Outdoor notes: Wildcat Hills Shooting Competition; Hike with Hounds; New for hunters: Nebraska Upland Slam

GERING, Neb. — The Wildcat Hills Shooting Sports Complex at Wildcat Hills State Recreation Area will be the site of a benefit shooting competition for a veterans service organization Saturday, Aug. 25. Registration for the Western Nebraska Veterans Shoot-out will begin at 8 a.m. with shooting at 9:30 a.m.

The double-elimination event is open to the first 60 people and entrants may compete in up to two of the event’s four divisions – two for pistols and two for rifles.

Contestants with open-sight rifles will compete in the morning while those with scopes will square off in the afternoon. Both will shoot from an Armalite platform. For pistols, the semi-automatic division will be in the morning and revolvers in the afternoon.

Each division will consist of timed rounds and scoring awarded for bulls-eyes.

The entry fee is $40 and lunch is included. Proceeds from the event will be donated to Veterans and Military Family Emergency Relief Organization, which provides assistance throughout the surrounding region.

Contestants must use their own firearms, ammunition and eye protection. Ear protection also is required. Vehicles must have a Nebraska Park Entry permit, available at outdoornebraska.org or at the park’s office.

More information may be obtained by contacting Cat Wiekhorst at 308-436-0561 or Lanny Hanks at 308-631-9580.

Hike with Hounds set at Lake Minatare

MINATARE, Neb. — The public is invited to celebrate National Dog Day by bringing their four-legged friends for a community hike at Lake Minatare State Recreation Area.

Hike with Hounds will be Saturday, Aug. 25, at 9 a.m. beginning at the lighthouse. Along with a stroll along the lake, the event will cover a variety of tips and topics for people to safely hike with their four-legged friends in various parks and wildlands.

All socialized dogs are welcome as long as they are on a six-foot leash. Participants are encouraged to bring hiking shoes, water and sunscreen.

The event is free but a Nebraska Park Entry Permit is required for vehicles. It may be purchased at outdoornebraska.org or at the Lake Minatare office.

New for hunters: Nebraska Upland Slam

LINCOLN, Neb. – Challenge yourself to harvest four upland bird species and complete a Nebraska Upland Slam.

The Nebraska Upland Slam encourages hunters to try to take a ring-necked pheasant, sharp-tailed grouse, greater prairie chicken and northern bobwhite in the state. The Slam is sponsored by the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, Pheasants Forever, Inc. and Quail Forever.

“Hunters have long known Nebraska to be an upland bird hunter’s paradise, the mixed bag capital,” said Game and Parks Director Jim Douglas. “We have diverse upland hunting opportunities, long seasons, great access to public lands, and high hunter satisfaction rates. The Nebraska Upland Slam challenges hunters to try something new and spend more days in the field with friends and family.”

Those who complete the Nebraska Upland Slam will receive a certificate and a pin. Additionally, hunters who complete the slam during the 2018-2019 season will be registered to win one of several prizes, including a Browning Silver 12-gauge semi-automatic shotgun, 65-gallon high-efficiency cooler, an award-winning Pheasants Forever print and other prizes.

Hunters can visit OutdoorNebraska.org/UplandSlam for more information, official rules and entry details.

The hunting season dates are Sept. 1 through Jan. 31 for sharp-tailed grouse and greater prairie chicken, and Oct. 27 through Jan. 31 for pheasant and northern bobwhite. These species may be harvested with a Nebraska hunt (small game) license and habitat stamp, which are required of all hunters, except residents age 15 and younger.

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