The seasons are changing and so are the deer hunting methods. Nebraska’s muzzleloader deer season opens Dec. 1 and those shooting black-powder firearms are gearing up.
“Temperatures are dropping and the deer are going to be moving in search of high-energy foods,” Nebraska Hunter Education Coordinator Jackson Ellis said. “This is a great chance to spend some time outside and take the opportunity to put some meat in the freezer.”
Follow these tips for a safe muzzleloader season:
— Muzzleloader hunters are required to visibly wear 400 square inches of blaze orange on their head, chest and back during the December season.
— Always identify your target before pulling the trigger, and be sure you have a safe backstop for your projectile.
— Always keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction, and keep your finger out of the trigger guard until you’ve decided to take a safe shot.
— Be prepared for the elements by dressing in layers. A moisture-wicking base layer under an insulating mid-layer with a weather proof shell will keep you warm in the December weather.
— When hunting from a tree stand, bring your muzzleloader into the stand using a haul line and be sure to not cap the gun until safety secured in your stand.
Muzzleloader permits are unlimited in quantity and valid statewide. The season runs through Dec. 31. To read muzzleloader permit rules, check out the 2018 Big Game Guide at OutdoorNebraska.gov/guides. Permits may be purchased at OutdoorNebraska.gov.