COVID-19 strikes the hunting community once again. The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission is no longer issuing nonresident spring turkey hunting permits. This isn’t the only state or county in the US to do this. Recently Colorado had a change in their regulations as well that suspended turkey hunting altogether in Yuma County. Nebraska however, has taken an even more aggressive stance on the matter by shutting down State Park recreation area lodges, cabins, and public shower buildings. State Parks are remaining open for day use only at this point.
Nonresidents who had previously purchased tags for the hunt will still be able to hunt with them this season but won’t be able to purchase additional permits at this time. The game and fish will be contacting those nonresidents who have tags and giving them further information as well as offering potential refunds for those who don’t wish to hunt.
Nebraska Game and Parks issued the following statement:
Nebraska State Parks and recreation areas currently remain open for day use, fishing, and recreation. Game and Parks will continue to keep open state park and recreation areas grounds and trails, which provide adequate room for proper physical distancing for the health and safety of the public. State recreation areas also offer hiking and fishing opportunities while maintaining 6-foot distance between healthy guests.
Some outdoorsmen and women are really having a hard time with these types of closures. Many governors and state officials have said that hunting, fishing, and outdoor activities are still allowed. They even encourage it as long as social distancing can still be maintained. Anyone who has ever hunted knows that social distancing is the point. You are rarely around other people while hunting. And what better place to be than in the woods away from the crowds and virus?
While we all appreciate the lengths that officials are going to to try and keep this virus under control and its citizens healthy, there has to be a line drawn somewhere. Where do you think that line needs to be drawn? Or has it already been crossed?