Nebraska mule deer

VAspeedgoat

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I have been on a mission to find a nice western hunt to take my son on in 2016. He will be 12 so the obvious choice would be pronhorn in Wyoming. Now enter life and reality. My younger son would only be 9 but would like to take him along because with the farm, I'm not sure how many chances I'll have to go as my father gets older. Right now it would be fine, but you never know. So.....because Nebraska doesn't have an age minimum, or atleast I can't find one, I was thinking of a mule deer hunt in the north west corner of the state. I was interested in opinions on the hunting and access on public lands. Seems to have some descent walk in areas and some public land but I don't know if I am kiddding myself with two kids. Whitetails would be fine to fill tags but mule deer would be the intention. I don't need hunting locations just some perspective on how the hunting is. I have done mule deer once in the bighorns last fall so that is the only thing I can contrast it to. I have pronhorn hunted in eastern Wyoming not far from the Nebraska border. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Also, my older son is a very good shot and would trust him now to 250 with a solid rest. My younger son would deffinitely be limited in range but got his 8pt this year at 124, so we'll see what another year and a half does.

Thanks
 
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TheDudeAbides

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I was heavily considering the Pine Ridge Unit Smokepole (Dec 1-31) this year and then my truck took a dive.

The Pine Ridge Unit has public land (Nebraska National Forest, Ogala Grasslands, etc).

Can't beat the price for the youth tags. ($6)

Of the 1,400 bucks taken just under 600 were mule deer. (http://digital.outdoornebraska.gov/i/502872-big-game-guide-2015)

It's not an area that produces big bucks, but does produce a lot of bucks. 2,000 tags and 1400 bucks is a pretty high success area. 70%

I do hear the rifle hunt can be crowded even with 2,000 people.
 

VAspeedgoat

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Kids have to be 10 years old to hunt big game in Nebraska

Well $hit!!! I looked but couldn't find a minimum. It had privisions for hunter safety if you were under 11 so I just assumed. I guess back to the drawing board. If I have to wait till 10, then I guess montana is on the table.
 
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I'm not sure I would do a youth hunt out there having NW Nebraska during deer season on public mostly because there isn't a youth only time frame and your hunt will likely involve a lot of running into other hunters, guys driving off the designated 4x4 trails, etc mostly because its OTC public lands with the cheapest tags for mule deer. There is definitely opportunity, but its not an explicitly easy hunt that probably would involve a lot of miles on the boots and probably a few bad experiences along the way. Deer numbers are fair, but it just wasn't the type of hunt that screams kid friendly to me. I would spend more than the $6 for more favorable youth seasons.
 

sbhooper

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I'm not sure I would do a youth hunt out there having NW Nebraska during deer season on public mostly because there isn't a youth only time frame and your hunt will likely involve a lot of running into other hunters, guys driving off the designated 4x4 trails, etc mostly because its OTC public lands with the cheapest tags for mule deer. There is definitely opportunity, but its not an explicitly easy hunt that probably would involve a lot of miles on the boots and probably a few bad experiences along the way. Deer numbers are fair, but it just wasn't the type of hunt that screams kid friendly to me. I would spend more than the $6 for more favorable youth seasons.

Pretty much right. If you do not have good private land to hunt on, then it is a crap shoot in Nebraska. Public land gets beat up and for the most part, there is not a lot of it. I don't hunt anything but does and so I have lots of access because everyone wants to hunt only antlers during center-fire season. I keep my freezer full and leave it at that.

Antlers are over-rated anyway.
 

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