Legal description of Deer:
Buck – A deer having at least one antler six inches or more in length.
Antlerless – A deer with no antlers or antlers no more than six inches in length.
Deer Identification Sheet
How Many Deer Permits May I Have?
Hunters may obtain no more than two permits each year that allow them to harvest a buck. There is no limit to the number of antlerless-only permits hunters may have.
Deer Exchange Program
The Deer Exchange is designed to accommodate the additional harvest of deer. Venison donors and willing recipients may contact each other and work out the details of a meat transfer. While the venison may not be sold, recipients may pay for the processing or butchering of the meat. This gives hunters who have filled their freezers an outlet for their excess meat.
Chronic Wasting Disease
Due to a decrease in available funding the Chronic Wasting Disease surveillance conducted during the 2011 firearm deer season concentrated in management units through the center of the state, or along the leading edge of the disease. In addition, sampling was conducted in the Pine Ridge Unit to determine prevalence (6%). A total of 1,565 deer was tested, with 26 being confirmed positive. Counties with new positives included Buffalo, Custer and Holt. A similar surveillance effort is planned for this year. A total of 50 deer exhibiting clinical symptoms was submitted to the UNL diagnostic laboratory for CWD testing. One mule deer from Garden County tested positive.
This disease continues to slowly spread from west to east across the state and increase in prevalence. There is nothing to indicate this is likely to change in the foreseeable future. In all likelihood federal funding for surveillance will be gone after this year. The following map is provided as a summary of the disease’s spread.
Nebraska Domestic Cervid Facilities
The Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA) is responsible for licensing and inspection of domestic cervid facilities. They have reported a third facility testing positive for CWD. This latest facility is near Chadron (Rocking Heart Ranch). The other two are at Oshkosh (Pollard) and Harrison (Edwards). It is now the intention of the NDA to create management plans for the facilities that test positive for CWD located within the endemic area. These plans will allow them to continue operation. Plans include indefinite quarantine, restrictions on movement in and out of pens, restrictions on the purchase and sale of animals and additional testing requirements.
CWD in Wisconsin
A CWD positive free ranging deer was discovered in Northwest Wisconsin. This represents a disturbing leap from their endemic area in Southeast Wisconsin. The deer was located near Shell Lake. This location will put the Minnesota DNR on alert due to the proximity with the border.
CWD in Missouri
Three More Cases of Chronic Wasting Disease Found in Free-ranging Deer in Macon County, Missouri
CWD surveillance has confirmed 3 more free ranging deer positives in Macon County, Missouri near the positive captive facility in that area. This brings the total to 4 in free-ranging deer.
In 2011 there were 30 sick mule deer with symptoms associated with meningeal worm infection submitted to the UNL Veterinary Diagnostic Center for testing. A total of 19 was confirmed positive or possibly infected (parasite tracks). In 2010 there were 36 deer submitted and 17 confirmed positive or possibly infected. To date, 8 deer have been submitted in 2012 to the UNL diagnostic laboratory for meningeal worm testing, with 4 testing positive.
In 2011 there were 6 confirmed mule deer mortalities attributed to the foreign chewing louse Bovicola tibialis. There were 8 confirmed in 2010. There have been no deer confirmed positive for lice in 2012. Apparently these foreign lice don’t find Nebraska as hospitable as Oregon or Washington.
Alberta Bighorn Sheep
Protocol provided by USDA-Live Animal Imports required brucellosis testing of the bighorn sheep brought in from Alberta. Tests were run for Brucella abortus, Brucella melitensis and Brucella ovis. All 41 bighorn sheep were negative for these species of brucellosis.