Preliminary reports reveal that 40,301 deer were harvested during the Nov. 10-18 firearm season, according to the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. That is a decline of 27 percent from the 2011 record firearm season harvest of 55,400.
In addition to large numbers of deer lost to epizootic hemorrhagic disease, deer populations, permit sales and hunting success were impacted by a record drought and the elimination of Earn-A-Buck rules in some management units, where a doe had to be checked in before or at the same time as a buck.
The harvest total includes any type of hunting permit that was legal during the nine-day season.
Northeast Nebraska had the largest decline in harvest, while southwest had the least decline.