I live in southwest NE. Frenchman unit. Lots of deer here this year and our trophy size has been improving over the last 20 years. I mostly bowhunt muleys but always have an eye out for whitetails. Never know when the numbers can crash here like the rest of the state but keeping my fingers crossed. Best advice is put in for a permit and check towards the hunt time to see what has happened. I took a lot of video in January of good muleys and plan to again this coming winter. I would be willing to steer you in the right direction around here but it will be private and if you ask right won't have trouble finding a place to hunt. At least for now places can still be found. Getting tougher year by year and I never would have thought that 20 years ago. I try to find the roughest terrain, use my feet, go by myself and have been turned down only a few times.
Ilovethewest, sorry for the hijack. I guess I felt like he was calling me a liar. I'm not trying to dissuade you from going on a mule deer hunt. Exactly the opposite is true. It seems EHD and bluetongue has hurt populations statewide with the exception of the Frenchmen unit. It can be extremely severe in one location and almost minimal in another according to the biologists I talked to. I was just saying the unit wide permits need to be cut to protect the places where populations are way down. I just want you to go in with realistic expectations. Extra research I believe needs to be done on the specific area you are planning to hunt and have a backup area at least a few miles away in case of little to no deer sightings. Even with few deer you can have an outstanding hunt in Nebraska. The people are extremely nice and helpful. If you are willing to work hard and hunt all day, a decent buck is not hard to find. On the upside, the quality of bucks this year seemed to be way up. The few mature bucks I saw were more massive than usual. And I saw a giant deer on the 2nd day of my hunt. He was the biggest I've seen in 5 years. Unfortunately he was out of range when I saw him, chasing a doe and I couldn't catch up. I believe the quality is directly related to spring and summer rains but I could be wrong on that. Good Luck either way!
Our trophy deer have been improving the last 5 years and a lot of it is due to the restriction of Muley tags. At that time Game n parks regulated for quantity and would just keep telling us that Quality bucks wasn't what the average hunter was interested in. 20 years ago I would have to look at 100 does to find 1 forkhorn buck left after the rifle season. Made me sick to see all the 1.5 year old muleys shot every year. Anything 2.5 years old was a trophy and a 3.5 year old muley was 1 in 1000. The past winter almost every herd had 1 or 2 bucks left in Jan. and some were solid 4 points 2.5 and 3.5 years old. Always a few around going in the 170 to 180 range any more.
I never looked into the Frenchman unit. I didn't think there was much public land there. I will send you a PM and we can chat.
I am pretty sure I am just going to hunt NE next fall. Been wanting to try it but it never worked out. Good/bad success/no success, I am just going to give it a shot.
should graduate with my new degree in may, then presuming I pass my board exam in July, I will start a new job (if I can land one).......so the only dagger in my plans would be if my new job didn't allow for a hunt in November. But I will cross that bridge later on
good luck to anyone still hunting and feel free to PM me anytime to talk hunting!
Maybe I will be able to draw region C in WY 2nd choice next year if Ilovethewest isnt drawing all the tags 1st choice
I don't think that will happen musket man. WGFD has been cutting back region C tags, and I think they will continue to do so. I don't think there were any leftover tags last year at all. Not sure if any were given as a 2nd choice unit even. Maybe you can draw 2nd choice.....but I doubt it.
I like hunting Region C in the desert areas. Just wish access wasn't so horrendous. so much public in that area that cant even be hunted without a helicopter or airplane dropping you off!
Once the new year rolls around I plan on calling some local wardens / biologists in Nebraska. I like gathering as much info as I can before I apply for a hunt. My buddy wants me to hunt for elk in an OTC rifle unit in Colorado......but I cant swing it with starting a new career this summer....hopefully....a quick and short hunt in Nebraska is way more doable. a lot closer and cheaper too!
2nd choice was around 1 in 4 odds last year I think. Be interesting to see how it turns out this year.