Contributors to this thread:
Ok, I have not hunted Nebraska a lot but have done pretty well there. Why does it get such a bad rap. Plenty of whitetail where I hunt and this year I will be where there are both. I would like to hear the good and the bad. I do have about 1200 acres of private, but I have never set foot on it. Shawn
My experience, On the Nebraska SWA where I hunt for the past 20 years, if it is brown it is down ( mostly rifle hunters as they kill 130 buck per year and even higher some years. The quality (age/antlers) of bucks has gone down hill over the past 10- 12 years. No quality management.
They get a bad rap because for years they refused to limit tags. In fact it took them forever to separate mule deer and whitetail tags even though the mule deer were getting slaughtered by every out of state hunter just wanting a mule deer. It does look like this year they are separating off mule deer in more areas and finally limiting statewide whitetail bucks tags.
These observations are from the SE corner of the state where we have hunted since 2007.
Things were better pre EHD outbreak of 2012. Up to half of the deer herd were hit with it then.
It’s weird how the toll of EHD was noticed more a couple years later as far as big bucks seen goes.
Deer numbers are slowly bouncing back. But the big buck numbers seen hasn’t been improving much.
The rifle season is during the rut that doesn’t help things at all. Then to top things off way to much poaching going on. One year on opening rifle we found a 2 1/2 year old buck laying dead 100 yards from a gravel road. Body was warm so shot from road and left laying that morning.
The deer numbers are still on a rapid decline in the South central part of the state, where I live. We had a 38% positive CWD rate in my area. I saw many dead deer this Oct and Nov, which were fresh deaths. That wasn't from EHD. Biologist blames CWD.
Cheap non res doe rifle tags, and just the high numbers of doe tags in general are killing overall deer numbers on public areas. That is where a high percentage of people end up to fill such tags. Public areas cannot sustain the kind of pressure this is creating. Eliminate a lot of these on public and numbers and quality will rebound. Like Paul said, if it’s brown it’s down. A few of my favorite spots have been depleted due to over harvest of doe, and a good percentage of those are fawns and buck fawns. Killing buck recruitment! Again, I’m referring to the public hunting areas.
I will be hunting spots near the Kansas border, mostly in Furnas County for Mule deer and Harlan county for whitetails. I have two 600 acre private pieces and believe they hold mostly whitetail. I have had great success in Nebraska along the Missouri river and the Iowa border. Private in Furnas is hard to come by as most of it is leased but still lots of public so we will see!! Shawn
Finally! The Pine Ridge area is getting restrictions on tags and NR license sales. LONG overdue. The deer population there has been on a decline for several years. 180 tags this season and hopefully statewide buck tags will not be allowed to use there this year either.