Spring Turkey Season
There’s still time for hunters to experience the thrill of taking a turkey before Nebraska’s 2005 spring archery and shotgun turkey hunting seasons close at sunset on May 22.
Before the spring turkey season, the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission’s Big Game Program Manager Kit Hams said, “Nebraska’s turkey population is excellent this year, we have more turkeys than hunters. We also have a long season and our public hunting areas shouldn’t be crowded because a lot of people hunt turkeys on private land. It should be an excellent season.”
Reports from the field indicate his prediction was right; both shotgunners and bowhunters are having success.
Nebraska has a large number of turkeys in most areas. A conservation officer in the southeastern Nebraska called the number of birds he saw on opening day of the shotgun season “amazing.”
Hams said his picks for the best areas to hunt this year are Boyd, Holt, Knox and Antelope counties in the northeastern part of the state and along the Republican River in the southwest. For hunters specifically after a Merriam turkey, the best opportunities are in the Pine Ridge area of the Panhandle, where there are more than 100,000 acres of public land. .
This year an unlimited number of permits were authorized for both the archery and shotgun seasons, so hunters still have an opportunity to get their first or second permit and hunt before the seasons close. Permits may be easily purchased online at www.outdoornebraska.org, or at any Nebraska Game and Parks Commission permitting office.
Because fewer hunters are in the field late in the season, this is an ideal time to buy your 12- to 15-year-old son or daughter one of the new youth turkey hunting permits and introduce him or her to turkey hunting. The youth permit allows the young hunter to hunt statewide during the regular shotgun and archery seasons as well as with a shotgun during the week before the regular shotgun season.
A hunter may have only two turkey permits of any type for the spring season. Only one shotgun permit for the East Missouri Unit may be obtained, except that a limited landowner permit for the East Missouri Unit will not count toward the one shotgun-permit limit in that unit.
Nebraska resident turkey hunting permits for both shotgun and archery hunters are $21, nonresident permits are $66. A current Nebraska Habitat Stamp is required of every resident 16 years of age or older who hunts game species or takes furbearers in Nebraska. All nonresidents, regardless of age, must have a habitat stamp to hunt game species or to harvest furbearers. Habitat stamps may be purchased for $13 from Commission offices, online, or from permit vendors across the state. During the spring shotgun and archery turkey hunting seasons, hunters are allowed to take one male or bearded female turkey. Shooting hours are 30 minutes before sunrise to sunset.