Public invited to forum on new pheasant plan

The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission will consider a new management plan to improve pheasant hunting in Nebraska when it meets Thursday at Pheasant Bonanza Hunt Club and Kennel north of Tekamah. The public is invited to attend the 1 p.m. meeting. Staff will present a draft of the comprehensive management plan called the Nebraska Mega Plan to the Commission. The plan's mission is to produce the best pheasant hunting experiences for the most people over the next five years. The plan has the following goals:

Increase pheasant abundance.

Increase hunter access to land holding pheasants.

Increase the pool of potential pheasant hunters.

Manage hunters' expectations appropriately.

Improve the funding and policy environment related to pheasant management. Also on the meeting agenda is a public hearing for the consideration of a wildlife regulation recommendation to adopt changes regarding the removal of meat from elk carcasses prior to transportation to a check station.

DeSoto holding special hunts

DeSoto Refuge will be open to public archery turkey hunting from April 18 through May 22.

A refuge hunting regulations permit is required and can be obtained free of charge at the DeSoto Visitor Center, which is open daily from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. It will also be available closer to the season at www.fws.gov.

Name: Darrell Divoll, Omaha

What: 37th annual Ice Derby

Where: Hanson Lake 2, Bellevue

Noteworthy: Divoll, holding the ice bucket, has participated in the ice derby for 18 years and finally won.

The refuge will hold two youth shotgun turkey hunts on April 9 and 10 and May 21 and 22.

A shotgun hunt for mobility impaired hunters will be held on May 21 and 22. Interested mobility impaired hunters can find out more about the hunt by calling Mindy Sheets at 712-388-4802.

Scalia hunted in Scotts Bluff

The late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia visited Scotts Bluff County multiple times to try his hunting luck, including a trip just before Christmas of 2015.

Jim Farrenkopf of Melbeta, who owns Panhandle Collections in Scottsbluff, said he hosted Scalia last year as well as in 2014. On both trips, the hunting was hampered by bad weather, but Farrenkopf was still able to spend some time with Scalia.

"His passion was quail hunting," Farrenkopf said to the Scottsbluff Star-Herald.

Farrenkopf echoed many of the statements in the news over the week — Scalia had a first-rate intelligence.

"He's one of the smartest guys I've ever been around," Farrenkopf said, adding that the justice was down to earth and had a great sense of humor. Scalia wasn't traveling with any security.

Farrenkopf's land east of Melbeta contains a controlled shooting area for sporting clay for family and friends, and even though the weather wasn't great, they were able to have a few drinks with Scalia and talk politics and hunting.

Scalia came to know the area thanks to Glen Summers, an attorney in Denver who owns land on the North Platte River near McGrew. Summers clerked for the justice in 1996 and 1997, and invited him out to hunt ducks and geese in 2005.

"He had a wonderful hunt," Summers said. They turned it into an annual affair.

"He had friends there and loved the area. He found it to be a very relaxing place and a place to come to escape the business of Washington. And also because the hunting is terrific. The waterfowl hunting in western Nebraska is hard to beat."



Introduction to Gun Safety and Technique for Young Shooters, Nebraska Game and Parks Outdoor Education Center, Lincoln, 5:30 p.m., 402-471-6141


Nebraska Game and Parks Commission meeting, Pheasant Bonanza Hunt Club and Kennel, 3097 County Road O, Tekamah


Cottontail and jackrabbit hunting seasons close

Bobcat, raccoon, Virginia opossum, long-tailed weasel, mink, red fox, gray fox and badger hunting and trapping seasons close

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