Nebraska Deer News

New Pine Ridge mule deer survey improves population data April 1, 2014 Nebraska, Lincoln Journal Star ·
... The aerial survey is expected to take place annually for at least five years, providing the agency with accurate population counts and helping identify growths or declines in herds...

Game and Parks Adopts Regulations to Grow Deer Herds March 26, 2014 Nebraska, Sand Hills Express 
... n 2012, a drought and an outbreak of epizootic hemorrhagic disease (EHD) killed off an estimated one third of the state’s whitetail population. Regulations created to help recover the populations began last year and continue in 2014...

...  permits were reduced for hunting both whitetail and mule deer for the upcoming hunting season in an effort to help rebuild the populations... 

Nebraska keeps limits on doe hunting March 21, 2014 Omaha World-Herald
... Nebraska deer hunters again will be restricted from targeting too many female deer this fall in an attempt to help deer herds rebound.  A drought and an outbreak of epizootic hemorrhagic disease killed an estimated third of the state’s whitetail population two years ago ...

UNL, Creighton researchers study chronic wasting March 21, 2014 Nebraska, Lexington Herald Leader
... Bartz and Bartelt-Hunt have focused specifically on chronic wasting disease, which can reduce the growth and size of wild deer and elk ... "I really think that our top finding has been ... that prions don't just bind to soils, but that different soil types really interact very differently with prions," ...

New mule deer survey improves population data March 19, 2014 Nebraska, Rapid City Journal
...  a contracted helicopter ... Todd Nordeen, northwestern district wildlife manager, said the survey’s findings will be valuable in setting hunting regulations and other management strategies for mule deer, a species that biologists suspect to be struggling in some areas because of disease and other challenges...

... A North Carolina couple have been convicted of multiple federal game law violations in Nebraska. Jason and Britney Edney of Hendersonville, N.C., own an outfitting company that hired guides and worked for clients in Nebraska.  Over four years, Nebraska Game and Parks Commission conservation officers and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service special agents uncovered hunting violations that included ... 29 illegally taken deer, 17 instances of failing to check deer ... violations occurred in Frontier, Dawson, Keya Paha and Lincoln counties... ordered to pay $35,000 in restitution and court costs...

Do We Need to Hunt Mountain Lions in Nebraska? January 24, 2014 netnebraska.org
...  Seven years ago, camera traps captured the first solid evidence mountain lions were once again breeding in Nebraska...  At auction, one man paid more than $13,000 for one tag ...  State Sen. Ernie Chambers said.  Chambers has introduced a bill to repeal the mountain lion hunt, and vowed to fight any Game and Parks legislation until they do so...

... A criminal plea agreement with a Nebraska deer meat processor is the most serious infraction disclosed by the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service in the agency’s final quarterly enforcement report for fiscal 2013... falsely representing deer meat he processed as having been inspected by USDA...

2nd hunter who shot a cat says hunt promotes conservation January 5, 2014 Nebraska, Omaha World-Herald
... “You have to manage your mountain lion herd just like we manage deer herds,'' he said...

Two Nebraska hunters each shot and killed a mountain lion Thursday during Nebraska's inaugural cougar hunting season... Both hunters were aided by dogs ... The Pine Ridge ... about 22 cougars in the area...

... Gage County officials aren't sure whether the carcasses are being dumped by poachers or hunters who legally shot the deer, but didn't want to properly dispose of the carcass...

Cameras track the journey of adult mountain lion December 6, 2013 Nebraska, Fremont Tribune
Probably the most interesting tidbit to come out of the Deer Management Meeting hosted Wednesday at the State Lakes by the Nebraska Game and Parks ... In mid-September a trail camera on a Platte River island near Cedar Bluffs captured 19 images of an adult mountain lion over two days... the Epizootic Hemorraghic Disease epidemic that decimated local deer populations in the summer of 2012. ...

Firearm deer harvest down 21% from 2012 December 6, 2013 Nebraska, Lincoln Journal Star 
... The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission eliminated approximately 87,000 permits and bonus tags in 2013 in response to the epizootic hemorrhagic disease (EHD) outbreak of 2012. A significant reduction in harvest was expected... Total firearm deer harvest for the nine-day 2013 November firearm season was 36,882 ...

Fence on I-80 Brings Down Deer Collision Rates December 6, 2013 Nebraska, 1011now.com 
... "That four mile stretch is really doing its job. From late 2011, it's reduced deer motor vehicle collisions by 85 percent on that stretch of road," said Greg Wagner, Nebraska Game & Parks... The fence cost $1.1 million to put up ...

Nebraska hunters shoot fewer deer December 2, 2013 Columbus Telegram
... According to the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, a total of 36,882 deer were killed during the nine-day season — a 21 percent decline from 2012... The total harvest for 2013 is expected to reach about 50,000 deer...

2012 outbreak still hurting deer harvest November 30, 2013 Nebraska, Omaha World-Herald
...  one of the worst outbreaks of epizootic hemorrhagic disease ever to hit the state... “It’s taken us back to when the deer war started in 1996-97,” ... Since 1996 and leading into the 2012 season, the commission tried its best to lower deer numbers.... Nothing seemed to work. Populations continued to climb, frustrating wildlife biologists...

Hunters rack up far fewer Neb. deer November 30, 2013 Nebraska, North Platte Telegraph 
... “The EHD outbreak was so spotty across the state that it was hard to tell which areas were the hardest hit,” Geiser said. “Some areas, even in the southwest, were hit a little harder than others. Part of those numbers are a lack of antlerless tags.” ... “Barring any diseases, I would assume [harvest numbers will go back up in 2014] ...

NGPC to conduct informational meeting in Fremont, Impact of EHD November 29, 2013 Nebraska, Fremont Tribune
... several serious observers in Dodge and Saunders counties believe at least half of the local deer herd died during the summer of 2012, and that perhaps 75 percent of the bucks were killed due to their being at greater risk of infection with blood-engorged antlers in velvet being an easy target for the midges which carried the disease... I feel the NGPC should anticipate future outbreaks and have a plan of action ...

Nebraska officials say deer harvest is down November 27, 2013 Grand Island Independent
... The state Game and Parks Commission says the harvest was about 36,800, after officials eliminated 87,000 permits and bonus tags to combat a deer disease outbreak in 2012 called epizootic hemorrhagic disease...

Firearm deer harvest down 21 percent November 27, 2013 Nebraska, Columbus Telegram 
... According to the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, a total of 36,882 deer were killed during the nine-day season — a 21 percent decline from 2012.... 

Whitetails and Mulies November 22, 2013 Nebraska, Omaha World-Herald
... Most white-tailed deer live in heavy cover offered by woodlands, and hence, are most abundant along rivers and in forested areas of eastern Nebraska... Most white-tailed deer bed in heavy cover ... may linger on the edge of cover at dusk, waiting until it's nearly dark to move into crap fields to feed ... Mule deer prefer wide-open grasslands and are primarily found in the western half of Nebraska, especially the Sandhills, Panhandle and southwestern regions...

... The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission invites hunters and landowners to attend a public informational meeting to discuss deer issues ...

Deer harvest on pace with 2012, below 2011 record November 20, 2013 Nebraska, Columbus Telegram
... This year and 2012 are comparable to the good harvests of 2005-07, not the record set in 2011, because of deer overpopulation, according to Welstead... Last year's disease outbreak, the worst since 1976, and a 2011 Game and Parks permit effort combined to thin the state's deer herd...

    The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission invites hunters and landowners to attend a public informational meeting to discuss deer issues... Game and Parks biologists will explain and take questions on various topics, including deer management, deer damage and depredation permits, antlerless harvest, trophy management and diseases. Antelope and elk issues also may be discussed. [click on link for meeting schedule]

New cause for State Sen. Ernie Chambers: repealing cougar hunting law November 18, 2013 Nebraska, Omaha World-Herald
... wildlife biologists decided earlier this year that the population of the big cats in northwest Nebraska's Pine Ridge was large enough to begin managing cougars as a game species ... An estimated 22 cougars live in the region's rocky ridges, hills and grasslands... State Sen. Ernie Chambers of Omaha is drafting legislation to repeal ... the state's first cougar hunting season next year...

Deer numbers appear near to last year November 16, 2013 Nebraska, Omaha World-Herald 
... The first day of Nebraska's firearm deer season produced similar results to last year, though numbers were more encouraging in the northeast part of the state...  out west.  “I'd say we average about a hundred or a little more than that on opening day,” said Todd Nordeen, northwest district manager. “It's down at least half of what it was last year. It seems to be that way across the board here in the Panhandle.” ...



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Nebraska Data:  The deer herd was hit hard by epizootic hemorrhagic disease (EHD) and drought in 2012, killing an estimated third of the population.  The Game Commission reduced antlerless deer tags in 2013,  an effort to boost the deer population.  The deer harvest in 2013 fell to about 50,000, about 60,000 in 2012 from a record of 83,000 in 2011.  Whitetail buck harvest was down 11,000 (to 26,309 in 2012; peak was 37,967 in 2010). Whitetail antlerless harvest was down 14,300 (to 29,974 in 2012) (peak was 39,283 in 2011). Mule deer buck harvest was down to 7,325 (from a peak harvest in 2008 of 9,115).  Brain worm is blamed for some of the mule deer decline.

Wildlife Management Mission Statement: The mission of the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission is stewardship of the state's fish, wildlife, park, and outdoor recreation resources in the best long-term interests of the people and those resources.

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