Hunters liked what they experienced while pursuing wild turkeys in Nebraska this spring according to an annual survey by the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission.
Almost all respondents — more than 96 percent — of the 2017 turkey hunter survey said they would hunt Nebraska again based on their experiences.
Commission officials often point out that Nebraska enjoys abundant populations of turkeys throughout the state, high hunter success rates, long seasons and ample availability of permits. Multiple permits are available for each hunter and the state features $8 youth permits, considered a bargain.
Nebraska’s turkey population has flourished since the Commission reintroduced the species in the 1950s. Permit sales and hunter success have also climbed, with more than 20,000 birds harvested this spring at a success rate topping 67 percent.
Among non-residents, Colorado and Minnesota topped states survey respondents called home. The non-residents were more likely than residents to prefer turkeys of one subspecies to others, with about 49 percent indicating that they were chasing the Merriam’s subspecies. Those turkeys are most common in the Panhandle and Niobrara River valley, which also lay claim to most of the state’s public land.
The full report and more information about turkey hunting in Nebraska is online at outdoornebraska.gov/wildturkey.
Nebraska’s spring turkey seasons begin in March and April but hunters do not have to wait that long to bag one of the big birds. The fall season, which allows harvest of both toms and hens, is underway and runs through Jan. 31, 2018.