Table of Contents

  • General Guidelines and Regulations

    • Hunter Orange
    • Hunter Education
    • Apprentice Hunter Education Exemption Certificate
    • Firearm Restrictions
  • Methods of Take and Nontoxic Shot Requirements

    • Methods of Take for Upland and Migratory Game Birds
    • Nontoxic Shot Requirement
  • Waterfowl Blinds in Nebraska

    • Daily Removal Requirement
    • Exceptions for Seasonal Blinds
  • Depredation Rules in Nebraska

    • Right to Destroy for Agriculture Protection
    • Regulations on Harvested Furbearers
  • Transporting and Possessing Game in Nebraska

    • Identification Requirements
    • Accompaniment and Tagging
    • Possession Limits
    • Shipping Requirements
  • Dog Training Regulations in Nebraska

    • Overview
    • Harvest Limits
    • Location and Timing
    • Bird Acquisition and Tagging
    • Possession of Game Birds
  • Game Violations and Penalties in Nebraska

    • Overview
    • Fines Range
    • Liquidated Damages
    • Reporting Violations
  • Unlawful Shooting, Harvesting, and Hunting Practices in Nebraska

    • When It Is Unlawful to Shoot
    • When It Is Unlawful to Harvest
    • When It Is Unlawful to Hunt
    • Other Unlawful Acts

General Guidelines and Regulations

Hunter Orange

  • Upland Game & Trapping: Not required but strongly encouraged, especially during November firearm deer and January late deer seasons.
  • Camouflage Orange: Legal if it meets the 400 square inch requirement on the head, chest, and back.

Hunter Education

  • Firearm Education (12-29 years): Required for hunting with firearms or air guns. Proof of completion must be carried while hunting.
  • Bowhunter Education (12-29 years): Required for hunting deer, elk, antelope, or bighorn sheep with bow and arrow or crossbow. Proof of completion must be carried while hunting.

Certification Options

  • Youth (11-15 years):
    • Online course and two-hour Hunt Safe Session.
    • Traditional 10-hour classroom course.
  • Adults (16+ years):
    • Online course.
    • Traditional 10-hour classroom course.

Availability

  • Courses & Registration: Visit HuntSafeNebraska.org for information and to find courses.
  • Apprentice Hunter Education Exemption Certificate: Available for those who have not completed a hunter education course.

Apprentice Hunter Education Exemption Certificate

Overview

  • Purpose: Allows novice hunters aged 12 and older to experience hunting under the mentorship of an experienced hunter before completing formal Hunter Education.
  • Cost: $5 per certificate.
  • Validity: Expires December 31 of the year it's issued; renewable once for a consecutive year.
  • Purchase: Available at OutdoorNebraska.gov.

Accompaniment Requirements

  • Definition: The novice hunter must be accompanied at all times by a licensed, experienced hunter aged 19 or older.
  • Ratio: No more than two apprentice hunters may be accompanied by one experienced hunter.
  • Communication: The experienced hunter must maintain unaided visual and verbal communication with the apprentice.
  • Education: If the experienced hunter is aged 19-29, they must be certified in hunter education.

Firearm Restrictions

  • November Firearm Deer Season: Unlawful to hunt wildlife other than deer with a centerfire rifle or handgun.
  • Exceptions:
    • Holders of a valid unfilled firearm deer permit hunting in the unit for which the permit was issued.
    • Bona fide farmers or ranchers, or their immediate family members, hunting on their land.
  • Note on Shotguns: Illegal to have or carry a loaded shotgun in/on any vehicle on highways or roadways. "Loaded" includes shells in the chamber, receiver, or magazine.

Methods of Take and Nontoxic Shot Requirements

Methods of Take for Upland and Migratory Game Birds

  • Shotgun:
    • Gauge: 10 or smaller for all game birds.
    • Plugging: Required to limit shell capacity to three shells for waterfowl and migratory game birds; no plug needed for upland game birds.
  • Rifle or Pistol: Illegal for all game birds.
  • Archery: Legal for migratory game birds, rabbits, squirrels, and upland game birds.
  • Crossbow: Legal for rabbits, squirrels, and upland game birds; not legal for migratory game birds.
  • Trapping: Legal for furbearers, cottontails, jackrabbits, and squirrels during open seasons.
  • Electronic Call: Prohibited for waterfowl during fall seasons; permitted for crows.

Nontoxic Shot Requirement

  • Mandate: Required for shotgun hunting on designated lands such as waterfowl production areas, national wildlife refuges, certain state wildlife management areas, and areas listed in the Public Access Atlas.
  • Prohibition: Illegal to use or possess shotgun shells loaded with anything other than nontoxic shot when hunting waterfowl.
  • Types of Nontoxic Shot:
    • Bismuth-tin
    • Tungsten-matrix
    • Iron (steel)
    • Tungsten-polymer
    • Iron-tungsten
    • Tungsten-tin-iron
    • Iron-tungsten-nickel
    • Tungsten-tin-bismuth
    • Tungsten-bronze
    • Tungsten-tin-iron-nickel
    • Tungsten-iron-copper-nickel
    • Tungsten-iron-polymer

Waterfowl Blinds in Nebraska

Daily Removal Requirement

  • General Rule: All blinds must be removed daily from Nebraska Game and Parks Commission state recreation areas and wildlife management areas.

Exceptions for Seasonal Blinds

  • Allowed Areas: Seasonal blinds can be built on the WMA portions of specific reservoirs and lakes including:
    • Calamus
    • Elwood
    • Enders (nonrefuge portion)
    • Lake McConaughy
    • Medicine Creek
    • Merritt
    • Red Willow
    • Sherman
    • Swanson
  • Removal: Must be removed at the end of the waterfowl season.

Usage Policy

  • Access: Use of these blinds is on a first-come, first-served basis.

Leg Bands

Report U.S. Geological Survey leg bands recovered from migratory game birds at ReportBand.gov.

Depredation Rules in Nebraska

Farmers and ranchers in Nebraska are allowed to address wildlife causing harm or potential harm to their agricultural operations as follows:

Right to Destroy for Agriculture Protection

  • Authorized Individuals: Any farmer or rancher owning or operating land.
  • Target Animals: Includes badger, bobcat, coyote, gray fox, long-tailed weasel, mink, opossum, raccoon, red fox, and skunk.
  • Condition: Animals must be preying on livestock or poultry or causing other agricultural depredation on the farmer or rancher's land.
  • Permit Requirement: No permit from the Commission is required for such actions.

Regulations on Harvested Furbearers

  • Selling or Possession: Allowed only for individuals with a fur harvest permit and if the take occurred during the legally designated harvest season.

Transporting and Possessing Game in Nebraska

Identification Requirements

  • Pheasants & Prairie Grouse: Must retain the head or one leg for identification while in the field or returning home.
  • Migratory Game Birds: One fully feathered wing or head plumage must remain attached during transport, except for doves.

Accompaniment and Tagging

  • En Route: No tags required if the licensee is accompanying the game.
  • When Unaccompanied: Game left or given to another must be tagged with the hunter's name, address, phone number, date of birth, species and total number of each species, date taken, and signature of the donor and name of the recipient.

Possession Limits

  • Game Birds/Animals: Unlawful to possess more than the possession limit as per the hunt permit.
  • Live Furbearers: Possession of any live furbearers is prohibited.
  • Migratory Game Birds: Cannot possess more than one daily bag limit while in the field or returning from the field.

Shipping Requirements

  • Commercial Carrier: Game birds and animals must be tagged with official tags available from Game and Parks offices and conservation officers.

Dog Training Regulations in Nebraska

Overview

  • Purpose: Enhance dogs' hunting skills through noncompetitive training.

Harvest Limits

  • Hen Pheasants: Maximum of two per dog per training session (sunrise to sunset).
  • Quail: Maximum of five per dog per training session.
  • Partridge and Mallards: Unlimited harvest.
  • Bird Source: Only pen-raised birds may be released for training.

Location and Timing

  • Private Land: Permitted with landowner's permission and adherence to rules.
  • State Wildlife Management Areas: Generally prohibited from May 1 through July 31, except in areas designated and posted as "Authorized Dog Training Area."
  • Dog Trial Areas: Training or exercising dogs prohibited in areas posted as "Dog Trial Area."

Bird Acquisition and Tagging

  • Source Requirement: Must be obtained from a captive wildlife permit holder or licensed nonresident breeder.
  • Band Requirement: Birds must be banded by the trainer or seller with official Game and Parks bands.
  • Documentation: Trainers must possess a sales tag/receipt listing date, species, and number of birds purchased.

Possession of Game Birds

  • Captive Holding: Game birds obtained for training can be kept in captivity for up to 14 days following purchase or receipt without needing a captive wildlife permit.

Game Violations and Penalties in Nebraska

Overview

The Nebraska Legislature has set forth increased fines and penalties for game and fish violations, reflecting the severity of the violation and the species involved.

Fines Range

  • Amounts: From $25 to $15,000, tailored to the nature of the violation and the species affected.

Liquidated Damages

  • Purpose: Serve as replacement costs for wildlife taken illegally.
  • Application: Assessed per animal taken illegally and for cases of wanton waste.
  • Additional Costs: These are in addition to any court costs incurred.

Reporting Violations

  • Nebraska Wildlife Crimestoppers: Individuals can report game violations anonymously and toll-free by calling 800-742-7627.

Unlawful Shooting, Harvesting, and Hunting Practices in Nebraska

When It Is Unlawful to Shoot

  • Public Highway/Road/Bridge: Illegal from any part of these, on foot or from a vehicle.
  • Aircraft: Illegal to attempt to shoot any bird, fish, or other animal.

When It Is Unlawful to Harvest

  • Live Decoys: Prohibited for harvesting game birds.
  • Daily Limits: Illegal to harvest a limit and return for more of the same species in the same day.
  • Falconry and Shooting Hours: Must adhere to legal hours.
  • Furbearers: Restricted methods of take; some species can be taken by firearm or archery.
  • Motorized Conveyances: Restrictions on hunting from snowmobiles, boats, cars, and other vehicles.
  • Migratory Game Birds: Prohibited methods and conditions, including motorboat, aircraft, driving, or chasing.

When It Is Unlawful to Hunt

  • Trespassing: Must have permission to hunt on private land.
  • Party Hunt: Each hunter must individually hunt their game.
  • Inhabited Dwelling/Feedlot Proximity: Restrictions based on distance and equipment type.
  • Retrieval and Effort: Obligated to retrieve and include all hunted birds in the daily bag.
  • Baiting: Restrictions on baiting game birds and federal baiting regulations.
  • Disturbance: Prohibited use of aircraft or boats to disturb game.

Other Unlawful Acts

  • Wasting Game: Illegal to waste game animals or birds.
  • Spotlighting: Prohibited with a firearm or archery equipment in possession.
  • Vegetation Destruction: Prohibited on state-owned/controlled areas.
  • Disturbing Wildlife: Prohibited from game reserves or sanctuaries.
  • Electronic Bird Calls: Illegal use for game birds.
  • Sale/Trade: Prohibited for the meat of any game bird or animal.
  • Communication: Restrictions on communicating the location of game during open season.
  • Firearm/Archery on Snowmobile: Must be unloaded and encased.

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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.