Is NE Public land really that bad?
Contributors to this thread:
Mnhunter1980 12-Mar-19
Titan_Bow 16-Mar-19
Windwalker 17-Mar-19
Mnhunter1980 19-Mar-19
Lawboytom 07-Apr-19
Turkey1 24-Apr-19
Mnhunter1980 26-Apr-19
Shawn 07-Apr-22
Windwalker 13-Apr-22
Michael 30-Jul-22
From: Mnhunter1980
I am from MN and never hunted Nebraska. I have hunted elk otc in CO, and SD deer otc .

The reason I mention this is because I hunted public land in both states and had zero issues with other hunters. On one hand I read how CO is overrun with NR archery hunters and how crowded the trail heads are, I didn’t experience anything like that. SD is in the process to limiting NR archers, I never saw another hunter in a week hunting there last year.

I started researching NE after hearing SD may go to the point/draw game. By the way things sound there is very few deer on public land in NE and there are NR hunters everywhere. What’s the truth? I have been to 2 states that we’re supposed to be overrun with hunters and we had zero issues with hunting pressure. How bad is it really???

From: Titan_Bow
I hunt Nebraska public land every year, mainly for the convenience. Being in Colorado, it’s nice to have OTC turkey and whitetail opportunities just a handful of hours drive from my house. It does surprise me every year there seems to be more and more out of state hunters where I am at. And guys from all over the country. 10 years ago or so, you’d see a handful of trucks from Colorado during an archery season, but now you see license plates from all over. With some homework and scouting, you can still get away from crowds pretty easily during archery seasons. The big thing for deer, is the age structure on public lands is typically very young. I think that’s likely due to firearms season opening second week of November. You’ll occasionally see a mature buck, but the vast majority of bucks you’ll encounter are probably going to be 1.5 and 2.5 year old deer. Nebraska is a great state with a very diverse landscape. It does get hit pretty hard, and seems to only get more crowded every year.

From: Windwalker
What you have heard and read is pretty much the truth. Why NR come here to hunt deer is a mystery to me unless they just want to get away or will be happy with any deer that comes along. There are deer here but if you think you are going to see 3 year old plus deer you are badly mistaken. The firearm season starts at the beginning of the rut so most bucks get killed before they have a chance to grow a decent set of antlers. There is no quality deer management in Nebraska. If it is brown it is down! Once in awhile a trophy deer is taken on public/private land and the picture displayed all over. From this NR think that Nebraska is the place to go; permits are OTC and inexpensive. So they come only to be disappointed in the end. But if you want to come here; that is great; the state needs the money.

From: Mnhunter1980
I’m not sure but I think the reason nr flock to ne is because there is a chance at a muledeer, tags are reasonable and there is some public land to spot and stalk. Muleys and spot and stalk just isn’t possible in the east or the upper Midwest. So no matter how bad ne manages for quality deer the fact is you have muledeer and we don’t

From: Lawboytom
I hunted there last year in early sept. Saw few deer, little sign, and come Friday, the hills were crawling with people. If you can find a ranch, things might be different. I was hoping it would be a good hunt and I could take my brother and dad back this year but I won’t be wasting the time or money. What you do is up to you but I’m not an in state hunter trying to dissuade you from coming in. The only reason I’ll be in Nebraska during hunting season again is passing through to another state.

From: Turkey1
Yea it’s sad. The state has really oversold our public land deer AND turkey hunting. We just don’t have the amount of public land needed to support the non residents that NGPC is advertising for and getting! Really needs to be a cap on them I think!

From: Mnhunter1980
SD residents are i the same boat. Should find out in the next few weeks what they change for this year. As soon as mn starts growing mule deer we will leave you guys alone:)

From: Shawn
I find these threads funny!! I have hunted Nebraska the last 3 years and have killed rwo 3.5 year old bucks on public. No giants but both over 130"s. I know this thread is old but if you put in the time and scout it can be very good. I have seen several bucks the last few years over 150"s on public as well. This past year I passed 2 deer the fir 4 days of hunting and both were 3.5 year olds at least. I will say if you only have a week or so than it will be very tough but 2 weeks or so and you can get into some nice deer. Shawn

From: Windwalker
Shawn; your thread is very interesting. Your thread is certainly contrary to what the majority have experienced in Nebraska. I have lived here since 1956 and have hunted a lot of public land for deer. In 30 years of hunting I have never seen a 150" deer on Nebraska public land. Seen a few 130's but even these were rare. I'm talking public land. The majority of bucks killed in this state are sub P&Y. Bucks have little chance of becoming P&Y due to the firearm season being during the peak of the rut. If it is brown it is down here. Very few bucks live long enough to grow a P&Y rack.

From: Michael
Other then in the NW corner I haven’t hunted a lot of public in Ne.

The NW corner of the state has seen a big change. Way more pressure then 10 years ago.

EHD in 2012 changed a lot of things in Ne.

With our minimal hunting on public in the remaining portions of the state. We have shot one 148” whitetail off public. This deer was probably living on the private next door and made the mistake to cruise through the public looking for does.

  • Sitka Gear