Deer hunters are reminded to locate their nearest in-person check stations prior to hunting during the nine-day firearm season this year.

All deer harvested during the Nov. 12-20 season must be accompanied by the hunter and taken to a check station no later than 1 p.m. on the day following the close of the season.

Check stations change from year to year, so hunters are urged to find their locations before they hunt. A list may be found on the 2022 deer regulations sheet, which, along with maps and information, is available at An interactive map of check stations can be found at

Game and Parks staff will collect lymph nodes from select harvested deer to sample for chronic wasting disease at check stations in the Frenchman, Pine Ridge, Upper Platte and Plains units. They also will take samples for CWD and meningeal brain worm in the Buffalo, Platte and Republican units.

When checking in a deer, the permit and check station seal number or check station verification number must be retained when transporting all or a portion of the carcass to a point of permanent storage or processing.

Deer harvested during the Nov. 5-7 Special Landowner season must be checked via Telecheck; the website and phone number to contact are printed on the permit.

Kissinger WMA remains closed until further notice

Kissinger Wildlife Management Area near Fairfield remains closed to all visitors, including hunters and wildlife watchers, due to the presence of two endangered whooping cranes.

It is illegal under federal and state law to harm or harass the birds; the temporary closure is intended to prevent such activity from occurring.

The area will remain closed until further notice by the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission.

Waterfowl hunters can find alternative pumped wetlands nearby. Find information at under the wetland conditions tab, where Game and Parks lists pumping plans and status for federal- and state-managed wetlands.

The closure is a standard procedure for the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission once whooping cranes are confirmed on a property owned or managed by the agency. The property will be monitored for activity.

Whooping cranes are endangered, with a wild population of fewer than 600 birds. The entire population migrates through Nebraska each spring and fall between wintering sites along the Texas coast and breeding areas in northern Alberta.

The whooping cranes are protected by both the federal Endangered Species Act and the Nebraska Nongame and Endangered Species Conservation Act. Penalties for killing, possessing or harassing whooping cranes or other species protected under these laws may include fines of up to $50,000, up to a year in jail, or both.

For more information on whooping cranes, visit

Main Area Campground at Johnson Lake SRA to close temporarily for electrical upgrade

The Main Area Campground at Johnson Lake State Recreation Area will be closed Nov. 2 until May 2023 for an electrical upgrade.

All 82 sites at the Main Area Campground will be upgraded to 50/30/20 amp service. The increase in electrical capacity in each campsite will serve a broader range of visitor needs. It also will provide adequate levels of power to larger, more modern RVs and campers.

The South Inlet Campground will remain open during this project. 

Johnson Lake SRA is located 10 miles south of Lexington in Gosper County. For more information, visit

Hunters reminded to donate to Hunters Helping the Hungry

Hunters are reminded they may donate harvested deer to the Hunters Helping the Hungry program at seven processor locations in Nebraska.

The participating meat processors are:

  • Amherst – Belschner Custom Meats
  • Norfolk – R&M Meats
  • North Platte – Kelley’s Custom Pack
  • Table Rock – Den’s Country Meats
  • Franklin – Franklin Locker
  • Ulysses – The Butchery
  • Lindsay – Melcher’s Locker

Hunters pay no processing costs for deer donated to processors for this  program. But they should call the processor before hunting to check capacity; due to staffing difficulties, many processors are not accepting deer this year. This includes non-HHH processors.

The HHH program is funded solely by tax-deductible contributions. Ground venison is distributed by charitable organizations to Nebraskans in need. Hunters should first talk with processors but may keep antlers, head and cape and donate the rest of the deer. Processors accept only whole deer in good condition to ensure a good yield of pure ground venison.

The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission also is seeking cash donations to HHH, which was created by the Nebraska Legislature in 2012, so it can continue to feed Nebraskans. Each dollar donated provides two meals of ground venison. More than 850,000 meals have been distributed since the program began.

Learn more about the program and how to support it at or contact program coordinator Jordyn Riha at 402 471-5431 or [email protected].

Upland hunters find variable success on opening weekend

Hunters returned to rural Nebraska the weekend of Oct. 29 for the 2022 upland bird hunting season opener and found variable success.

Based on field reports from Nebraska Game and Parks Commission staff and law enforcement, pheasant hunters had the greatest success in parts of northeast and south-central Nebraska, including the Rainwater Basin. Many hunters also found good numbers of quail, especially throughout their core range in south-central and southeastern Nebraska.  

In Nebraska’s traditional pheasant strongholds, including the southwest and Panhandle regions where drought conditions have been prolonged, success was more limited.

Upland hunters planning trips to Nebraska are reminded that habitat conditions are highly variable this fall.

“The ongoing drought conditions, coupled with emergency haying and grazing of CRP lands, have greatly reduced the availability of suitable habitat in many areas,” said John Laux, Game and Parks’ upland game program manager. “When cover is more limited, scouting becomes even more crucial. Finding quality cover is going to be more challenging this year and hunters should focus on tracts adjacent to irrigated cropland, wetlands and other water sources – where birds can make a living despite the dry conditions.”

Crop harvest also is ahead of schedule this fall – with 80% and 97% of the state’s corn and soybean acreage harvested, respectively, according to an Oct. 31 U.S. Department of Agriculture report.

Hunters looking for new places to hunt are encouraged to pick up the Nebraska Public Access Atlas, which consolidates and displays more than 1.2 million acres of publicly accessible land throughout the state. This includes more than 370,000 acres of private lands enrolled in Game and Parks’ Open Fields and Waters Program. The atlas is available at Game and Parks offices and numerous vendors throughout the state. It also can be viewed at

Nebraska’s pheasant and quail seasons run through Jan. 31, 2023. For more information on upland bird hunting in Nebraska or to view this year’s Upland Outlook, visit