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Nebraska's antlerless deer season pens Oct. 2

From the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission

-- Nebraska's October antlerless deer season opens Oct. 2,  giving hunters an opportunity to harvest two deer with one $11 permit.

This season was created in 2009 to allow for the additional harvest of antlerless white-tailed deer. The hunting unit included two Season Choice Areas along the Missouri River and the season was three days. This year, however, the open area includes most of eastern and north-central Nebraska, roughly half the state, Oct. 2 to 11.

"Last year, 555 permits were issued, with a harvest of less than 300 deer," said Kit Hams, big game program manager. "This year we hope to have 5,000 or more hunters participating."

There is an unlimited number of the $11 permits ($55 for nonresidents) available, and there is no limit to the number of October antlerless permits a hunter may purchase. The bag limit is two antlerless whitetails per permit. Permits may be purchased at OutdoorNebraska.org.

A holder of an October antlerless permit may use archery equipment, muzzleloader, centerfire rifle, or crossbow. Holders of youth, landowner or Season Choice Area permits who hunt within the boundaries of the October Antlerless unit may hunt with archery equipment or firearms during the October Antlerless season, but they may take only antlerless deer if using a firearm.

"There is a lot of excitement about this season," Hams said. "More than 1,600 permits had been issued by the end of August. The forecast is for cool weather and corn is already being harvested, so we expect conditions to be nearly perfect for a record deer harvest. Hunters should cool the carcass with ice and get it processed as soon as possible."

Game and Parks reminds hunters of programs available this fall:

Antlerless Deer Hunter Program - The purpose is to increase antlerless deer harvest in areas with excessive crop damage by helping landowners find hunters who will shoot does. This program allows hunters who wish to harvest antlerless deer to register at http://outdoornebraska.ne.gov/antlerless/AntlerlessForms/Default.aspx. Landowners who need hunters to harvest deer may go to the site and search for hunters by county, and then contact the hunters by telephone or e-mail.

Deer Exchange Program - This is designed to accommodate additional deer harvest. It allows hunters who already have filled their freezers with venison to donate venison to those who have signed up to receive it - free. For more information, visit http://outdoornebraska.ne.gov/hunting/programs/deerexchange/.

Telecheck - This program allows deer to be checked in over a telephone or the internet. Deer harvested during the archery  season Sept. 15 to Nov. 12 and Nov. 22 to Dec. 31,  and October Antlerless seasons must be checked in via Telecheck. Check stations are only available during the November Firearm season. Visit http://outdoornebraska.ne.gov/hunting/guides/biggame/bgtelecheck.asp or read the 2010 Big Game Guide for more information.

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