The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, along with Ducks Unlimited, Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever, the National Wild Turkey Federation and Plains Equipment Group, announced a new challenge for hunters beginning Sept. 1.

The Take ’Em Hunting Challenge encourages hunters to introduce someone new to hunting during the 2019-20 hunting seasons.

Those who take someone new hunting can upload a photo of their  trip to the commission’s website and will be registered to win prizes, including a camo John Deere XUV590M crossover utility vehicle from Plains Equipment Group valued at $15,300; gift cards to Cabela’s and Scheels; a stay at a Nebraska State Park; shotguns and outdoor gear donated by partners who are invested in recruiting more hunters.

“Everyone learned to hunt from someone, and they likely have wonderful memories of those early hunting trips,” said Jim Douglas, director of the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. “Here in Nebraska, we are proud of our strong hunting heritage. But in order for that heritage to last, we must share it with others.”

Every time a hunter buys a hunting permit or habitat stamp, his or her purchase directly funds programs that support habitat conservation, hunting access, wildlife research and more. Additionally, excise taxes that hunters pay on firearms, ammunition and other hunting equipment generate $1 billion for conservation work each year.

“It is crucial that we recruit a new generation of hunters to maintain our cherished natural resources. The best thing a hunter can do for conservation is to introduce someone new to hunting,” Douglas said.

Prizes will be given away throughout the challenge, which runs until May 31. The winner of the utility vehicle will be announced next June.

Memphis rehab done

A project to restore the wetland at Memphis Lake Wildlife Management Area back to a fully functional marsh was completed in June.

Over the years, modifications to the 90-acre wetland and uncontrolled vegetation caused site conditions to deteriorate, reducing its value for migratory waterfowl and other aquatic wildlife.

The water level of the lake and wetland was lowered beginning last August. All trees and shrubs from the project site were removed in January. Work was delayed twice earlier this year by a blizzard and flooding.

In May, the last of the 5-foot-deep ditches, originally dug to provide open water for ducks and fishing, were filled. In June, two water-control structures were installed to help manage water in the wetland. An accessible hunting blind will be built on the site later this year.

The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission partnered with Ducks Unlimited on the project, and a Nebraska Environmental Trust grant helped pay for it.

Buy paddlefish permits

Nebraska residents will be able to purchase 2019 paddlefish snagging permits that were forfeited during the paddlefish snagging permit draw.

The permits will go on sale on Monday at 1 p.m. and will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. Twenty permits are available. Paddlefish snagging season is Oct. 1 to 31.

Permits may be purchased at OutdoorNebraska.org or at Nebraska Game and Parks Commission permitting offices. Find an office near you at OutdoorNebraska.org/locations.

Calendar

TUESDAY

» Antelope archery hunting season opens

FRIDAY

» Start of Nebraska State Fair, Grand Island

» Civilian Marksmanship Program Service Pistol Qualification. Also Saturday. 3 p.m., 30 shots, Weeping Water Gun Club.

To share your trophy picture or calendar item, send it to Outdoor Sports, World-Herald Sports Dept., 1314 Douglas St., Suite 700, Omaha, NE 68102 or email the photo and details to outdoors@owh.com. A daytime or cellphone number must be included.

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