Deer harvest during the 2019 November firearm season in Nebraska is 2% ahead last year’s pace. During the nine-day season, there were 43,346 deer taken, compared to 42,466 in 2018.
Mule deer buck harvest decreased 9%, with 7,172 taken, compared to 7,925 in 2018. The average age of mule deer bucks is very good, with 50% of bucks at age 3 or older; the all-time high was 52% in 2018. Only 11% percent of the bucks were yearling bucks, which is an all-time low.
Whitetail buck harvest is up almost 8%, with 24,273 adult whitetail bucks harvested, compared to 22,562 in 2018. The average age of whitetail bucks also increased, with 40% of whitetail bucks estimated at age 3 or older, up from 37% in 2018.
Biologists also collected lymph nodes for chronic wasting disease (CWD) testing from more than 1,500 deer in Panhandle and northeast management units. Results should be available within the next two weeks. The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission will only notify a hunter if his or her deer tested positive for CWD.
Archery and muzzleloader seasons close Dec. 31. The late antlerless season ends Jan. 15.
Hunters are reminded that mule deer does are protected in many management units and public lands across the state. Refer to the 2019 Big Game Guide for details.
Hunters who wish to donate venison can use the Hunters Helping the Hungry (HHH) and Deer Exchange programs. As of Dec. 4, Oakland Meat Processing in Oakland and Kelley’s Custom Pack in North Platte have limited processing abilities, so hunters should call ahead. Go to OutdoorNebraska.org for more details and to make cash donations to HHH.
Also, the Antlerless Hunter Database is a new online tool that connects hunters who wish to harvest antlerless deer with landowners who are experiencing damage from deer on their property.
Visit OutdoorNebraska.gov/AntlerlessHunterDatabase for more information