From the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission
-- The Nebraska opening for fall turkey season is Sept. 15 this year.
From Sept. 15-Dec. 31, holders of fall turkey hunting permits may pursue gobblers using either shotgun or archery equipment. The longer season and hunting in November are the two biggest changes to fall turkey hunting in 2009.
Also, there is no need to suspend the hunt in November. Hunters may hunt turkeys during the November firearm deer season, although they must wear at least 400 square inches of hunter orange on their head, chest and back during the November firearm deer season.
No longer are there separate archery and shotgun fall seasons, with permits required for each respective weapon. Hunters only need to purchase a fall turkey hunting permit, then may harvest turkeys with either equipment.
In 2008, 11,335 fall turkey permits were sold and 8,775 birds were taken. Those numbers are expected to increase dramatically this year due to the large population of birds and the liberalized season.
“Fall turkey population numbers should be outstanding,” according to Kit Hams, big game program manager for the Commission.
“We have a record adult population and good spring weather resulted in big increases in the Summer Rural Mail Carrier Survey,” he said. “The summer survey results were up 40 percent from 2008 and up 230 percent from 2002. The Panhandle and central Nebraska regions increased the most, but all regions showed an increase in turkey numbers. In general, the number of birds should be the best we’ve ever seen in most areas.”
Fall turkey permits allow the harvest of two birds of either sex and are valid statewide. Nebraska turkey permits costs $24 for residents, $91 for nonresidents, and up to two fall permits per hunter can be purchased online or at any Commission office. Shooting hours are 30 minutes before sunrise to sunset.
For more information about turkey hunting regulations in Nebraska, go to OutdoorNebraska.org or pick up a copy of the 2009 Spring and Fall Turkey Hunting Seasons pamphlet, available at Commission offices and permit vendors across the state.