Fall Turkey Regulations
2022 Fall Turkey Hunting Regulations
New for 2022
Baiting – The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission amendeded a baiting regulation in June 2021 to make it illegal to hunt any big game animals or turkeys within 200 yards of a baited area. An area is be considered baited for 10 days following the complete removal of all bait. A baited area is any location where grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, hay, minerals (including salt), or any other natural food materials, commercial products containing food materials, or by-products of such materials that may attract big game or turkey. The use of scents alone, normal environmental conditions, standard farming and ranching practices, forest management, wildlife food plantings, orchard management, or similar land management activities do not constitute a baited area. In June 2022, a regulation change makes it illegal to create a baited area on land owned or controlled by the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission.
Carrying a handgun – Big game and turkey hunters may carry a handgun, with a barrel of no longer than 5 inches, while pursuing game with bow and arrow or muzzleloader. Any take or attempted take of wildlife with the aid of the handgun, other than for the immediate protection of human life, is prohibited.
Applications – In June 2022, a regulation change allows for parcel identification numbers to be used on limited landowner hunting permits beginning January 2023.
Night vision scopes – A regulation change in June 2022 makes it illegal to possess a night vision scope while hunting game animals or game birds.
Legal Equipment – With a fall turkey hunting permit, hunters may harvest turkeys with either a shotgun or legal archery equipment.
- Shotgun - 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.
- Archery - 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.
Bag Limit – 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.
Permits – 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.
Shooting Hours – Thirty minutes before sunrise to sunset. It is unlawful to take or attempt to take turkeys perched in trees, before sunrise.
Tagging – 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.
Possession – 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.
Transportation – 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.
Hunter Education – 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.
Hunter Survey – 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.
Unlawful Acts –
• 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.
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 Turkey Age
Tail: Adult feathers are of equal length.
Wing: In adults, the ninth and 10th primaries are rounded and barred.
Tail: Junvenile turkeys have two middle feathers that are longer than the others.
Wing: In juveniles, the ninth and 10th primaries are pointed and indistinctly barred at the tip.