The 7 x 8 mule deer bagged by Alan Smith drew a big smile. Its spread was 23.5 inches. (Photo courtesy of Laker’s Bait & Tackle)

Shawna Rusher checked in this 7 x 8 mule deer with a 19-inch spread. (Photo courtesy of Laker’s Bait & Tackle)

Deer season off to a good start

    According to Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, the opening two days of Nebraska’s firearm deer season started strong.
    “Final numbers are still being calculated, but hunters got off to a great start this weekend,” said Karie Decker, Game and Parks’ assistant wildlife division administrator.
    The same report came from local check-in stations at Wauneta Crossroads and Laker’s in Enders.
    Late Monday morning, Wauneta Crossroads’ deer check in count was at 176. This is Wauneta Crossroads’ first year as a registered check-in station.
    Ron Schoenberger, owner of Laker’s Bait & Tackle in Enders, reported 232 deer had been checked in as of Monday.
    Crossroads’ owner Angie West noted that there have been more mule deer registered than white tails as of Monday.
    Schoenberger noted that about 95 percent of the checked in deer have been mule deer.
    Schoenberger explained that the standing corn has made this deer season a bit more frustrating for hunters.
    “Once they get in the corn it’s really tough to kick them out,” said Schoenberger.
    Statewide, nearly 19,000 deer have been checked in by Game and Parks staff which is slightly higher than 2016. There was a four percent increase in the northwest, five percent increase in the southwest, four percent decrease in the southeast and five percent increase in the northeast.
    “Staff are pleased to see high participation and good harvest numbers again this year,” said Decker.
    With the firearm season open through Nov. 19, Game and Parks offers these additional reminders:
—It is illegal to duplicate permits.
—Remember to sign permit before hunting and have it at all times.
—Firearm deer hunters and archers harvesting deer during the November firearm season must deliver their deer in person to a check station no later than 1 p.m. on the day following the close of the season. Telecheck and internet check of deer is closed during the nine-day November firearm season. Find a check station nearest you at
—Don’t forget to punch and notch permit at time of kill.
—Seek permission before hunting private land. It is the responsibility of hunters to know their location and to follow the rules and regulations. To view a summary of deer regulations, visit
—Hunters may donate deer to the Hunters Helping the Hungry (HHH) Program by signing up at or participate in the Deer Exchange at Outdoor Program.
—Call Nebraska Wildlife Crimestoppers toll-free at 800-742-7627 to report game law violations.

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