Board of Commissioners Tables Waterfowl Recommendations

Outdoor Channel
Nebraska Game and Parks Commission

2200 N. 33rd Street
Lincoln, NE 68503
Contact: Jerry Kane

Board of Commissioners Tables Waterfowl Recommendations

LINCOLN, Neb. – The Nebraska Game and Parks Board of Commissioners tabled recommendations for the 2010 waterfowl hunting regulations at its meeting Thursday.

In tabling the recommendations, the board directed the wildlife staff to make further changes to the following seasons: duck, early Canada goose, dark goose, white-fronted goose, light goose, and falconry seasons. Some duck season dates would be moved to earlier dates, while more dark and white-fronted goose hunting days would be created later in the season.

The amended recommendations will be brought before the board in its next meeting, Aug. 31 at the Lake McConaughy State Recreation Area Visitor Center. The board then could approve them and set the seasons.

Much of the public hearing for the recommendations was spent discussing moving the season dates for the Low Plains Late and Low Plains Early duck seasons up one week. The board and staff also discussed opportunities and potential issues associated with creating more goose hunting opportunities in February.

The following are proposed Game and Parks staff recommendations for the waterfowl hunting seasons:

Early Teal – Low Plains, Sept. 4-19; High Plains, Sept. 4-12; bag limit, four; possession limit, eight

Early Canada Goose – Sept. 4-12; bag limit, eight; possession limit, 16

Youth Waterfowl – Sept. 25-26; bag and possession limits same as duck

Duck and Coot – Low Plains Early, Oct. 2-Dec. 12 and Dec. 18-19; Low Plains Late, Oct. 16-17 and Oct. 23-Jan. 2, 2011; High Plains, Oct. 9-Jan. 12, 2011; bag limit, conventional; possession limit, twice the daily bag

Dark Goose – East Unit, Oct. 23-Jan. 26, 2011; North Central Unit, Oct. 9-Jan. 21, 2011; Platte River Unit, Oct. 23-Jan. 16, 2011 and Jan. 22-Feb. 9, 2011; Panhandle Unit, Oct. 23-Jan. 16, 2011 and Jan. 22-Feb. 9, 2011; Niobrara Unit, Oct. 23-Feb. 4, 2011; bag limit, three; possession limit, twice the daily bag

White-fronted Goose (statewide) – Oct. 9-Dec. 17 and Feb. 5-6, 2011; bag limit, two (one for Feb. 5-6); possession limit, twice the daily bag

Light Goose – Regular Season (statewide), Oct. 9-Jan. 10, 2011; and Jan. 22-Feb. 9, 2011; bag limit, 20; possession limit, none. Conservation Action, Zone 1: Feb. 10-April 17, 2011; Zone 2: Feb. 10-April 1, 2011; Zone 3: Feb. 10-April 17, 2011; bag limit, none; possession limit, none

Crow – Statewide, Oct. 1-Nov. 15 and Jan. 20-April 6, 2011; Special Public Health Hazard Order (Buffalo, Kearney, Franklin, Phelps, Harlan, Dawson, and Lincoln counties only), Nov. 16-Jan. 19, 2011

Falconry – Extended season: Low Plains, Sept. 1-30 and concurrent with teal season dates within Low Plains Early and Late zones; High Plains: Concurrent with teal season dates within the High Plains zone; regular season – Low Plains Early, Oct. 2-Dec. 12 and Dec. 18-19; Low Plains Late, Oct. 16-17 and Oct. 23-Jan. 2, 2011; High Plains, Oct. 9-Jan. 12, 2011

In other business, the board changed the time structure of the big game hunting permit application periods. This will give the public more time to comment on initial big game recommendations and the commissioners more time to respond. In the past, commissioners considered and adopted big game recommendations in their March meeting. Beginning in 2011, they will consider recommendations in March and adopt them at their May meeting.

Because of this, the first application period now will be the third Monday in May through the first Friday in June. It will be for draw permits. Residents and eligible resident and nonresident landowners may apply for antelope and elk permits in selected units.

The second application period will be the second Monday in July through the end of the season. Residents, nonresidents and eligible landowners may purchase any remaining deer and antelope permits.

Another change is that beginning in the May 2011 application period, residents, resident landowners and nonresident landowners will be allowed to apply for elk permits. The preference system is weighted to favor residents, so it likely will take five or more years before a nonresident landowner draws a permit. Landowners must send their applications for elk permits to their local Game and Parks district office.

The board also approved resolutions that will allow the design of the Fort Kearny State Recreation Area Hike/Bike Trail bridge to begin. The bridge, which spans the north channel of the Platte River, was destroyed in a 2009 fire. The resolutions allow money that was designated for paving the trail instead to be used to build a new bridge.


-- The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers transferred management authority on 31.46 acres of land on Hamburg Bend to Game and Parks. The narrow strip of land lies on the riverward side of a federal levee and will become part of Hamburg Bend Wildlife Management Area.

-- Leo Benes of Firth won the Nebraska Super Tag lottery. His name was drawn by Gov. Dave Heineman. The permit is valid for one elk, one antelope, one deer, and two turkeys. There were 1,714 applications.

-- The Nebraska Chapter of the Safari Club International donated $10,000 to Game and Parks' Bighorn Sheep Program.

Firth Man Wins Nebraska Super Tag Lottery

LINCOLN, Neb. – Leo Benes of Firth won the first Nebraska Super Tag Lottery. His name was randomly drawn from a barrel by Gov. Dave Heineman at Thursday's meeting of the Nebraska Game and Parks Board of Commissioners.

The permit, offered for the first time this year, is valid for hunting in 2010 and 2011 and has a bag limit of one elk, one deer, one antelope, and two turkeys.

Benes, 50, is a battalion chief for the Lincoln Fire and Rescue Department. He learned he had won the lottery in the morning and came down to the Game and Parks headquarters to pick up his permit in the afternoon.

"It's pretty exciting because for 50 years I've wanted a high-powered rifle to do my own hunting with," Benes said. "I actually purchased one this year in anticipation of being able to get out and do a little hunting."

Benes has never hunted elk, antelope or turkey. He had planned an elk hunt in Colorado but will be changing those plans to Nebraska now. "I'm very much looking forward to the opportunity to travel out west and give it [elk hunting] a try."

There were 1,714 applicants who each paid $25 to enter the lottery, which is only available to Nebraska residents. Hunters who had drawn a once-in-a-lifetime bull elk tag also were eligible.

The permit allows Benes to hunt with any legal weapon in any open hunting unit during the general hunting season for each species.

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