Fall Turkey Regulations
Archery and Shotgun: Sept. 15, 2021 - Jan. 31, 2022
Youth Archery and Shotgun: Sept. 15, 2021 - Jan. 31, 2022
With a fall turkey hunting permit, hunters may harvest turkeys with either a shotgun or legal archery equipment.
Shotguns 10-gauge or smaller; shells containing shot size 2 and smaller. Slugs are illegal. Unlawful to have a loaded shotgun in a vehicle while on a public road. Shell in the barrel or magazine is considered loaded.
Longbows, crossbows, recurve bows, compound bows or hand-thrown spears are allowed. Arrows and spears must have either a sharpened hunting head with a blade of at least 7/16-inch radius or a blunt (bludgeon) head with a diameter of at least 9/16 inch.
Two turkeys of either sex per permit.
Hunter Age Restriction
Hunters of any age may hunt turkeys. Those shotgun hunters under age 12 must be accompanied by a licensed hunter age 19 or older.
Turkey Hunting During Firearm Deer Season
Turkey hunting is allowed during the November firearm deer hunting season. Hunter orange is not required of fall turkey hunters, EXCEPT when hunting turkeys during the November firearm deer season, when they must display at least 400 square inches of hunter orange on their head, chest and back.
Each hunter may have no more than two fall turkey permits. Permits are valid statewide. Permits must be signed by the permittee. It is unlawful to transfer or lend a permit to another person.
Thirty minutes before sunrise to sunset. It is unlawful to take or attempt to take turkeys perched in trees, before sunrise.
Immediately after a turkey is taken, the hunter must punch or notch the permit tag showing the date the bird was taken. This automatically cancels the permit tag. This permit must be kept with the permit holder and/or turkey at all times. When the turkey is not with the permit holder, the entire permit must be attached to the turkey. The mobile turkey permit allows a hunter to cancel the permit once a turkey is harvested. If a hunter has a mobile permit, a turkey may be left unaccompanied by the hunter only if a document bearing the hunter’s name, permit number and time and date of permit cancellation is kept with the carcass.
It is illegal to hunt any big game or turkey within 200 yards of a baited area. An area shall be considered baited for 10 days following the complete removal of all such bait. The hunter and the animal must be outside of the baited area.
It is unlawful for any person other than a successful permit holder to possess any turkey or any portion of it. However, any person may receive as a gift any portion of the turkey, provided a statement of such gift is available for inspection. The statement shall include: the hunter’s name, telephone number, permit number, species and quantity of each, signature of donor, name of recipient and date of transfer.
It is unlawful to possess any turkey unless the legs, thighs, and breast remain together until the bird is consumed or the bird arrives at the permanent abode of the possessor. The breast meat may be removed from the bone but must remain as two entire halves. Birds taken in the spring must have proof of sex consisting of the legs with spurs naturally attached, the beard naturally attached to the breast, or the detached beard with at least a quarter-inch of skin remaining at the attachment site and kept together with the leg, thighs and breast.
Hunters ages 12 through 29 must have completed Firearm Hunter Education when hunting with a firearm or air gun. An Apprentice Hunter Education Exemption Certificate is available for those who have not completed Hunter Education. Hunters under age 12 and those using the Exemption Certificate must be accompanied by a licensed hunter age 19 or older. That accompanying hunter must, if age 19-29, have firearm hunter education certification. Bow hunter education is not required for hunting turkeys.
At the end of the season, hunters who provided email addresses at the time they purchased their permits may receive an email survey that is used to determine hunter success and total harvest. Those receiving surveys are asked to promptly reply. Those without email addresses may access the survey here: OutdoorNebraska.org/TurkeyHunterSurvey. It is important when buying permits online that hunters use an updated email address. Survey results are posted at OutdoorNebraska.org.
- Hunting on private land without permission.
- Hunting turkeys within 100 yards of an occupied dwelling or feedlot without specific permission for that purpose.
- Shooting from the right-of-way of a public road.
- Using slugs in shotguns.
- Using electronic calls, visible laser or light-projecting sights, or live decoys.
Regulations, Orders and Statutes
The following are links to the state’s regulations and statutes: Regulations and Orders: OutdoorNebraska.gov/regulations
Nebraska Wildlife Crimestoppers
Stop poachers and report game law violations to Nebraska Wildlife Crimestoppers at 1-800-742-7627. You may remain anonymous and might be eligible for a cash reward.
Determining Age and Sex of a Turkey
Ninth and 10th primaries are rounded and barred
Ninth and 10th primaries are pointed and indistinctly barred at the tip
In the fall, use the presence of a small beard and button spurs to separate juvenile males from juvenile females.