State’s deer harvest up slightly from 2013; success rate 37%
The Nebraska deer harvest is up slightly from 2013. As of Dec. 5, 44,379 deer have been taken in all seasons, compared to 42,562 by the same date last year.
The biggest change from last year is the mule deer buck harvest, which is up by 575 animals (9 percent). Whitetail antlerless harvest has increased by 944 (8 percent) and whitetail buck harvest is up 327 (1 percent). The mule deer antlerless harvest is down 14 (1 percent).
“The deer harvest is better than expected,” said Kit Hams, the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission’s big game program manager. “It’s nice to see an increase in mule deer buck harvest, too.”
The hunter success rate is 37 percent, compared to 35 percent last year.
Success on Keya Paha Unit firearm permits dropped from 62 percent in 2013 to 53 percent this year. That area was hit hard by snow during the firearm season, which likely reduced success.
Areas with significant reduction in the whitetail harvest include the Buffalo, Platte, Republican and Sandhills units, where antlerless whitetail bonus tags were removed in 2014.
Harvest success in five permit types remained about the same (plus or minus 1 percent) and success in 10 permit types increased.
Archery season opened Sept. 1 and continues through Dec. 31. Muzzleloader season ends Dec. 31, while the Late Antlerless season is Jan. 1-15, 2015.
Hunters with statewide muzzleloader permits are reminded that mule deer harvest is not allowed in the Buffalo, Platte, Republican and Frenchman deer units. Antlerless mule deer harvest is not allowed in the Pine Ridge Unit.