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Nebraska muzzleloader deer season opens Dec. 1

From the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission

-- Excellent deer hunting opportunities remain in Nebraska as the muzzleloader season arrives. The season runs Dec. 1-31.

The recently completed firearm season proved that plenty of deer and large bucks are available. Those firearm hunters were hampered somewhat by the lagging corn harvest, but conditions are improving for December as that harvest continues.

A muzzleloader permit is valid statewide and has a bag limit of one deer of either sex and one antlerless white-tailed deer. The limit may be filled in any order.

"We encourage hunters to take antlerless female white-tailed deer," said Kit Hams, big game program manager with the Commission. "The use of binoculars or scopes will help hunters avoid buck fawns, which often are more visible than adult does or doe fawns. By this time of year, the small antler 'buttons' are 1-2 inches in length and visible."

There is an unlimited number of muzzleloader permits available again this year. Last year, 15,199 permits sold and 6,946 deer were taken.

Now that the firearm season has closed, hunters again have the option of checking deer electronically or at a check station. Hunters may check electronically by going to NEdeercheck.com or calling toll free (800) 405-7700 at any time.

The Deer Exchange remains available, too. Donors and recipients of venison may register for free at ngpc.state.ne.us/hunting/programs/deerexchange/.

Open Fields and Waters Program lands, popular with firearm hunters, are a good option for muzzleloader hunters. This program has more than 36,000 acres of private land available for public walk-in hunting access. Check the 2009 Nebraska Public Access Atlas for tracts in each county.

Permits may be purchased at Commission permitting offices and at OutdoorNebraska.org. A habitat stamp is required of all deer hunters, except residents age 15 or younger.

For more information on deer hunting, visit OutdoorNebraska.org or read the 2009 Nebraska Big Game Guide.

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