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Spring turkey season opens March 25 for archers

From the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission

-- Spring turkey hunting season opens across Nebraska for archers and youth archers on March 25, with an April 9 opening for youth shotgunners and an April 16 opening for adult shotgunners. All spring turkey seasons close May. 31.

A spring turkey permit or spring youth turkey permit allows a person to hunt with archery equipment during the archery season and a shotgun during the shotgun season. Each hunter may have as many as three permits. The bag limit is one male or bearded female turkey per permit.

A spring turkey permit and a Nebraska Habitat Stamp are required. Residents younger than age 16 do not require a stamp. While there is no minimum age requirement to hunt turkeys, there is a hunter education requirement.

In Nebraska, any hunter age 12 through 29 must complete firearm hunter education if hunting with a firearm or crossbow, or complete bow hunter education if hunting deer, antelope, elk or bighorn sheep with a bow and arrow. In all cases, these hunters must carry proof of hunter education.

When hunting with a firearm or crossbow, hunters younger than age 12 must be accompanied at all times and  under direct supervision of a person who is at least 19 years old and has a valid hunting permit.

Accompanying persons age 19 through 29 must have completed firearm hunter education if hunting with a firearm or crossbow or have completed bow hunter education if hunting with a bow and arrow. The accompanying person must at all times be in unaided visual and verbal communication with no more than two hunters.

To find a list of hunter education classes or places where to pattern a shotgun, visit http://outdoornebraska.ne.gov/hunting/programs/education/hunted.asp. Permits may be purchased at http://outdoornebraska.ne.gov/hunting/Services.asp.

The Game and Parks Commission also reminds hunters the most important thing to remember when hunting is safety.

Two main causes of incidents in which turkey hunters are injured are shooting at sound and movement and shooting down range of a turkey.

To prevent accidental shootings, always identify the target and know what is beyond the target.

Spring turkey hunters are camouflaged to try to be invisible to turkeys. That also means they may be difficult for other hunters to see, as well.

Never stalk a turkey; it could be another hunter. So, if you are that other hunter, show some hunter orange when you are on the move and do not wear red, blue or white, which are the colors found in turkeys.

As a hunter, if  you believe another hunter is stalking you, call out to make the hunter alert to your presence.

Hunters should follow general firearm hunting safety tips:

-- Treat each firearm as if it is loaded.
-- Keep the firearm muzzle pointed in a safe direction.
-- Never point a firearm at anything you do not want to shoot.
-- Know your target and what is beyond it.
-- Keep the barrel and action clear of obstructions.
-- Unload guns when not in use.
-- Store guns and ammunition in separate locked locations.
-- Never climb over a fence or creek or into a tree stand with a loaded firearm.
-- Never shoot at a flat, hard surface or water.

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