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Open Fields and Waters Program

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The Open Fields and Waters Program is a statewide program that focuses to expand hunter and angler access to private lands.

Browse through or download the brochure

Purpose of the Program

The program was created as a component of the Commission's Recruitment, Development and Retention (RDR) plan, which seeks to increase the participation of hunters and anglers in Nebraska. The number of hunters and anglers in Nebraska has been in decline for years. The RDR plan is an effort to ensure that the state's rich outdoor heritage is passed on to future generations. The motivation for the Open Fields and Waters Program is to attract new or inactive hunters and anglers, especially into activities with expanding opportunities, such as deer and spring turkey hunting.

Are you a Landowner ?

If you are a landowner looking to enroll your property in the program here's How to Enroll Your Land in Open Fields and Waters.

Nebraska landowners talk about Open Fields and Waters Program

Benefits to Landowners

  • Receive payments on a per-acre basis for land or water enrolled.
  • Protection under the Nebraska Recreation Liability Act for allowing access.
  • Hunters and anglers would be provided walk-in access. No vehicles are allowed, except on trails specified by the landowner.
  • Help ensure Nebraska's rich outdoor heritage by allowing expanded hunting and fishing opportunities.
  • Play a role in conservation by providing a means to control problematic wildlife populations.
  • Signs will be posted on enrolled lands by Commission staff.
  • All enrolled lands will be published in an atlas.
  • Encourage hunting and fishing, which will lead to increased conservation funding and actions.

Landowner Liability
Landowners and tenants who enroll in OFW are afforded some protection from liability through the Nebraska Recreation Liability Act. The Nebraska Recreation Liability Act (Nebraska Statutes 37-1001 to 378-1008) states the following: Landowners or tenants do not assume responsibility or incur liability for injury to any persons who enter land opened to public hunting under agreement with the state.

Note: For legal purposes consult Nebraska Game Laws handbook.

Public Access Atlas

Are you a Hunter/Angler?

If you are a hunter/angler looking for public access sites to hunt/fish here's the Public Access Information.




Hunter Angler Information Overview

Hunter Guidelines for OFW Walk-In Tracts

  • Hunt only on OFW property. Do not walk or hunt on adjacent property. Allow a buffer around livestock and buildings. OFW tracts are for walk-in hunting only. Do not enter properties with vehicles. Do not open gates. Park along the road or in areas designated as parking areas. Avoid stretching fences when crossing them.
  • OFW tracts are for hunting only. Other activities such as target shooting, camping, horseback riding, or professional dog training are NOT included in the contracts and, therefore, are prohibited.
  • Obey all Nebraska hunting regulations and respect the rights of the landowners when using the area. Treat the land as if it were your own and act responsibly. Current OFW contracts are only for one year. Hunter behavior will decide the future enrollment of these areas.
  • Take all your trash with you when you leave an area. Make an effort to pick up any trash left by others.
  • OFW tracts are open during the hunting season.

On occasion, some tracts of land enrolled in OFW may be removed from the program. Make sure the land you are entering is posted with "OFW Hunting Permitted" signs like the one illustrated in the publication. If you arrive at a OFW tract, where adjacent haying or grazing has occurred, do not be too concerned. Portions of some OFW fields were hayed or grazed and are NOT included in this program.


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Nebraska Game and Parks Commission - 2200 N. 33rd St. Lincoln, NE 68503 - 402-471-0641

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