Nebraska is a great destination for turkey hunters who want to experience a variety of terrain, habitats and subspecies. The state offers abundant opportunities to hunt turkeys on public and private land, with generous bag limits and long seasons. Whether you are looking for a classic Merriam’s hunt in the pine-covered hills of the northwest, a hybrid hunt in the mixed-grass prairies of the central region, or an eastern hunt in the hardwood forests of the southeast, Nebraska has something for every turkey hunter.
The spring turkey season in Nebraska runs from March 25 to May 31, with archery and shotgun options available. Hunters can purchase up to three permits, each valid for one male or bearded turkey. The permits are valid statewide on any open land, except some wildlife management areas that require special permits. Hunters can also apply for one of the limited landowner permits, which are valid only on the landowner’s property.
Nebraska has over 1.2 million acres of public land open to hunting, including state wildlife management areas, national forests and grasslands, state parks and recreation areas, and federal waterfowl production areas. Some of these areas require a habitat stamp or a park entry permit, which can be purchased online or at any permit vendor. Hunters can also access private land through the Open Fields and Waters program, which pays landowners to allow public hunting and fishing on their property. Maps and regulations for these areas can be found on the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission website at https://outdoornebraska.gov/.
Hunting turkeys in Nebraska can be challenging and rewarding, depending on the weather, the terrain and the behavior of the birds. Hunters should scout ahead of time to locate roosting and feeding areas, and use calls and decoys to attract gobblers. Turkeys can be found in a variety of habitats, from open fields and pastures to wooded draws and creek bottoms. Hunters should be prepared for long hikes, steep climbs and changing conditions.
Nebraska is a hidden gem for turkey hunters who want to experience some of the best hunting in the Midwest. The state offers a diverse landscape, a healthy population of turkeys and plenty of public and private land to explore. If you are looking for a spring adventure, consider hunting turkeys in Nebraska. You won’t regret it.