Nebraska Expands Turkey Season for the Spring
It's not often that hunters are offered a sure thing, but sometimes they get lucky. Due to successful wild turkey management efforts, the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission (NGPC) is expanding spring turkey hunting opportunities. Every licensed hunter who applies will now receive a wild turkey permit.
The decision evolved from a turkey hunter perceptions survey conducted through a partnership between the Nebraska Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation and the NGPC.
The survey results showed that 90 percent of turkey hunters believe that hunter numbers are not a problem. It also revealed that 74 percent said finding a place to hunt turkeys was easy, and most hunters felt the season was the right length.
"Turkey populations are growing, and we wanted to expand the season and allow hunters a better chance to harvest a turkey," said Kit Hams, NGPC biologist. "We are trying to provide a better experience for the hunter by implementing a wild turkey management plan."
During the 2004 spring gobbler season, U.S. Highway 81 will divide Nebraska into two hunt units, the West Unit and the East Missouri Unit. The West Unit will have one season lasting from April 15 to May 21, while the East Missouri Unit will have two seasons. The early season will last from April 15 to April 23, and the late season will last from April 24 to May 21. Hunters will be allowed two turkey permits, but only one can be for the East Missouri Unit. Archery hunters will have 21 additional turkey hunting days with their season starting on March 25 and ending on May 21.
According to Hams, Nebraska had a record season in 2003 with hunters taking more than 10,000 wild turkey gobblers. Ham predicts that turkey hunting will only become better in Nebraska as NGPC's wild turkey management plan is put into effect.
"This is a great success for turkey hunters in Nebraska. They have more opportunities to hunt wild turkeys than ever before," said Brandon Houck, NWTF regional biologist for Nebraska.
For more information, contact the NWTF at 1-800-THE-NWTF or visit the web site at www.nwtf.org.