Nebraska deer hunters produced a big year in 2010, setting records for overall and antlerless whitetail harvest, according to the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission.
The total deer harvest during the 2010 season was 88,034 (77,028 whitetails and 10,709 mule deer). While a record 37,967 whitetail bucks were killed, a record 39,198 antlerless whitetails also were killed –marking the first time the antlerless whitetail harvest surpassed whitetail buck harvest.
The antlerless whitetail harvest increased by nearly 9,000 from 2009. Bonus tags, antlerless-first mandates in some units, additional hunting opportunities, and $6 youth permits all contributed to the antlerless whitetail harvest.
Here are other highlights to the 2010 big game hunting seasons:
• A record 141,573 deer permits were sold. The number of firearm permits sold increased while the number of archery and muzzleloader permits sold decreased from 2009.
• Deer hunter success rates were 68 percent for firearm, 40 for archery and 37 for muzzleloader.
• Electronic checking helped wildlife managers obtain harvest information faster. There were 25,000 deer checked via telephone or online.
• The first year of the $6 youth deer permit was popular, with 11,255 permits sold.
• Age structure of whitetails and mule deer bucks continues to improve. A record 75 percent of whitetail bucks and 83 percent of mule deer bucks taken were age 2 or older.
• Record numbers of youth (11,255) and nonresident (15,300) permits were sold.
• A record 166 elk were harvested–77 bulls and 89 cows.
• There were 793 antelope harvested, including 509 in the firearm season, 185 in the archery season and 99 in the muzzleloader season.