Prospects look good as pheasant season opens Oct. 29
LINCOLN — Prospects look good for Nebraska’s pheasant, quail and partridge hunting season, which opens Oct. 29.
Conditions for upland birds are better than in recent years, and pheasant and quail abundance in Nebraska this year is higher than the five-year average over most of the state. Most of the state, which experienced a generally mild winter, received timely spring rainfall, producing abundant nesting and brood-rearing cover for pheasants.
Pheasant abundance this fall should be similar or slightly lower than during the 2015 hunting season, which saw a 26 percent increase in harvest compared to 2014. Southwestern Nebraska and the Panhandle should offer the best hunting opportunities this fall. Surveys indicate pheasant abundance is higher in the central and Sandhills regions, compared to 2015. Abundance in other regions of the state is predicted to be similar or slightly lower than 2015, but not significantly.
Quail abundance continues to be high across the species’ Nebraska range. The southeast, Republican River, and east central regions should provide the best hunting opportunities for 2016. Surveys show that abundance should be as good, or better, than the 2015 hunting season, which was 73 percent greater than the year before.
Public and private land will offer plenty of options for hunters this season. Public land and lands open to public hunting through the Open Fields and Waters program can be found in the Public Access Atlas, available online at Maps.OutdoorNebraska.gov/PublicAccessAtlas. Tall wheat and milo stubble fields open to public hunting also are in the atlas.
This fall, Pheasants Forever (PF) has taken notice of Nebraska’s pheasant hunting prospects. It recently selected Nebraska as one of the nation’s top eight pheasant hunting states, describing the Cornhusker State as a “bird hunting cornucopia.” The Commission partners with PF and Quail Forever to improve habitat, increase hunting opportunities and enhance hunting experiences for thousands of hunters.
The hunting season for pheasant, quail and partridge is Oct. 29 – Jan. 31, 2017. Hunting permits may be purchased at OutdoorNebraska.org. Mobile permits are available.
Game and Parks to sell permits on Veterans Day
Hunters will be able to buy firearm deer permits at Nebraska Game and Parks Commission offices on Veterans Day, Nov. 11. The November firearm deer season is Nov. 12-20.
Customer service will be available to sell permits at the following Game and Parks offices: Lincoln headquarters; district offices in Alliance, Norfolk and North Platte; service centers in Bassett and Kearney; Omaha office; and Ak-Sar-Ben Aquarium. The offices will be closed for all other business. To view office addresses, visit OutdoorNebraska.gov/Locations.
Lake McConaughy SRA trash cleanup day is Nov. 5
Lake McConaughy-area residents are encouraged to participate in a trash cleanup day Nov. 5 at the state recreation area (SRA).
The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission is partnering with Keep Keith County Beautiful and Central Nebraska Public Power and Irrigation District (CNPPID) for this effort from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Commission staff will be headquartered at three locations around the SRA. Each location will provide materials such as trash bags, buckets, pickers and orange vests. UTVs will be used to help transport materials. Each location will have dumpsters, which will be funded by CNPPID. The locations will be: Martin Bay high-water boat ramp parking lot, Cedar Vue lakeside boat ramp parking lot and Van’s Lakeview boat ramp parking lot.
“Visitation continues to rise annually at Lake McConaughy, and with it, so does the amount of litter in the area,” Park Superintendent Colby Johnson said. “Area residents are encouraged to pick up at any area of the park they wish and bring the collections to one of the headquarters for disposal. Be a part of the solution and join us to help keep Lake McConaughy beautiful.”
A park entry permit is required of each vehicle entering the SRA.