wild turkey in Nebraska

Turkey hunting in Nebraska offers not only an opportunity to connect with nature but also a thrilling adventure filled with anticipation and excitement. It isn’t as easy as stepping out with your bow or shotgun, though. Read our comprehensive guide so you can be successful this Nebraska turkey season. 

When Does Turkey Hunting Start in Nebraska?

Spring is mating season for turkeys and male turkeys become increasingly active as the temperatures shift and the blooming fauna provides more coverage. Spring 2024 is the beginning of turkey hunting season. Permissable ranges depend on age groups and your hunting weapon:

If you can’t make the Spring turkey hunting season, you’ll have another chance in the fall:

What Turkey Hunting Gear Do I Need?

When gearing up for turkey hunting in Nebraska, having the right equipment can make all the difference in your success and comfort. Here’s a rundown of essential gear you’ll want to consider:

*Hunter orange is recommended, but not required, during the Spring Turkey Hunting Season. In the Fall, you must wear at least 400 square inches of hunter orange on the head, chest, and back if your hunt coincides with Nebraska’s deer season (November).


There are two primary weapons you can use for turkey hunting season in Nebraska: the shotgun and archery equipment. Shotguns must be modern or front loading and have a shot size of 2 or smaller. No slugs. Archery equipment can be the longbow, recurve bow, compound bow, crossbow, or hand-thrown spear. Arrow tips and spears must be sharpened with a 7/16-inch radius or a blunted blade with a diameter of 9/16-inch.

What Are The Rules For Turkey Hunting? 

The regulations for turkey hunting in Nebraska are set by the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission and may vary slightly from year to year. These are the 2024 rules and regulations for turkey hunting:

Permits and Licensing

Turkey hunters in Nebraska are required to possess a valid turkey hunting permit, which can be purchased online or from an authorized vendor. There are different permits available, including permits for residents and non-residents, as well as permits specific to certain seasons (archery season or shotgun season). Archery season begins March 25th and shotgun season begins April 13th. Both seasons end on May 31st.

Harvest Limits

The bag limit for turkey hunting in Nebraska can depend on the type of permit and season. The spring season harvest limit is one male or one bearded female per permit and you can’t harvest more than one turkey per calendar day during the spring season. In the Fall, two turkeys of either sex are allowed per permit per day. Double check the specific regulations for the permit you hold and the season you’re hunting.

Times of Day

Hunting hours begin 30 minutes before sunrise and end at sunset. It’s against the law to take or try to take a turkey that’s perched in a tree (roosting) before sunrise.

Hunting Grounds

Anyone hunting in Nebraska requires a valid Nebraska Habitat Stamp. However, landowners who have a permit don’t need a Nebraska Habitat Stamp. This stamp is only needed once per calendar year regardless of species. If you’re a resident with a veteran or senior permit, you won’t need a Nebraska Habitat Stamp but you will need to carry your permit on you while hunting.

Bow vs Shotgun for Turkey Hunting 

When it comes to turkey hunting, both bows and shotguns have their advantages and challenges. However, shotguns hold a distinct advantage in several key areas, making them the preferred choice for many turkey hunters.

Bow Hunting

Bow hunting requires a higher level of skill and patience compared to using a shotgun. Making a successful shot with a bow demands precision and stealth, adding an extra layer of challenge to the hunt.

Bow hunting allows hunters to get closer to their prey without alarming them. The quiet nature of the bow shot and the ability to stay hidden in a ground blind or natural cover can increase the chances of a close encounter with a turkey.

In Nebraska, archery season begins a few weeks before shotgun season, providing additional opportunities for hunters to pursue their prizes.

Unlike shotguns, bows produce minimal noise and recoil, resulting in less disturbance to the surrounding environment. This can be advantageous when hunting in densely wooded areas or when multiple shots are required.

Shotgun Hunting

Shotguns excel in close-range shooting, which is crucial for turkey hunting. Turkeys have keen eyesight and are easily spooked, so the ability to deliver a dense pattern of shots within a limited range is essential. Shotguns loaded with turkey-specific ammunition can effectively take down a turkey within the optimal range, typically 20-40 yards.

In the fast-paced environment of turkey hunting, opportunities can arise and disappear in an instant. Shotguns allow for rapid follow-up shots if needed, providing hunters with a better chance of capitalizing on multiple opportunities or correcting a missed shot.

Shotguns are versatile weapons suitable for various hunting scenarios and conditions. Whether hunting in dense woods or open fields, shotguns can adapt to different environments and shooting positions, providing hunters with flexibility and adaptability in the field.

Shotguns have a long-standing tradition in turkey hunting culture, deeply rooted in the history and heritage of the sport. Many hunters appreciate the nostalgia and camaraderie associated with shotgun hunting, further solidifying its status as the weapon of choice for turkey enthusiasts.

Where Can I Practice For Turkey Hunting?

While bows certainly have their merits and can provide a challenging and rewarding hunting experience, shotguns remain the preferred weapon of choice for most turkey hunters due to their effectiveness, versatility, and tradition.

Skill-Building At All Levels

The Marksman Indoor Shooting Range can help you learn how to use the shotgun or sharpen your skills. We’re known for our high-quality facility and amenities. Our indoor range provides a controlled environment for shotgun patterning, allowing you to practice your shooting skills comfortably regardless of weather conditions.

Expert Staff

Our staff are experienced professionals who can provide valuable guidance and assistance during your practice sessions. Whether you’re a beginner looking to learn the basics or an experienced shooter seeking advanced techniques, our staff can offer support and advice.

Safety-First Priority

Safety is paramount at The Marksman Indoor Shooting Range. We adhere to strict safety protocols and guidelines to ensure a safe and secure shooting environment for all patrons. You can practice with peace of mind knowing that safety is our top priority.

Book Your Lane or Walk In Today

The Marksman Indoor Shooting Range provides an ideal setting for shotgun practice, offering top-notch facilities, expert assistance, and a commitment to safety. Whether you’re preparing for turkey season or simply honing your shooting skills, The Marksman Indoor Shooting Range is an excellent choice for your practice needs. Visit us today so you can be prepared before shotgun turkey season ends. Walk-ins are more than welcome!

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