Duane Dinnel’s 7x8 mule deer earned him an annual state park permit for turning in the second nicest deer rack at Laker’s. (Photo courtesy of Laker’s)

Shawna Rusher’s 7x8 mule deer won the top prize in a contest at Laker’s. She won an annual state park sticker and a duplicate. (Photo courtesy of Laker’s)

2017 firearm deer season in the books

    Hunters orange has been a common sight throughout Nebraska since firearm deer season opened Nov. 11.
    Firearm deer season has now officially come to a close as of Nov. 19. A news release from Nebraska Game and Parks noted that success was high during the opener despite rainy conditions across much of the state.
    It also stated that this year had high youth participation.
    “Many check-in stations reported several first-time hunters. It’s great to see continued growth in the deer hunting traditions in Nebraska,” said Karie Decker, Game and Park’s assistant wildlife division administrator.
    The final check in total was 373 at Laker’s Bait and Tackle in Enders.
    Shawna Rusher of Imperial was the winner of Laker’s 2018 Nebraska annual & duplicate park stickers for the nicest deer rack. She checked in a 7x8 mule with a 19” spread.
    Laker’s also awarded Duane Dinnel of Wauneta a 2018 annual permit. He checked in the second nicest buck which was a 7x8 mule with a 27.5” spread.
    Wauneta Crossroads was a check-in station for the first time this year.
    Manager Angie West noted that, for Crossroads’ first year, it went really smoothly. West also said that the gas station will remain a check-in station for next year.
    Crossroads’ final check in number was 306 according to Southwest District Wildlife Manager Lance Hasting.
    Hasting noted that Nebraska Game and Parks is still entering in data and crunching numbers to get the official count for this year’s firearm season. However, with the numbers they already have, it looks like numbers have increased this year.
    “The first day was kind of foggy, but the rest of the season had nice weather. Standing corn was a factor,” said Hasting.
    Wauneta Crossroads is still having its Big Buck Competition that is open to any hunters that registered their deer at the gas station. The winner will receive a $50 Sinclair gift card provided by Wauneta Crossroads.
    Wauneta Crossroads has posted all pictures for the contest on its Facebook page. The photo with the most likes by Dec. 1 at 3:30 p.m.  will be the recipient of the Sinclair gift card.

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