Posts Tagged ‘CRP-MAP’
Friday, October 26th, 2012
New for 2012, Nebraska’s popular Conservation Reserve Program-Management Access Program, or CRP-MAP, has been restructured and transitioned into the state’s Open Fields and Waters Program. More than 275,000 acres are enrolled in the program for Nebraska sportsmen and women this year. Nebraska’s pheasant hunting and quail hunting seasons open Saturday, October 27th.
Despite the restructuring, Pheasants Forever continues to be a major program partner. “Nebraska Pheasants Forever chapters raise money and donate it to the program for making access payments to landowners, habitat incentive contracts for wildlife habitat upgrades, and help pay for the atlas and Coordinating Wildlife Biologist positions,” says Caroline Hinkelman, Coordinating Wildlife Biologist with Pheasants Forever who manages the Open Fields and Waters Program in partnership with the Nebraska Game & Parks Commission.
Hinkelman says because Nebraska expanded its Focus on Pheasants areas, more landowners were able to enroll in the access program because of additional payments for walk-in access and habitat improvement incentive payments. “We lost some areas in the eastern part of the state due to the loss of CRP signups, but we gained acres in the southwest – Focus on Pheasants sites and Small Grain Stubble Management Program – and then some larger access sites in the northwest part of the state,” Hinkelman says.
While new, similar looking Open Fields and Waters Program signs are being phased in, hunters may still encounter a lot of CRP-MAP signs out there, so they’re encouraged to know what both look like.
Open Fields and Waters Program areas can be found using the Nebraska Public Access Atlas, which is also available on the go as free smartphone ap. And Hunters looking for that extra edge can use Google Earth to scout out sites with aerial images.
Tuesday, November 15th, 2011
After Andrew bagged a banded rooster this morning, I jumped into the Rooster Road Trip vehicle’s driver’s seat and promptly pointed the truck toward my favorite CRP-MAP field. This was a special field, the very same field that produced a limit of pointed roosters for me a year ago on the Rooster Road; including Trammell’s famous 500-yard retrieve.
Within moments, Tram was on the “birdy” trail with her tail vibrating left to right. A moment after Tram locked into a point, a big colorful rooster pheasant exploded from the little bluestem and cupped its wings. It was a shot I should have made. I knew he was there from her point. I just whiffed; plain and simple. Hey, it happens to everyone right?
Tram looked back at me as if to say, “What’s up with that boss?” I don’t know Tram, I don’t know. With my shooting confidence wavering, I pushed forward.
It only took a few hundred feet before Trammell found some fresh scent again. I readied the shotgun and picked up the pace. It was windy in Nebraska this morning, very windy. Trammell played the scent and wind like a seasoned pro and tried her best to pin the rooster into a point, but this ringneck wasn’t interested in the textbook on pointers. He busted toward the cloudless blue sky and flushed with the wind. The Browning Citori is natural in my hands and came up quickly. I found the bird and bead, and unleashed the Prairie Storm 4s. The rooster shuddered, but didn’t drop, gliding a hundred yards. Like a year ago, Tram was on the trail. In moments, Tram had locked up again into a solid point. As I approached, I gave her permission to “get him.” From the grassy clump emerged my first 2011 CRP-MAP rooster. I am a proud bird dog papa. Trammell thinks I’m okay too.
Open Fields and Waters Program
After reading my Nebraska preview blog, I received a very nice email from Caroline Hinkelman, Pheasants Forever’s Coordinating Wildlife Biologist in Lincoln, Nebraska this morning updating me on Nebraska’s public access programs. Hinkelman let me know Nebraska’s CRP-MAP program is being phased out and rolled into the Open Fields and Waters Program (OFW). OFW pays a higher rate and it includes woodlands, wetlands, mixed habitats, etc. This year, landowners have enrolled over 270,000 acres for hunting and fishing, with about 500 acres of open water and over 60 miles of river into OFW. Last year Nebraska received a grant from the USDA to fund the OFW program under the Voluntary Public Access and Habitat Incentive Program. This allows higher landowner payment rates to open up other habitat types besides CRP lands. – Thanks Caroline!
Although I may not be posting a blog declaring my love for CRP-MAP in the future, the good news is that Nebraska continues to push the envelope with fantastic habitat and public access. If you’re a traveling bird hunter, Nebraska is a must visit . . . yearly!
Tuesday, November 15th, 2011
Tuesday, November 15th – NEBRASKA
We’ll be hunting in southwest Nebraska near the town of McCook on day 18 of Nebraska’s pheasant and quail hunting season.
Shooting Hours: 30 minutes before sunrise to sunset
Daily Limits: 3 rooster pheasants per day / 12 in possession. 6 quail per day / 24 in possession.
Public Hunting Land
We’ll be focusing our day’s hunt on CRP-MAP land. CRP-MAP stands for Conservation Reserve Program – Managed Access Program. Through the program, the Nebraska Game & Parks Commission in partnership with Pheasants Forever pays private landowners to improve their CRP acres for wildlife and open those acres up for public hunting.
We’ll be hunting in the Republican River watershed, which happens to also be a relatively new special focus area for CRP in the state. In fact, Nebraska has a special Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) for this area, which has targeted 100,000 acres of land in the Republican and Platte River watersheds. The combination of CREP and CRP-MAP has these new acres featuring a very diverse mix of grasses, forbs and legumes maximizing wildlife benefits. That means good pheasant habitat!
Nebraska Game & Parks Commission offers a full season non-resident small game permit ($81) or a two-day small game permit ($56). Either of these licenses must be purchased in tandem with a state Habitat Stamp for an additional $20 to hunt pheasants and quail in the state. A hunter education certificate number is also required.
Pheasants Forever’s Impact in Nebraska
Pheasants Forever Members: That is today’s Pheasants Forever trivia question on Facebook
Quail Forever Members: 496
Habitat projects completed by Pheasants Forever in Nebraska: 94,143 projects
Total habitat acres improved by Pheasants Forever in Nebraska: 2,771,794 acres
My Nebraska Memories
I have been hunting Nebraska since 2004 and continue to believe it’s one of the most under-rated states for the traveling upland bird hunter. Boasting prairie chickens, sharp-tailed grouse, Hungarian partridge and bobwhite quail in addition to pheasants, Nebraska offers a mixed bag with diverse terrain and lots of public land opportunities. In fact, my favorite memory from last year’s Rooster Road Trip came in Nebraska on a spectacular retrieve from my pup. You can read that full story titled, “I Love my Bird Dog and She Loves CRP-MAP.”
Learn more at www.VisitNebraska.gov
Thursday, November 4th, 2010
There’s little doubt that Nebraska is over-looked in the world of traveling bird hunters. Year in and year out, it makes the top five lists of pheasant and quail states. Throw prairie chickens into the mix and the “Cornhusker State” has more going for it than a resurgent college football program about to enter the Big Ten.
Chief among the state’s progressive habitat programs and partnerships is the CRP-MAP lands initiative. The Conservation Reserve Program – Managed Access Program opens private land enrolled in CRP and managed for wildlife to public hunting. During our visit to Nebraska, we’ll focus on these public CRP acres with the hopes of adding a few bobwhite quail covey flushes to our adventure.
I have fond memories of my only hunting visit to Nebraska in 2004. I bagged my first bobwhite on that trip and missed my first prairie chicken later that day. I also connected on one of my best shots ever during that visit as a rooster tried to escape at 80 yards. He tasted especially good next to a side of mashed potatoes. When the Rooster Road Trip visits Nebraska next Friday, it will be Anthony and Andrew’s first time afield in the state.
- A non-resident small game license costs $81.00 plus a $20 Habitat Stamp equals a $101 total. The license is good through the end of the calendar year.
- The daily bag limit is 3 roosters and 6 bobwhites.
- Hunting opens daily 30 minutes prior to sunrise and closes at sunset all season.
- Nebraska has a little more than 1 million acres enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP). More than 450,000 of those acres’ contracts are set to expire in the next three years.
- Pheasants Forever’s National Pheasant Fest 2011, the nation’s largest event for upland hunters, comes to the Qwest Center in Omaha, Nebraska on January 28-30, 2011.
Road Trip Recommendation
Boyt Gun Case: How many soft sided gun cases have you ripped with your barrel bead? I rip at least one every other year. I won’t guarantee that your bead won’t rip this case, but it’s about the perfect solution I’ve found merging quality and price.
The Pointer is written by Bob St.Pierre, Pheasants Forever’s Vice President of Marketing.