LINCOLN — Preliminary deer check-in numbers indicate that statewide harvest numbers are up approximately 8% compared to the 2018 opening weekend of Nebraska’s firearm season.
During the 2019 opening weekend of the November firearm season, Nov. 16-17, the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission’s northeast district check stations recorded 17% more deer than last year. The number of checked deer was up 9% in the southeast, up 3% in the northwest and up 5% in the southwest district.
“Many factors can be related to the higher numbers of checked deer,” said Luke Meduna, the big game program manager for Game and Parks. “While there is still some corn standing in the fields, the nice weather contributed to lots of hunters getting into the field and harvesting deer.”
Meduna added that warmer temperatures also do not allow hunters to hang their deer carcasses for extended periods of time. Rather, to avoid spoilage, hunters needed to get deer broken down and cooled quickly. Deer cannot be broken down any further than quarters before completion of the check-in process.
“While some hunters reported slower activity than normal, many hunters also reported excellent rutting activity,” Meduna said. “Deer activity isn’t constant across a unit or even a single property but can be quite variable by location and day.”
Many units, including the Loup East and Frenchman, had additional antlerless permits and/or bonus tags added for 2019.