It just so happens that the turkey population is exploding in Nebraska, even with an exceptionally long turkey season. Unfortunately, Nebraska’s Game and Parks Commission is truncating the 2023 season, so get in on it while you still can.
Nebraska is still a state where you can get to know local farmers and hunt on their land with full permission. There is a lot of public land to go around, but it’s good to know that Nebraskans are neighborly and welcome those who can’t afford expensive hunting clubs and guided turkey hunting tours.
That’s a good thing because Nebraska is a turkey hunter’s dream with over 20,000 turkeys bagged in 2021 and a roughly equivalent number in 2020. For that reason, Nebraska turkey hunting is more likely to fill your fryer this year.
Where is The Best Turkey Hunting in Nebraska
According to most Nebraskans, and those that live close to the state line, Nebraska is the best place for turkey hunting—as in the entire state. Nebraska has over a million acres of public real estate available for turkey hunters.
Lincoln county and Dawes county hold the Loess Canyons between them, and some of the best turkey hunting in the entire state goes on there. Archery season kicks off in late March, followed by a youth shotgun season and a regular shotgun season to round out the month of April.
For Fall turkey hunting season, Lake McConaughy in Keith County is one of the best spots around. Central Nebraska, not necessarily naming a specific place, is the most heavily populated. In fact, Nebraska has become so overrun with turkeys that some farmers consider them pests and want them gone.
That’s why it’s always a good idea to chat with farmers whenever you get a chance. Odds are, you’ll run into someone looking for “pest” control, and you’re just the person to do it for them.
How much does it Cost to Turkey Hunt in Nebraska
Spring turkey season officially ends on the final day of May. It’s not too difficult to obtain a permit either. For Nebraska residents, a permit costs $30 and $8 for kids. Permits are available online or at Nebraska Game and Parks permitting offices throughout the state.
If you’re a non-resident, it’s just as easy to obtain a permit, but it costs $128. Keep in mind, the price changes periodically, so the cost this year may be a little different next year and the next.
There are several guided turkey hunts in Nebraska and they are far more expensive. A typical, two-day package for a guided turkey hunt will run from $700 to $2,000 and about half that for youths.
You get a whole lot more than just the turkey hunt though. Most guided hunts include lodging, meals, and a scout or two that will accompany you on the hunt. The price for guided tours is pretty sporadic and some can get pretty insane, but the amenities that come with them are often extensive.
Turkey Season Nebraska
Turkey hunting seasons are statewide and only exclude federally owned lands and national parks. There are only two new rules in 2022—no hunting turkey within 200 yards of a baited area, and you can carry a handgun but cannot use it to shoot turkeys.
The handgun rule includes an additional stipulation that it cannot have a barrel longer than 5”. Also, baited areas are still considered baited up to ten days after the removal of the bait. The Fall turkey season dates are as follows:
- Fall Youth (Archery and Shotgun): September 15, 2022 to January 31, 2023
- Fall Archery and Shotgun: Same as youth
Nebraska is easily one of the best turkey hunting states in the US. The turkey population has grown exponentially in recent years, making Nebraska a popular destination for hunters in neighboring states.
It’s also a state where you can get in good with local farmers and hunt turkey on their lands. Because of the explosion in turkey numbers in recent years, farmers have to deal with them as pests rather than as food.
Many will be more than happy to let you come on their land and hunt, so long as you have your permit, which is relatively inexpensive for Nebraska residents and easy to obtain. Turkey season is not to be missed in Nebraska, beginning on September 15. So what are you waiting for?
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