Deer Forecast-Midwest

Lincoln County

Lincoln County hunters have entered the most bucks ever in the state record book, with a total of 85 deer scoring at least 150 points. Riparian corridors along the North and South Platte rivers offer excellent whitetail habitat. North-central Nebraska's Keyapaha County, which borders South Dakota's prime Gregory County, is number two in the book, with 68 entries. State harvest records show that the Sandhill Unit has the highest proportion of older bucks. About 70 percent of the whitetails and mule deer taken there are older than 21/2 years. Game managers have reduced hunting pressure on Nebraska bucks by limiting firearms permits. There are roughly 300,000 whitetails and 50,000 mule deer in the state, and the total harvest for both species last year was 60,000. To control the growing whitetail herd, more antlerless-only permits for localized areas will be available this year. "Our mule deer herd is relatively stable," says big-game program manager Karl Menzel. "We hope to get whitetails to the point where they are not increasing in numbers."