The opening two days of the Nebraska’s firearm deer season started strong, according to the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission.

The season opened Nov. 11.

The number of deer brought to check stations on the first weekend was slightly higher than 2016. Game and Parks staff checked nearly 19,000 deer, a 4 percent increase in the northwest, 5 percent increase in the southwest, 4 percent decrease in the southeast, and 5 percent increase in the northeast.

“Final harvest numbers are still being calculated, but hunters got off to a great start,” said Karie Decker, Game and Parks’ assistant wildlife division administrator.

The higher numbers were tallied despite rainy conditions across much of the state on Saturday.

“Many check stations reported several first-time hunters,” Decker said. “It’s great to see continued growth in the deer hunting traditions in Nebraska.”

“Staff are pleased to see high participation and good harvest numbers again this year,” Decker said.

The firearm season continues through Nov. 19.

During the opening weekend, the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office had numerous reports of trespassing by hunters, the office said Monday.

“As a reminder, please know who owns the land you are on,” the sheriff’s office said. “It is best to obtain permission long before the day of the hunt.”

Officials urge hunters to be safe.

“Wear plenty of Hunter Orange and make sure of your back stop and beyond when shooting,” the sheriff’s statement said.

Game and Parks offers these additional reminders:

  • It is illegal to duplicate permits.
  • Remember to sign your permit before hunting and carry it with you at all times.
  • Firearm deer hunters and archers harvesting deer during the November firearm season must deliver their deer in person to a check station no later than 1 p.m. on the day following the close of the season. Telecheck and internet check of deer is closed during the nine-day November firearm season. To find a check station nearby, see maps.outdoornebraska.gov/checkstations.
  • Don’t forget to punch and notch your permit at time of kill.
  • It is the responsibility of hunters to know their location and to follow the rules and regulations. To view a summary of deer regulations, visit OutdoorNebraska.gov/HuntingSeasons.
  • Hunters may donate deer to the Hunters Helping the Hungry (HHH) program by signing up at OutdoorNebraska.gov/hhh or participate in the Deer Exchange at OutdoorNebraska.gov/DeerExchangeProgram.
  • Call Nebraska Wildlife Crimestoppers toll-free at 800-742-7627 to report game law violations.

Firearm deer permits are still available in some areas of the state, particularly for antlerless deer.

Statewide whitetail buck and youth permits are also available throughout the season.

Archery season continues through Dec. 31. Muzzleloader season is Dec. 1-31, while the Late Antlerless season is Jan. 1-15, 2018.

Permits can be purchased at OutdoorNebraska.org.