LINCOLN – Youth participation in Nebraska’s special youth pheasant hunts has increased 77 percent since the program began in 2011 and 42 percent since last year.
In 2013, 392 youth participated, compared to 276 in 2012 and 222 in 2011. The goal of the program is to increase youth participation in upland game hunting by providing them an opportunity to experience a successful hunt.
This program allows youth ages 15 and younger to hunts at nine wildlife management areas (WMA) across Nebraska during the statewide youth pheasant, quail and partridge season, which took place Oct. 19-20.
On Oct. 18, 3,990 adult rooster pheasants were released across all nine WMAs: Pressey (Custer County); Sherman Reservoir (Sherman County); Oak Valley (Madison County); Branched Oak (Lancaster County); Twin Oaks (Johnson County); Hickory Ridge (Johnson County); Wilkinson (Platte County); Peru Bottoms (Nemaha County) and Yankee Hill (Lancaster County).
Youth were allowed to harvest two roosters per day, and adult mentors were allowed to harvest one per day. There were 331 mentors this year, compared to 231 in 2012 and 180 in 2011.
Youth and mentors harvested 577 roosters this year, compared to 522 in 2012 and 237 in 2011.
The regular pheasant, quail and partridge season opens Oct. 26.