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Deer firearm season off to good start in Chase County PDF Print E-mail
Written by Wauneta Breeze   
Friday, 20 November 2015 20:18

By Carolyn Lee

The Imperial Republican

“It’s pretty early to tell,” but Lance Hastings of the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission (NGPC) said hunters in the Chase County area seemed to have had a successful first weekend of firearm deer season.

The season runs from Nov. 14-22. As of Monday Hastings, who is the Southwest District Management Section Supervisor, said 270 deer were checked in at Lakers Bait & Tackle LLC in Enders.

That compares to 218 checked in in 2014 and 224 checked in in 2013 over the same weekend.

“It was a nice weekend, so a lot of people were hunting compared to last year, when it was kind of crummy,” Hastings commented.

NGPC doesn’t pay too much attention to initial numbers, Hastings noted. He said it compares the percentages of success on the different permits issued.

However, he said the higher number of deer initially checked in at Enders could be because of weather, an increased deer population, or the number of corn fields picked.

Contacted mid-day on Monday, Ron Schoenberger of Lakers Bait & Tackle said that although 270 were checked in over the weekend, an additional 43 had been checked in Monday morning, for a total of 313.

He said hunters were not indicating that there were more deer around than usual, but that having more corn out of fields might be a factor.
“We’ve already had a good success rate,” he stated. “We ended last year checking in quite a few more than in 2014.”

State numbers in

Statewide, “Although final harvest figures won’t be available until after the season closes on Nov. 22, hunters got off to a great start this weekend,” said Scott Taylor, the Commission’s wildlife division administrator. Mild weather, dry roads, higher deer numbers and widely available deer permits are thought to have led to the increase in hunter harvest.

Compared to 2014, the numbers of deer brought in to check stations on the opening weekend increased about 20 percent in southeast Nebraska, 24 percent in the southwest, 35 percent in the northwest and 50 percent in the northeast.

Statewide harvest was up about 30 percent.

Firearm deer permits are still available for some areas of the state. Statewide whitetail buck and youth permits are also available throughout the season.


Antlerless permits

The NGPC wants to remind hunters about the River Antlerless permits that remain available. The $10 permits allow the harvest of two antlerless whitetail deer in the state’s river corridors on private lands.

The permits are designed to  help control deer populations in those areas where they are the highest and lead to landowner concerns.

When Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD) impacted Nebraska’s deer herds in 2012, whitetail deer in southwest Nebraska were minimally affected.

Populations along the Republican River from Orleans west to the state line remain at high levels.

NGPC encourages deer hunters to harvest additional antlerless whitetail deer in this area.

In addition, Season Choice permits remain available in the Republican and Frenchman units.

Those permits, as well as River Antlerless, may be used in all deer seasons, including rifle deer, muzzleloader, archery and the antlerless-only season that runs Jan. 1-15, 2016.

Both hunters and landowners, who control access to the river corridor, are important to effectively manage growing whitetail herds, according to NGPC.

Permits are available at Game and Parks offices and at