Contributors to this thread:
Since I have basically retired from bow hunting, I probably should not say anything, but I just got done looking at how we grade hunting in Nebraska.. I guess I was a bit dissapointed on all the comments about rifle season.. Have we forgotten that they did move the season one week later to give bowhunters a chance at the chase phase of the rut. Peak rut in my humble opinion has never been that great for bowhunting, as movement is far less than the earlier chase period.. Also those that remeber me will remember how I always wanted to bow hunt during rifle season.. Never got a lot of support from this group, but the NGPC finally did allow it, which really expanded our bowhunting rut experience oppurtunities.. I am thinking the only thing that will make us happy is if they cancell rifle season all together or move it to July or August or maybe to South Dakota.. If you are not seeing the deer you think you should, maybe you should spend some time in front of the mirror, and look at what you can change rather than what others can change for you. When I cut my eye teeth on hunting it was all trial and error or time spent with successful locals.. There is so much printed material hard copy and on line, there is no reason anyone should have to go extended periods of time to be successful.. OK I just kicked my soap box away.. Have fun, go hunting and quit blaming others for your dissapointments.
Ken--the NBA was instrumental in the G&P's decision to allow bowhunting during rifle season. For some reason, they finally decided to agree with the logic that it really wasn't hurting anything if a guy wanted to handicap himself during those 9 days while wearing orange for safety. :-)
The same is true for the earlier (September 1st) season start. That one was totally due to a suggestion by the NBA.
I think in some cases, guys might be downgrading a bit since they don't want to encourage any more nonresidents to seek out Nebraska as a possible hunting spot. My grades for my small hunting spots are legit since they are tough to hunt, but my grade for the deer management might be affected by what I typed above. ;-)
Greg, I wasn't saying I was responcible, just that I was vocal about it for a long time, and eveytime I brought it up here, I was promptly told to sit down.. I have no idea of the NBA's involvment, but you are probably right.. Just dissappointed it took so long to get it. Pretty much retired from hunting these days, although I did get a year or two.
Have we forgotten that they did move the season one week later to give bowhunters a chance at the chase phase of the rut. It has always started on the second Saturday of November that I remember.
EHD two years in a row knocked our deer back in many areas and it still shows lasting effects. I wish we had deer like in '06 to '10 but then the insurance companies would still be yelling to the G&P. I think if the firearm season started on the 1st of December it would help the deer population to come back faster. I took a buck during firearm season and checked it in the same place I've taken them for the last 25 years and they had a pile of button bucks and yearling does on the floor. They said only a few had checked in "big" bucks and mine was one of them. I hope the older deer that are left will make it through winter ok or it will be worse around here next fall. We need to follow Kansas and Iowa for season dates, IMO
For as long as I can remember, rifle season has always been placed so that the last day is the Sunday before Thanksgiving. So if Thanksgiving is at its earliest--November 22nd--then rifle season runs from November 10th to the 18th. That means it does start the second weekend in November in that case. If Thanksgiving is at its latest--November 28th--then rifle season runs from November 16th to 24th. It starts the third weekend in that case. Of course, in between those dates it means sometimes rifle season ends up starting the second weekend and sometimes the third. Now, maybe at one time it always did start on the second weekend, but I can't remember it being automatic like that. I just remember it being variable as I described above.
I've bowhunted since 1980 and as I recall, rifle season always started the second Saturday of November. I think it was around 2000 when they changed it to the Saturday closest to Nov. 13 which means the last day of rifle season is the Sunday preceding Thanksgiving.
Archery during rifle season is great for those bowhunters that own or lease their ground. I don't, so it really doesn't help me at all since there isn't room for me with the number of rifle hunters my landowners allow.
The hunting in my area is OK. Not nearly as good as pre 2012 but better than the 80's. I just don't think the NGPC has had much to do with it. They showed they couldn't drop deer numbers when they wanted to 2000-2012. Instead EHD did it. Now, we want deer numbers to go up but they haven't changed the seasons or bag limits appreciably. There are still thousands of antler less only tags available along with the advise the NPGC gives to "shoot fewer does if the population is down in your area" and "don't shoot young bucks if you want to see more trophy deer." In defense of the NGPC, I'm not sure it is possible to effectively manage the deer herd at level that would keep even most hunters happy. The only thing it is possible for the NGPC to manage at all are the hunters and mashing all the weapons and seasons together isn't doing that IMHO. I generally enjoy enough success so I'm not pointing any fingers but that success is due to doing the things Earl E. suggested like learning how to hunt and many years of experience.
It is going to be hard to manage any deer heard with 97% of the state being privately owned. The NGPC can only do so much and there is only so much advice they can give to those who actually own the land and maintain the deer numbers we have in the state. The NGPC also knows that $$ talks and the rifle season generates most of the revenue associated with big game hunting in our state. IMO, too many people are upset how others are punching their tags. If people are harvesting button bucks or monster bucks, if they are doing it legally, NGPC will not care (again see $$$). I enjoy every hunt I have, regardless of the weapon I hold. The bonus is getting to harvest any animal as I love to eat venison and so does my family.