Another fall of diverse upland bird hunting opportunities awaits Nebraska hunters.

The Southwest and Panhandle regions will provide the best hunting opportunities for pheasants, with more publicly accessible lands available in the Southwest, according to the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission’s 2019 Upland Gamebird Hunting Outlook.

Overwinter survival was relatively high for pheasants this year, but the cool, wet conditions that persisted into May and June likely had a negative impact on nesting success. The statewide pheasant index from the 2019 July Rural Mail Carrier Survey was 14% lower compared with 2018.

The best quail hunting opportunities will be found in the Republican, Southeast and East Central regions, but hunters should expect to find lower densities compared with recent years. 

The highest densities of prairie grouse are found in the Sandhills region. Spring elk counts were generally lower compared with recent years, but hunters should still find good grouse numbers and plenty of cover to walk this fall. 

Take someone fishing

The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission encourages people to take someone fishing for the chance to win a new boat. Steve Loyd did, and he earned a kayak.

The Tamarack Angler Kayak, donated by the Nebraska Fish and Game Association, was a prize in Game and Parks’ Take ‘Em Fishing Challenge, which ends Sept. 15.

“It was an amazing trip with my grandson, Noah,” said Loyd, who lives south of Plattsmouth. 

The Take ’Em Fishing Challenge encourages anglers to go fishing with someone who either has never fished or who hasn’t fished in years. Anglers who take a photo of themselves taking someone fishing can enter an online drawing for dozens of prizes.

The drawing for the grand prize, a Bass Tracker Classic fishing boat, will take place in mid-September. 

For more information about Take ’Em Fishing visit OutdoorNebraska.org/TakeEmFishing.

Helping the hungry

Hunters may begin donating deer to the Hunters Helping the Hungry program beginning Sunday at 11 processor locations around the state. Two additional processors will accept deer for the program starting Nov. 1 and Nov. 16.

Hunters pay no processing costs for deer accepted by processors for this donation-driven program.

The participating meat processors include:

Amherst: Belschner Custom Meats; Bayard: JM Pack (starting Nov. 1); Elwood: SteakMaster; Humphrey: Country Butcher (starting Nov. 16); Johnson: Pelican’s Meat Processing; Lindsay: Melcher’s Locker; North Bend: Bob’s Custom Meats; North Platte: Kelley’s Custom Pack; Oakland: Oakland Meat Processing Plant; Omaha: B.I.G. Meats; Orleans: Harlan County Meat Processors; Table Rock: Den’s Country Meats; Ulysses: The Butchery.

Learn to hunt workshops

The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission will host Learn to Hunt workshops this fall to help individuals prepare for upcoming hunting seasons.

Registration at OutdoorNebraska.gov/workshops is required as space is limited.

The workshop schedule:

Sept. 17: Introduction to hunting, Nebraska Game and Parks Outdoor Education Center, Lincoln

Sept. 26: Deer hunting, Lincoln Park Fire Station, Hastings

Oct. 1: Waterfowl, Nebraska Game and Parks Outdoor Education Center, Lincoln

Oct. 8: Upland bird hunting, Nebraska Game and Parks Outdoor Education Center, Lincoln

Oct. 22: Deer hunting, Nebraska Game and Parks Outdoor Education Center, Lincoln

Dec. 3: Predator hunting, Nebraska Game and Parks Outdoor Education Center, Lincoln

Calendar

SUNDAY

» Hunting seasons open for cottontail, jackrabbit, dove, snipe, grouse, rail, raccoon and opossum

» Archery, River Antlerless Private Land Only, Antlerless Only Season Choice, Whitetail Statewide Buck, Youth, and Landowner deer hunting seasons open

» Archery bull elk season opens

» Living history, Fort Atkinson State Historical Park (SHP), Fort Calhoun

» End of Summer Bash, Lewis and Clark State Recreation Area (SRA), Crofton

» Sidewalk Chalk with Emerald Ash borer/Pollinator Program, Niobrara State Park (SP), Niobrara

» Critter Corner, Danish Alps SRA, Hubbard

» Nebraska Reptiles, Lake McConaughy SRA, Ogallala

Living history, Fort Kearny SHP, Kearney

» Nebraska State Fair, Grand Island

SATURDAY

» Early teal hunting starts in High Plains Zone

» Early teal hunting starts in Low Plains Zone

» Hooked for Life, Barnet Park Lake, McCook

» 7th Annual Night Owl Run/Walk, Niobrara SP, Niobrara

» The Night Sky, Ash Hollow SHP, Lewellen

» September Songbird Search, Lake Ogallala SRA, Ogallala

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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