Nebraska Game and Parks Commission


Date of this Version



NEBRASKA GAME. FORESTATION AND PABKS COMMISSION (Reprinted from Wisconsin Conservation Department's Special Wildlife Report No. 1)


The purpose of this booklet is to provide a ready field reference for identification, sexing and aging of common game species. It has purposely been kept in simplified form, presenting only those techniques which can commonly be applied in the field and avoiding those which would require special equipment and skills. Untrained personnel should be given demonstrations of the techniques, and thereafter this reference should serve as a reminder. It is not expected that the reference could successfully be used without such demonstration. Certain of the techniques such as cloaca! examination of waterfowl may require considerable practice by the individual. Not all the techniques presented have complete validity. This is especially true where sex or age differences are quantitative. Where overlap may be considerable, as the case of squirrel mammae development and scrotal sac characteristics, the techniques described have very limited application. The object has been to present those techniques considered reliable enough for data gathering by workers in the field. Often part of the errors will average out in large series where mis-identification is possible in both directions, but predominance of one of the classes would limit this effect. Also, this situation obviously is of no help in identification of the specimen. Where several techniques are listed for a given character, it is best to apply as many as possible of the criteria. Often this procedure will clear up doubtful identifications.

GAME BIRDS: Characters applicable to all species • Waterfowl • Woodcock • Pheasant • Hungarian Partridge • Bobwhite Quail • Ruffed Grouse • Prairie Chicken • Sharp-tailed Grouse

GAME MAMMALS : Characters applicable to all species • White-tailed Deer • Cottontail Rabbit • Gray and Fox Squirrel • Raccoon • Muskrat • Beaver • Otter