LINCOLN, Neb. – Grouse hunting season opens Sept. 1, and hunters should find good opportunities in the Sandhills, as well as part of southeast Nebraska.
The grouse (prairie chicken and sharp-tailed grouse) season closes Jan. 31, 2013.
Breeding ground and rural mail carrier surveys indicate grouse are stable to increasing statewide. The core of the grouse range in Nebraska is the Sandhills, which will offer the best opportunities west of U.S. Hwy. 81. East of U.S. Hwy. 81, continued loss of grassland habitat to agriculture, particularly in the southeast prairie chicken range, has impacted overall abundance in the region. Southwest Johnson and western Pawnee counties have a fair amount of Open Field and Waters Program acres that should provide good prairie chicken hunting.
A special permit is required to hunt grouse east of U.S. 81. A Nebraska hunting permit and habitat stamp are required of anyone, except residents under age 16, who hunts grouse in the state.
The special permits are limited to one per hunter and available on a first-come, first-served basis. To request a special permit, call Game and Parks at 402-471-5597 or visit the Lincoln headquarters.
The information required for application includes: name, address, date of birth, telephone number and 2012 hunting permit number or lifetime hunting permit number. Residents ages 12 to 15 must submit a hunter education number. Those not required to purchase a hunting permit must provide documentation of such exemption.
The daily bag and possession limits east of U.S. 81 are three and three, respectively. West of U.S. 81, the limits are three and 12, respectively.