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    Not sure how I feel about this. I understand we are limited on lands available to the public, but this looks to me like it will be hard to control some landowners from having a 7 day free for all anywhere they want. On top of that what is to say the 50 percent they open up to the public is even worth hunting. Example I have 500 acres. 250 of fence row to fence row corn fields and 250 of prime canyon deer hunting. Might open up the 250 with little or no game to get an extra 7 days of rifle time plus free permits.
    LB 126 says "(4)(a) In addition to any limited permit to hunt deer issued to a 10 qualifying landowner under subsection (3) of this section, the commission 11 shall issue upto four free firearm deer hunting permits to hunt deer 12 during the seven days immediately preceding the beginning date for the 13 firearm deer hunting season to any landowner and designated members of 14 his or her immediate family if such landowner consents to make fifty 15 percent or more of his or her farm or ranch land located in any single 16 commission-designated deer management unit available for public deer 17 hunting during the firearm deer hunting season by any holder of a valid 18 firearm deer hunting permit. For purposes of this subsection, the 19 qualifying criteria for a Nebraska resident described in subdivisions (3) 20 (a)(i) and (ii) of this section and the ownership criteria for a 21 nonresident of Nebraska described in subdivision (3)(b) of this section apply.22 23 (b) The consent described in subdivision (a) of this subsection 24 shall be made in writing on a form prescribed by the commission and 25 delivered to the commission beginning the second Monday in July but no 26 later than August 31. Such consent shall include a legal description of 27 the particular farm or ranch land owned by the landowner in the deer 28 management unit made available for public deer hunting during the firearm 29 deer hunting season as described in this subsection. The location of such 30 farm or ranch land shall be published on the commission's web site. 31 (c) The commission shall adopt and promulgate rules and regulations LB126 2019 LB126 2019 -4- to carry out the purposes of this subsection.

    As I read it the offer is only available for making the land available to the public during the firearm season for additional firearm consideration to the landowner?

    “to make fifty 15 percent or more of his or her farm or ranch land located in any single 16 commission-designated deer management unit available for public deer 17 hunting during the firearm deer hunting season by any holder of a valid 18 firearm deer hunting permit.”

    If so I think it’s a win the powers that be are thinking of ways to incent landowners to open up land for hunting. However this offer will not prove to be impactful for a whole host of reasons. Also, why just open it up during the firearms season? In fact why not allow the landowner the extra perks and allow them to enjoy rifle season on their land in peace. However open it up to the public for any other forms of hunting. Deer Bow, Deer Muzzleloader, Small Game , Waterfowl, and so on?


      Already, making comments of this being an unfair advantage to the landowner. As a landowner I look at this and think there is really no incentive to me to do this. Couple bucks in a permit and the right to hunt deer on my ground a week before season. I applaud anyone who can find constructive ways to open up more public access. I like that it is outside the box thinking and if landowners sign up for it THANK THEM.


      • 10_point_buck
        10_point_buck commented
        Editing a comment
        As a landowner, I see no incentive for me to do this either. You are spot on with your comments. At least this is someone trying to "think outside of the box".

      Might work but unfortunately I don’t think game and parks can take the hit financially. Unless enough extra permits would be sold to offset the loss In revenue.


        I can’t believe any CO would go for this, they have enough already to try and regulate.


          I apologize for not getting to this topic sooner! This is definitely one of those bills that YOU NEED TO MAKE YOUR VOICES HEARD!!! All it takes is a quick email, but your time is limited!!

          The hearing on this bill will be held this Wednesday January 23rd at 2PM. You have the opportunity to voice your opinion of this bill. I ENCOURAGE EVERYONE TO SEND AN EMAIL VOICING YOUR OPINION. Your letter will be included in the hearing on Wednesday, but ONLY if you email the Natural Resources Committee Chair by 5PM Tuesday January 22nd. The Chairman is District 44 Senator Dan Hughes Your letter MUST INCLUDE your full name; your address; state of position “for”, “against’, or “neutral” on LB126, and include your request to have your letter to be included as part of the public hearing record.

          LB126 (Sen. Hughes) - Provide for special landowners deer hunting permits as prescribed

          Summary of the Bill
          Issue free firearm deer permits to any landowner and designated member of his or her immediate family to hunt deer during the 7 days immediately preceding the firearm deer season, IF that landowner consents to make 50% or more of their land available for public deer hunting during the regular firearm hunting season.

          Here is a breakdown of the different sections of this bill:

          1) It provides landowners, that participate, the benefit of their own week of firearm deer hunting prior to the regular season.


          *Many bow hunters consider this the best week for deer hunting. This bill could take away from bow hunting opportunities

          *The NGPC would have to require bow hunters to wear hunter safety during this “special” week for safety purposes.

          *The “Special” week could also have an impact on the traditionally 2nd week of pheasant season which is typically the busiest week of pheasant hunting in Nebraska.

          *The “special” week could potentially interfere with harvest for landowners. (It was estimated that this week of 2018 still had over 65% of crops still in the field)

          2) This bill identifies that resident landowners with 80 acres and nonresident landowners with 320 acres are eligible to receive the free permits if they participate. The limitation on number of acres for each individual free permit does not apply as it would to regular landowner permits (80 acres for each resident landowner permit and 320 acres for each nonresident landowner permit).

          3) The bill indicates that the NGPC must provide 4 free permits to the landowner and each designated member of the immediate family for a total of up to 16 free permits per 80 acres.

          4) There is no requirement within the consent form or application to specifically identify who the free permits are issued to, including identifying the relationships of the family members. Without this, enforcement of who receives the permit will be difficult.

          *the ability of a landowner to designate permits to family members starts to go down the road of transferable hunting permits. This would take away the NGPC’s ability to track the issuance of a permit for law enforcement purposes.

          *This bill could have a significant fiscal impact, both directly in terms of shift of landowner permits to free permits and indirectly with reduced federal funding.

          *Free permits cannot be counted towards certified hunters for Pittman-Robertson trust funds that go to the NGPC. Each “lost hunter” (if landowner only use free permits) results in a loss of $60-$70 per lost hunter in the trust funds coming to Nebraska for wildlife management and conservation efforts.

          *if this option is popular with landowner, the fiscal impact to the NGPC could result in a loss of millions of dollars; additional staffing; and operational expenses to manage and track enrollment; signage; landowner registration; confirmation of eligibility for permits; and law enforcement.

          5) The consent from the landowner does not require specification of all lands the free permits can be used on. It only requires specification of lands which will be made available for public access. This could result in the free permits being used for desirable hunting land, while the public access land could be land which is not desirable or conducive to hunting.

          *without specification of all lands which free permits can be used on, enforcement will be impossible.

          *additional administrative review from permits staff and law enforcement will be needed, as free permits would be expected to increase the potential for fraud.

          *special concern for increasing fraud by nonresidents, as they will have much more to gain from free permits than resident hunters in terms of monetary impact.


            Don't forget you only have until 5PM this Tuesday to get you emails sent to Senator Hughes.


              Sent my email tonight. OPPOSED!


                Originally posted by Elkslayer53 View Post
                Sent my email tonight. OPPOSED!
                Just sent my opposition email as well!


                  Sent mine in yesterday


                    I can't imagine many landowners who enjoy deer hunting their property are going to want to let the general public rifle hunt it. Besides all the activity and shooting from people you don't know during rifle season, they'll probably be scouting the ground when the landowner would want to be hunting. Also, since only 50% of the property needs to be opened up to qualify, what's to stop the landowner from designating just the corn or bean stubble as available for the public and not the river bottom timber? Regulating this would also be a nightmare.


                      Anyone know what time they vote on this? where can we see the results?


               Enter the bill number where is says "Search Current Bills" and it will show the activity. However, there is a delay, you won't see the vote results immediately--if they even vote on it in committee. Sometimes they just let it die in committee without even taking a vote. May be a day or two.


                          The committee hearing on this is at 2 pm central today, but vote could come at another time. If you go the legislature website the committee hearings can be viewed live.


                            Any news on this?


                            • Slimdog
                              Slimdog commented
                              Editing a comment
                              I just checked the website 10 90 J2 provided and didn't see any updates yet...

                            • 10 90 J2
                              10 90 J2 commented
                              Editing a comment
                              Yep, it takes a long time before committee meeting notes get posted. :/

                              Did anyone attend or watch it live?