To hunt Nebraska in the 2024 season, purchasing tags as early as possible will be advantageous. And while Nebraska is still one of the best states for hunting multiple subspecies of wild turkey (and hybrids), multiple changes began in 2023.
Changes include: hunters may purchase up to two spring permits instead of three; a hunter may harvest no more than one turkey per calendar day during the spring season; 10,000 spring permits were available for sale to nonresident hunters (now sold out), instead of an unlimited quantity as in the past; starting with the spring season, all turkey harvests must be reported via telecheck; and beginning in the spring season of 2023, it is also illegal to create a baited area on lands owned or controlled by the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission.
Fall 2023 changes include the season being shortened to Oct. 1 to Nov. 30; hunters are limited to one permit; and the bag limit for all hunters is lowered to one turkey.
“NGPC has seen alarming declines happening in neighboring states and are starting to feel the impact, too,” said Annie Farrell, NWTF district biologist for Texas, Oklahoma, Nebraska and Kansas. “This is not to say that the bag limit will stay reduced, but science needs to address the declines, be substantiated, and a solution needs to be implemented before we may see a future increase.”
NGPC is currently conducting the state's most significant wild turkey research project. The agency is contributing nearly $2 million to understanding the declines and perpetuating the future of our favorite game bird. This project is funded, in part, by the NWTF Nebraska State Chapter.
“This research will be the first of its kind in Nebraska,” said Andrew Little, assistant professor in the School of Natural Resources at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and co-lead on the project. “Nebraska is considered a destination wild turkey hunting state for many resident and nonresident hunters. With recent evidence of general population declines from Nebraska Game and Parks biologists and many other states across the U.S., now is the time to improve our understanding of wild turkey populations. This research will ensure the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission and landowners across Nebraska have the most current information to make informed land management decisions for wild turkey populations.”
In addition to the research, the NWTF Nebraska State Chapter is allocating funds to a variety of projects in 2023, including purchasing prescribed burning equipment, projects focused on removing invasive species, funding for NWTF’s Waterways for Wildlife Initiative and more. NWTF contributions will be matched with more than $4.7 million in partner funds in 2023.