LINCOLN, Neb. – The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission will accept lottery applications for mountain lion permits Nov. 1 – Dec. 8, 2021, for the 2022 hunting season.

Permits are available only to Nebraska residents, who may have one permit per calendar year. The bag limit for each permit is one mountain lion of either sex.

The 2022 Season 1 in the Pine Ridge Unit will be Jan. 2-Feb. 28. Before Feb. 28, the season will close immediately if either the annual harvest limit of four mountain lions or sublimit of two female mountain lions is reached. There will be 320 permits issued and hunting with dogs will not be allowed.

If the harvest limit is not reached in Season 1, an Auxiliary Season will be held March 12-31. The season will close immediately if either the harvest limit or sublimit is reached. Unsuccessful Season 1 hunters may apply to convert the permit to an Auxiliary Season permit. There will be one permit issued for each mountain lion remaining in the harvest limit. Hunting with dogs will be allowed.

Applications will be accepted from 1 p.m. Central time Nov. 1 through 5 p.m. (11:59 p.m. if applying online) Dec. 8. Visit OutdoorNebraska.org to apply online or download an application at OutdoorNebraska.gov/mountainlionhunting. A $15 nonrefundable application fee must be submitted with each application.

A harvest will allow the mountain lion population to remain resilient and healthy, while halting growth or moderately reducing the population size. This will maintain the population density in the Pine Ridge at a similar level to that of other states that allow mountain lion hunting.

To read more mountain lion hunting regulations, go to OutdoorNebraska.gov/mountainlionhunting.


Follow a few safety rules while enjoying upland bird opener

LINCOLN, Neb. – Excitement is building for Nebraska upland bird hunters as the Oct. 30 opener of the pheasant and northern bobwhite season approaches.

The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission reminds hunters of the following safety tips when pursuing upland game:

• Always keep the shotgun’s muzzle pointed in a safe direction.

• Keep your finger off the trigger until ready to fire.

• Properly identify your target and what lies beyond it before pulling the trigger.

• Know where everyone in your hunting group is located at all times and be in direct communication. Keep shots in your safe zone of fire, approximately 45 degrees in in front of you, and do not swing on game in the direction of your partners.

• Wear hunter orange. Blaze orange on your head, chest and back will make you more visible to those around you and has been responsible for an 80% drop in hunting incidents since the 1970s.

• Be sure to completely unload your firearm when crossing obstacles such as barbed-wire fences, ditches and creeks.

Hunting continues to be a safe family-oriented activity in Nebraska, with the number of incidents dropping to an all-time low since recordkeeping began in the 1970s. By following a few simple safety tips, hunters and their families can enjoy their time spent afield.

Catch these Game and Parks education events in November

LINCOLN, Neb. – Nebraska Game and Parks Commission educators have scheduled interesting and engaging events for the curious in November. Here are a few opportunities:

Little Saplings early childhood series presents Fall Colors

LINCOLN, Neb. – The Little Saplings early childhood nature discovery program will have the program, Fall Colors, in its monthly series at Schramm Education Center at 9 a.m. Nov. 3.

The series, which is designed for children ages 2-5 and their adult caregiver, will bring nature themes to life through stories, sensory activities, crafts and outdoor exploration. The series is on the first Wednesday each month.

The remaining program in the series is Night Animals set for Dec. 1.

See the calendar event entry at calendar.outdoornebraska.gov for more information.

Nebraska Nature Nerd Night to discuss stories from field

LINCOLN, Neb. – Just like in any other line of work, field researchers can have bad or strange days, too. Join Nebraska Nature Nerd Night at 7 p.m. Nov. 16 for a virtual chat. Research scientists will share stories about the comical and sometimes strange side of studying the natural world.

The event is part of the monthly Nebraska Nature Nerd Night virtual series for curious adults. These webinars, on the third Tuesday of each month, explore the secrets and science of nature through storytelling and conversation.

Registration is required. See the calendar event entry at calendar.outdoornebraska.gov for the registration link or more information. Questions for the guest may be submitted during registration.

Homeschool Hikes set for Nov. 17 at Schramm Park SRA

LINCOLN, Neb. – Come to Schramm Park State Recreation Area on Nov. 17 for Homeschool Hikes, a new nature exploration program at for homeschool families. The four-month series, which began in September, is at 9 a.m. on the third Wednesday of the month

An outdoor educator will lead a guided hike while participants ask questions, draw, observe and make discoveries in nature.

Visit the event listing at calendar.outdoornebraska.gov for more information and to register.

Conservation Career Chat: Park superintendent

LINCOLN, Neb. – Join the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission on Nov. 17 in its series of virtual Conservation Career Chats. Katie Leware will discuss her duties as an assistant park superintendent at Ponca State Park.

The series, at 10 a.m. Central time via Zoom on the third Wednesday of each month, highlights a different Game and Parks career. Each interview is recorded and uploaded to the Nebraska Game and Parks Education YouTube Channel.

See the calendar event entry at calendar.outdoornebraska.gov for the registration link as well as a schedule of future Conservation Career Chats.

For more information, contact [email protected] or check out the Nebraska Wildlife Education Facebook page.

Game and Parks open for deer permit sales Veterans Day, two Saturdays

LINCOLN, Neb. – Nebraska Game and Parks Commission offices will be open to serve deer hunters seeking permits on three days otherwise closed in November.

Offices will be open for permit sales Nov. 6, the Saturday of the Special Landowner Deer Season; Nov. 11, Veterans Day; and Nov. 13, the first Saturday of November Firearm Deer Season.

The headquarters in Lincoln, district offices in Norfolk, North Platte and Alliance, and service centers in Schramm Education Center near Gretna, Kearney and Bassett will be open 8 a.m.-5 p.m. for permit sales only. For details on these locations, visit outdoornebraska.gov/locations.

The Omaha service center will be open 9 a.m.-noon but answering phones until 5 p.m. on Nov. 6, open 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Nov. 11, and answering phones only 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Nov. 13.

For more information on deer permits, read the Big Game Guide at outdoornebraska.gov/guides.


Game and Parks’ Remund, Seitz honored for work in quail management

LINCOLN, Neb. – Two Nebraska Game and Parks Commission public land managers recently were honored for their work in quail restoration and management.

Mike Remund and Brad Seitz each were presented the National Bobwhite Conservation Initiative’s National Fire Bird Conservation Award at Game and Parks’ Oct. 22 meeting in North Platte.

The NBCI, according to its website, is a unified effort involving numerous state fish and wildlife agencies — including Game and Parks — and conservation organizations aimed at restoring and maintaining wild bobwhite populations throughout their native range. At the NBCI's annual meeting, the National Fire Bird Conservation Award is given to individuals or groups to recognize their contributions to quail conservation.

Seitz, based at Meridian Wildlife Management Area in Thayer County, and Remund, based at Osage WMA in Johnson County, each have more than 40 years of experience managing habitat for bobwhites in southeastern Nebraska, said John Laux, Game and Parks’ upland game program manager and the state’s quail coordinator.

“Remund played an integral role in developing the Johnson County and Hickory Ridge WMA Focus on Pheasants Initiatives back in 2008 and has helped develop a number of innovative management techniques on his WMAs that others now use throughout the state’s quail range,” he said.

“Likewise, Seitz helped initiate the Meridian Quail Initiative in 2015 as part of the NBCI’s Coordinated Implementation Program, assisting with landowner outreach and habitat tours, and continues to intensively manage Meridian and Alexandria WMAs specifically for bobwhites,” he added.

Both land managers have extensive experience with prescribed fire and collectively burn thousands of acres annually across a variety of habitat types on their WMAs, Laux said.

“Perhaps their best attribute is their willingness to share their knowledge and passion for quail and quail management with others,” said Laux. “These two have mentored dozens of up-and-coming biologists over the years, which has been invaluable to our agency and the conservation community as a whole.

“When you think about quail conservation in Nebraska, it’s hard to not think of Mike and Brad,” Laux said.

Check stations back in use for nine-day firearm deer hunters this year

LINCOLN, Neb. – Deer hunters are reminded that in-person check stations will be used during the nine-day firearm season this year.

All deer harvested during the Nov. 13-21 season must be accompanied by the hunter and taken to a check station no later than 1 p.m. on the day following the close of the season.

Check stations change from year to year, so hunters are urged to find their locations before they hunt. A list may be found on the 2021 deer regulations sheet, which, along with maps and information, is available at outdoornebraska.gov/deer and outdoornebraska.gov/huntingseasons. An interactive map of check stations can be found at outdoornebraska.gov/maps.

Game and Parks staff will collect lymph nodes from select harvested deer to sample for chronic wasting disease at check stations in the Wahoo, Blue Southeast and Blue Northwest units. They will take samples for CWD and meningeal brain worm in the Buffalo, Platte and Republican units.

When checking in a deer, the permit and check station seal number or check station verification number must be retained when transporting all or a portion of the carcass to a point of permanent storage or processing.

Deer harvested during the Nov. 6-8 Special Landowner season must be checked via Telecheck; the website and phone number to contact are printed on the permit.


Check boats, lifts, and docks for invasive aquatic hitchhikers as weather cools

LINCOLN, Neb. –Nebraskans are urged to check boats, boat lifts and docks for invasive species when removing them from water bodies for the winter.

Aquatic hitchhikers like zebra mussels can live up to two weeks out of water, and several lakes across the Midwest are first noticed to be infested by people removing boats, lifts and docks for the winter.

Young zebra mussels – or veligers – are invisible to the naked eye and can be spread through drops of water left undrained. All boat lifts and docks should remain out of the water and dried for 21 days before placing them into another water body.

A zebra mussel is a highly invasive aquatic species that looks like a D-shaped clam, with alternating light and dark bands. Most zebra mussels are less than an inch long. They form dense colonies and filter large quantities of plankton from water, decreasing the food supply for native species. In addition, these mussels pollute swimming areas with sharp shells and clog water intake pipes.

The Missouri River has an existing zebra mussel population along its entire length downstream of Gavins Point Dam. Lewis and Clark Lake, Lake Yankton and the Offutt Base Lake are the only other confirmed Nebraska waters that have established zebra mussel populations.

The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission annually samples dozens of lakes for early sign of zebra mussels. It also not only inspects watercraft for invasive species each year, but in 2021, it set a record by inspecting more than 2,000 watercraft.

“In Nebraska, we are fortunate we do not have more lakes infested with zebra mussels,” said Kristopher Stahr, Nebraska Game and Parks Commission aquatic invasive species program manager. “To keep our lakes invasive-free, we need everyone to always clean, drain and dry their watercraft and to report new infestations quickly.”

Game and Parks regulations require anglers, hunters and boaters conduct clean, drain and dry procedures before leaving a water body and are not allowed to arrive at a water body with any water from another water body. Visit stopaquatichitchhikers.org for details and for more information on aquatic invasive species.

Report any suspected observation of zebra mussels or other aquatic invasive species to Game and Parks at 402-471-7602 or at [email protected].