Posts Tagged ‘Nebraska Game and Parks’

Rooster Road Trip Dog of the Day: “Diana”

Wednesday, October 30th, 2013

Diana

“Diana” is Mick Jensen’s small munsterlander, shown here with a rooster bagged on a Nebraska Open and Fields and Waters property in northeast Nebraska. A Nebraska Game and Parks Commissioner, Jensen represents the state’s northeast district in overseeing the state’s fish, wildlife, parks and outdoor recreation resources. The Open Fields and Waters Program is a joint project of the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission and Pheasants Forever.

Have your own bird dog photo you’d like to share? Email it to Anthony Hauck, Pheasants Forever’s Online Editor, at ahauck@pheasantsforever.org.

Pheasant Hunting Opening Weekend Report: Southwest Nebraska

Thursday, November 1st, 2012

Drought has been the name of the weather game for most of pheasant country this year, and Nebraska is no different. The state’s summer upland surveys indicated a pheasant population decrease of 15 percent, but noted the decrease, due to dry survey conditions, may not necessarily have been that steep. Read Pheasants Forever’s Nebraska Pheasant Hunting Forecast.

Pheasants Forever has a deep network of biologists in Nebraska stemming from strong partnerships with the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission and the Natural Resources Conservation Service. A pair of biologists share on-the-ground reports from what’s typically the top pheasant producing region in Cornhusker Country:

Nebraska pheasant hunters Randy Tullis and Austin Horn get ready to hunt during Nebraska’s 2012 pheasant opening weekend. Photo by Andy Houser / Pheasants Forever

I hunted southwest Nebraska opening weekend. The area has been in stage-four drought since July. There is no doubt the lack of insects, heat and CRP haying operations have taken a toll on pheasant numbers. It seems the average bird-per-hunter was near 1.5 late in the day on Saturday. For local farmers, the fall pheasant population analysis is the number of pheasants flushed per 1/4 section irrigation pivot of corn during harvest. In past years, this number has been in/near the hundred(s). This year? A half dozen.

There is still a considerable amount of corn in the fields in some parts of the region. Many CRP fields have been hayed and/or grazed. Cover is generally shorter and thinner than previous years. However, where high quality habitat is found, there are plenty of birds, including a high proportion of hatch-year birds. Bonus bobwhite quail and prairie chickens are possible for pheasant hunters. Hunters should look for patchy native grass interspersed with wildflowers, weeds and shrub thickets. Tall wheat and milo stubble may also be productive. Hunters can save a lot of time and gas money by scouting Open Fields and Waters Program properties remotely with Google Earth. Those willing to hunt hard and put in the time scouting should be successful.

-          Andy Moore, Loess Canyons Coordinating Wildlife Biologist, Quail Forever – North Platte

 

I would say hunting here in southwest Nebraska was great again in areas with superior habitat. Most groups I talked to had the opportunity to shoot a limit of birds. Although the area is faced with one of our worst droughts ever, hunters were very excited to see birds and thought quail numbers were much higher than expected. My group of four – consisting of family and friends – were pleased to harvest 6 roosters and 13 quail on the morning of pheasant opener this last weekend, hunting primarily good early succession habitat adjacent to cropland. With a little frost on the ground and cool weather, the dogs worked great! Limits weren’t filled, but not due to opportunity!  

-          Andy Houser, Farm Bill Wildlife Biologist, Pheasants Forever – McCook

 

Have you been pheasant hunting in Nebraska this year? If so, post your own report in the comments section below. 

Anthony’s Antics Afield is written by Anthony Hauck, Pheasants Forever’s Online Editor. Email Anthony at AHauck@pheasantsforever.org and follow him on Twitter @AnthonyHauckPF.

Pheasant, Quail Counts Up in Neb. April Survey

Wednesday, June 6th, 2012

Pheasants Forever File Photo

Results are in from the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission’s 2012 April Rural Mail Carrier Survey, with the statewide pheasant index slightly higher (up 2 percent) compared to 2011, and the bobwhite quail index up 175 percent compared to last year.

Indices were also higher in most pheasant regions, except for the Sandhills (down 41 percent) and the Southwest (down 8 percent). Bobwhite indices continued to improve following the devastating winter of 2009. The statewide bobwhite index was 175 percent higher in 2012 compared to 2011, and regional indices were higher everywhere except for the northeast region.

Jeff Lusk, Program Manager for Upland Game with Nebraska Game and Parks, cautions that percent differences comparatively can be misleading when relative abundance is low – regionally and statewide – as that leads to large percentage changes. Still, good news is good news for upland birds and upland hunters in Nebraska.

Field Notes are compiled by Anthony Hauck Pheasants Forever’s Online Editor. Email Anthony at AHauck@pheasantsforever.org and follow him on Twitter @AnthonyHauckPF.