Outdoor Notes: Special youth upland hunts; Hunters accepting Nebraska Upland Slam challenge

LINCOLN, Neb. – Youth ages 15 and younger are encouraged to participate in special youth pheasant hunts during the Oct. 20-21 statewide youth pheasant, quail and partridge season.

Rooster pheasants will be released at 13 wildlife management areas before the special youth hunt season. The special hunts are open to the public, and the number of participants is not limited. No registration or special permit is required. Special regulations posted at each of the 13 WMAs will apply to all portions of the designated areas normally open to hunting. All other current youth and regular hunting regulations also will be in effect on these designated areas.

Pheasants will be released at the following WMAs: Pressey (Custer County); Sherman Reservoir (Sherman County); Oak Valley (Madison County); Branched Oak (Lancaster County); Twin Oaks (Johnson County); Hickory Ridge (Johnson County); Wilkinson (Platte County); Yankee Hill (Lancaster County), Cornhusker (Hall County), Arrowhead (Gage County), George Syas (Platte County), Rakes Creek (Cass County), and Kirkpatrick Basin North (York County).

The special regulations on these WMAs include:

— Rakes Creek is a new addition to the list of hunting sites this year, replacing Randall W. Schilling WMA, which is unavailable because of recent flooding. Peru Bottoms WMA in Nemaha County also was removed from the list because of flooding.

— Only nontoxic shot may be used at Kirkpatrick Basin North and Wilkinson.

— Adult mentors must be licensed hunters age 19 or older to accompany a youth.

— Adult mentors may harvest one rooster pheasant per day only.

— The 13 WMAs are the only locations where adults may harvest pheasants during the youth season.

— Only one adult mentor per youth will be allowed to hunt (additional non-hunting mentors may accompany the youth on the hunt).

— Youth may harvest two roosters per day.

This is the eighth year of the pheasant releases during the special youth season, which is intended to increase youth participation in upland game hunting.

For more information on these hunting locations, visit Outdoornebraska.gov/upland#youth or Outdoornebraska.gov/publicaccessatlas.

Hunters accepting the challenge of Nebraska Upland Slam

LINCOLN, Neb. – With prairie grouse season in full swing, many upland hunters have accepted the Nebraska Upland Slam challenge, harvesting sharp-tailed grouse and greater prairie-chickens on both public and private lands throughout the state.

“The Upland Slam is meant to bring awareness to the excellent mixed bag opportunities we have in our state,” said John Laux, the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission’s upland habitat and access program manager.

The Nebraska Upland Slam concept is simple: Hunters must harvest a ring-necked pheasant, sharp-tailed grouse, greater prairie-chicken and northern bobwhite in Nebraska. Those who complete the Slam will receive an official certificate and pin and will be entered into a drawing to win prizes, including a Browning Silver 12-gauge shotgun.

To date, 89 hunters from Nebraska, Missouri, Colorado, Arkansas and Wyoming have submitted 140 entries, which included 79 greater prairie chickens and 61 sharp-tailed grouse.

According to Laux, prairie grouse are underutilized by Nebraska’s upland hunters. “Pheasants are clearly the most sought after upland game bird in our state,” he said. “Prairie grouse are often in the shadows, but Nebraska is a stronghold for both greater prairie-chickens and sharp-tailed grouse and we have some excellent opportunities to pursue them on public lands, especially in the Sandhills.”

As part of the Upland Slam, hunters have harvested prairie grouse in 33 of Nebraska’s 93 counties and roughly half were taken on publicly accessible lands.

Hunters will be able to pursue the two other species in the challenge when pheasant and quail seasons open Oct. 27. The seasons for all species included in the Nebraska Upland Slam close Jan. 31.

Hunters can visit OutdoorNebraska.org/UplandSlam for more information, official rules and entry details or go to Game and Parks’ Facebook page to view a photo album of birds harvested during the Nebraska Upland Slam.

The Upland Slam is sponsored by Game and Parks, Pheasants Forever, Inc. and Quail Forever.

We strive for accuracy. Report a typo, inaccuracy, or mistake here.