting

  • Regulation: Generally, possessing a firearm while hunting with an archery permit is illegal.
  • Exception: It is legal to carry a handgun with a barrel no longer than 5 inches under certain permits.

Guiding for Fee

  • Regulation: Illegal to provide guided hunting services for a fee on state wildlife management areas.

Weapon Sights

  • Permitted: Red-dot, illuminated reticle sights, and laser rangefinder scopes.
  • Prohibited: Night-vision scopes while hunting game animals and birds.

Drones

  • Regulation: Illegal to use drones to spot or locate game animals or birds during any hunting season.

Nebraska Drone Law for Hunting

In Nebraska, specific regulations govern the use of aircraft, including drones, in relation to hunting:

  • Surveillance and Spotting Prohibited: It is illegal to use any form of aircraft, including drones, to spot, locate, or surveil any game animal or bird one day before or during any open hunting season.
  • Information Conveyance: Conveying location information about game animals or birds via radio or any other electronic device, including photography from unmanned aircraft, is unlawful.
  • Hunting and Harassment: The use of any form of aircraft to hunt, drive, molest, chase, or harass game animals or birds at any time is prohibited.

Big Game Transfer Tag

Nebraska General Hunting Laws & Regulations

Big Game Hunting: Weapon Types and Regulations

Deer and Antelope - Firearm

  • Rifle: Minimum .22 caliber delivering at least 900 foot-pounds of energy at 100 yards; includes .357 magnum or .45 Colt.
  • Handgun: Must deliver at least 400 foot-pounds of energy at 50 yards.
  • Shotgun: 20 gauge or larger firing a single slug.
  • Muzzleloading Handgun: Delivering at least 400 foot-pounds of energy at 50 yards.
  • Muzzleloading Rifle: 44 caliber or larger.
  • Muzzleloading Musket: 62 caliber or larger that fires a single slug.

Deer and Antelope - Archery

  • Crossbow: Minimum 125-pound draw weight, non-electronic and shoulder-fired.
  • Spear: Must be thrown by hand.
  • Bow: Longbow, recurve bow, or compound bow.

Deer and Antelope - Muzzleloader

  • Muzzleloading Handgun: Delivering at least 400 foot-pounds of energy at 50 yards.
  • Muzzleloading Rifle: 44 caliber or larger.
  • Muzzleloading Musket: 62 caliber or larger that fires a single slug.

Elk and Bighorn Sheep

  • Rifle: Minimum .25 caliber delivering at least 1,700 foot-pounds of energy at 100 yards.
  • Crossbow: Minimum 125-pound draw weight, non-electronic and shoulder-fired.
  • Spear: Must be thrown by hand.
  • Bow: Longbow, recurve bow, or compound bow.
  • Muzzleloading Rifle: 45 caliber or larger.

Notes for All Big Game Permits

  • Semi-automatics: May hold no more than six cartridges.
  • Prohibitions: Fully automatic, full-metal jacket, incendiary bullets, slingbows, airbows, poison or stupefying chemical arrows, explosive tips, and breech-loading muzzleloaders during muzzleloader season.
  • Arrows and Spears: Must have a sharpened hunting head with at least a 7/16-inch radius.
  • Scopes: Magnifying and variable-power scopes allowed; amplifying or light-beam projecting scopes prohibited.

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Disclaimer:

The legal advice provided on Wild Advisor Pro is intended as a summary of the hunting, camping, hiking, and fishing laws and regulations and does not constitute legal language or professional advice. We make every effort to ensure the information is accurate and up to date, but it should not be relied upon as legal authority. For the most current and comprehensive explanation of the laws and regulations, please consult the official government websites or a qualified legal professional. Wild Advisor Pro is not responsible for any misunderstandings or misinterpretations of the information presented and shall not be held liable for any losses, damages, or legal disputes arising from the use of this summary information. Always check with the appropriate governmental authorities for the latest information regarding outdoor regulations and compliance.