The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission during its Friday morning meeting at Pinnacle Bank approved numerous proposals affecting the 2018 waterfowl hunting season.
Jerry Kane, public information officer for Nebraska Game and Parks, said that significant changes weren’t made to this year’s hunting recommendations and that most changes – particularly relating to a season's time frame – are directly related to annual calendar changes.
One notable shift made this waterfowl season was extending the white-fronted goose season from a 74-day season to an 88-day season, and reducing the daily bag limit from three birds to two.
The 14-day extension provides white-fronted goose hunters additional hunting opportunities, Kane said. The framework set forth by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service dictates a three-bird daily limit for a 74-day season and a two-bird daily limit for an 88-day season, he said.
Setting the parameters for a new hunting season is a joint effort between the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and state wildlife services, he said. If necessary, state officials have the authority to set a more conservative season but never a more liberal one, he added.
During the 8 a.m. public hearing, representatives from the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission and several camouflage-clad hunters gathered in a downstairs meeting room to address several proposed bird recommendations.
Kane said during a Monday interview with the Telegram that the Commission holds six meetings yearly in different state locations so that members of the public from a variety of communities can play a role in the process through the public hearing format. In April, the Commission is hosting a public hearing addressing Big Game recommendations.
“They kind of move around all over the state to give people living in different parts a chance to come to a meeting and provide their feedback,” Kane said.
During the gathering recommendations were presented, a public hearing was held and Commission comments were made before a final vote approved every recommendation.
Approved hunting dates include:
Early Teal – Low Plains: Sept. 1-16; High Plains: Sept. 1-9; Daily bag limit: six; Possession limit: Three times the daily bag limit
Youth Waterfowl – Zone 1: Oct. 6-7; Zone 2: Sept. 29-30; Zone 3: Oct. 20-21; Zone 4: Sept. 29-30; Daily bag and possession limits same as regular duck season
Duck and Coot – Zone 1: Oct. 13-Dec. 25; Zone 2: Oct. 6-Dec. 18 and Jan. 7-27; Zone 3: Oct. 25-Jan. 6 and Jan. 7-27; Zone 4: Oct. 6-Dec. 18; Daily bag limit: six (with restrictions); Possession limit: Three times the daily bag limit
Dark Goose – East Unit: Oct. 29-Feb. 10; Niobrara Unit: Oct. 29-Feb. 10; North Central Unit: Oct. 6-Jan. 18; Panhandle Unit: Oct. 29-Feb. 10; Platte River Unit: Oct. 29-Feb. 10; Daily bag limit: five; Possession limit: Three times the daily bag limit
White-fronted Goose – Statewide: Oct. 6-Dec. 9 and Jan. 19-Feb. 10; Daily bag limit: two; Possession limit: Three times the daily bag limit
Light Goose Regular Season – Statewide: Oct. 6-Dec. 26 and Jan. 19-Feb. 10; Daily bag limit: 50; Possession limit: none
Light Goose Conservation Order – East Zone: Feb. 11-April 15; West Zone: Feb. 11-April 5; Rainwater Basin Zone: Feb. 11-April 5; Daily bag and possession limits: none
Crow – Statewide: Oct. 15-Dec. 15 and Jan. 13-March 14
Falconry – Zone 1: Feb. 25-March 10; Zone 2: Low Plains: Feb. 25-March 10; High Plains: Concurrent with all duck season dates in High Plains Zone; Zone 3: Low Plains: Feb. 25-March 10; High Plains: Concurrent with all duck season dates in High Plains Zone; Zone 4: Feb. 25-March 10.