Monday, March 05, 2007

NEBRASKA NEWS: Record Deer Harvest in 2006

Hunters killed a record total of 65,091 deer in Nebraska during the 2006 hunting seasons, 4,200 more deer than ever before, according to Kit Hams, the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission’s big game program manager.

During the November firearm season, hunters took 43,081 deer, a success rate of 61 percent; 4,164 deer were taken during the muzzleloader season, a success rate of 26 percent, compared to 4,771 deer in 2005; and archers took 4,596 deer, a success rate of 29 percent, compared to 4,283 deer taken by bowhunters in 2005.

Hams said there were records for the harvest of both mule deer and whitetails in 2006. There were 11,610 mule deer taken last year, compared to 11,149 in 2005. Hunters took 53,322 whitetails in 2006, compared to 49,587 in 2005.

The total buck harvest for 2006 was 42,186 deer as 77 percent of rifle hunters, 84 percent of archers, 77 percent of youth hunters and 60 percent of muzzleloaders took adult bucks. The total antlerless deer harvest was 22,492 deer, of which 55 percent were taken on antlerless-only tags.

Hams said the Commission is attempting to control deer populations across the state and that is best accomplished by removing antlerless deer from the herd. “Hunters took about 22,500 antlerless deer in 2006. Our goal is to increase the harvest of antlerless deer to 25,000-26,000 during the 2007 hunting seasons,” he said.

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