NORTH PLATTE, Neb. -- Deer hunting season kicked off Saturday morning and will run through Sunday, Nov. 20, 2016.
This is the time of year when hunters can use a firearm. Local experts are expecting more deer to be harvested this year and any deer that is killed must be reported to the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission.
"We expect our harvest to increase this year from last year," explained Lance Hastings, who is the Southwest District Wildlife Manager with the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. "We may not have the same numbers that we did prior to the [Epizootic] Hemorrhagic Disease die-off in 2012, but we expect [the] numbers to be higher than last year because the overall deer population seems to be higher."
Last year, 57,000 deer were hunted statewide. Hastings said there will be about 65,000 deer harvested this year and some hunters are already celebrating their early scores.
"At first it wasn't too promising," said hunter Tyson Caudillo. "Then we got mine, which was the first one. Then they came [one] right after another."
Caudillo hunted deer Saturday morning with his brother and dad. They shot two bucks, but were most grateful for the time spent together.
"Every year we try to get out," said Phillip Caudillo, who is Tyson's father. "It's good quality time. I don't even have a permit anymore. I let them shoot. [It's] just something I grew up doing. My dad taught me how to do it and it's something I'm passing on."
Hastings said it is not too late to get a permit. For more information, log on to the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission's website, the link is located in the upper right-hand corner of the page, to read more about hunting, permits and regulations.