Non-Migratory Game Species Season Opening Dates Set

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The Nebraska Game and Parks commissioners set application periods and season dates for the 2005 fall turkey hunting seasons, non-migratory game species seasons opening dates, set big game permit application dates, and addressed a variety of other issues at a meeting in Sidney January 20.

The fall archery turkey hunting season will open October 1 and the shotgun season will open October 15. The application period for fall turkey permits will begin August 8 and remain open until the end of the season.

The opening dates for 2005 non-migratory game species seasons will be: squirrel - August 1; elk (Boyd Unit) – August 15; archery antelope -- August 20; cottontail and jackrabbit – September 1; archery deer -- September 15; grouse -- September 17; muzzleloader antelope – September 17; elk (Bordeaux, Hat Creek, Ash Creek and Box Elder units) – September 24; fall archery turkey – October 1; rifle antelope – October 8; fall shotgun turkey – October 15; pheasant, quail, partridge – October 29 ; firearm deer -- November 12; muzzleloader deer – December 1.

There will be three application periods for deer permits again this year. The first application period will be April 11 - May 2, when residents may apply for one permit in units which are designated as Draw units. Applicants who were not issued a permit for any unit designated as a Draw unit in the previous year will be given preference.

The second application period will begin June 13, when residents may purchase a first permit in any unit, subject to availability. Eligible resident landowners may apply for landowner permits. The third period will begin June 27, when residents and nonresidents may apply for additional permit(s) subject to availability and within permit limits. Eligible nonresident landowners may apply.

There will be two application periods for antelope and elk permits. The first will be April 11 - May 2, when any resident or resident landowner may apply for an antelope or elk permit. The second application period will begin June 13, when remaining antelope permits will be available to residents, nonresidents and resident landowners. Remaining elk permits will be available to residents and resident landowners.

In other action, the commissioners:

– approved a recommendation to hold public hearing at the next commission meeting to consider amendments to regulations concerning the use of appropriate weapons at DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge;

– approved a recommendation to hold public hearing at the next commission meeting to adopt regulations for the 2005 antelope, deer and elk hunting seasons relating to permit types, permit quotas, unit boundaries, season dates, bag limits; areas open and weapons allowed;

– authorized staff to issue a revised Site Permit at Branched Oak Lake with the Nebraska Field Trial Association for an additional 20 year period;

– approved a staff recommendation to enter into a third party agreement with the City of Omaha which will allow a cost share of Federal, Sport Fish Restoration Program, and Boating Infrastructure funds that will be matched with funding from the City of Omaha to make improvements at N.P. Dodge Park. Improvements will include construction of 40 transient boat slips and an operable lock designed to maximize boater use and safety throughout seasonal river elevation changes;

– approved providing $250,000 to the City of Grand Island to complete development of its rifle and pistol shooting range facilities at the Cornhusker Ordinance Plant site;

– amended rules pertaining to dog training to allow to allow landowners, their lessees or guests to release and pursue pen-raised birds provided by the landowner for dog training purposes on private land. If any service relating to the procurement or release is provided by the landowner or lessee to bird harvesters, the landowner or lessee must have a Commission- authorized Game Breeding and Controlled Shooting Area Permit for the land to be used for dog training. However, persons conducting Commission-authorized field trials, youth-mentored hunts, or persons who have received designation as a “Private Dog Training Area” prior to November 12, 2004, are not required to have a Game Breeding and Controlled Shooting Area Permit. Only pen-raised hen pheasants, quail, partridge, mallards, and pigeons may be purchased and released for dog training purposes. Dog trainers are allowed to take two pen- reared hen pheasants and five pen-raised quail per dog per training session. There is no limit to the number of partridge or mallards that may be taken per training session. One training session is confined to sunrise to sunset.