Steve Beyer had to stand for an hour, “not moving an eyelash,” to get a chance at the big elk he was chasing.

He and guide Patti Hollibaugh, a rancher from Crawford, had already been hunting for two days in the Ash Creek Unit. Early that morning, they sneaked up close to a herd. A few cows and calves moved within 50 yards of them, turning them to stone.

“If they had seen any movement, it would have alerted the whole herd,” Beyer said.

The big bull he was after was more than 500 yards away, courting a cow. They waited until the animal moved closer, and then Beyer shot him with his .300 Weatherby, a rifle he’s had for years.

“The once-in-a lifetime bull elk tag is a fantastic hunting opportunity by the state of Nebraska,” Beyer said.

It was Beyer’s second time hunting elk in that area. The retiree from Elkhorn accompanied granddaughter Kaitlyn Neid when she successfully harvested a seven-point buck in 2017 using her grandfather’s first rifle.

Beyer’s was a six-point bull that roughly measured 365, compared to Kaitlyn’s 342. They were killed about a mile apart on Hollibaugh’s ranch.

Beyer wasn’t sure how much his weighed.

“I’m guessing 600 pounds,” Beyer said. “It’s a big elk.”

Beyer has been applying for elk permits for years, while Kaitlyn drew a permit the first time she applied. The sophomore at Millard West wasn’t able to come along on this hunt because of other commitments.

Beyer said he’s hunted all over, from Alaska to Mexico.

“I’m 73,” he said. “This is probably my last big game hunt.”

Youth hunts a success

Nebraska youth got to experience an upland hunt as adult mentors took them afield for the state’s special youth pheasant hunt last weekend.

The special hunt took place on 14 wildlife management areas where the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission released 7,390 roosters Oct. 18.

In total, 362 adult mentors accompanied 440 youth hunters on the hunt, up almost 15% from 2018. Youth and their mentors harvested 25 wild roosters and 745 released roosters.

“We are excited to see so many youth out in the field harvesting pheasants, and we are grateful for the mentors and parents who are taking kids out,” said John Laux, Game and Parks’ upland game program manager. “There will be many more great days afield for mixed bag hunting with youth this year, including upland game, turkey and deer.”

The highest harvest success rates were at Sherman Reservoir, Pressey, Kirkpatrick North Basin and Rakes Creek.



Dark goose hunting season opens in East, Platte River, Panhandle and Niobrara units


Dove (all species) hunting season closes


Archery and firearm bull elk hunting seasons close

Eurasian collared-dove only hunting season opens

Antlerless elk hunting season closes

Raccoon and Virginia opossum hunting seasons close

Bullfrog season closes


Late doe/fawn antelope season opens

Raccoon, opossum, long-tailed weasel, mink, red fox, gray fox and badger hunting and trapping seasons open

Muskrat and beaver trapping season opens


Bighorn Sheep Hike, Wildcat Hills State Recreation Area, Gering

Candlelight Tour, Fort Atkinson State Historical Park, Fort Calhoun

River Valley Artisan Craft Market, Eugene T. Mahoney State Park, Ashland

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Marjie is a writer for The World-Herald’s special sections and specialty publications, including Inspired Living Omaha, Wedding Essentials and Momaha Magazine. Follow her on Twitter @mduceyOWH. Phone: 402-444-1034.

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