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Hunting Nebraska’s Reservoirs

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Big water reservoirs are often hunted by Nebraska Game and Parks commissioner Lynn Berggren along with family and friends. Commissioners Berggren, Jerrod Burke and Norris Marshall along with Burke’s son Logan, and Berggren’s sons Kevin and Pat and grandson Kaleb were all out waterfowl hunting this past month – making lasting memories and enjoying morning sunrises.

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Commissioners Berggren (left), Norris Marshall, Logan Burke (son of Jerrod Burke) and commissioner Jerrod Burke watch as decoys are moved around.

Part of hunting is spending time with family and friends, chasing sunrises and sunsets and enjoying time spent together in the field or on the water. Hunting is a game of chase and waiting. Some days the birds fly and some days they don’t. Some days great shots come all day, other days missing is the name-of-the-game.

Making yourself unseen is another part of hunting – the challenge of camouflage. Trees along the shoreline are used to camouflage the already painted and grass-covered duck boat. Layout blinds are set up on the bank next to the boat, which accommodates more hunters. Using natural vegetation to cover the layouts is sure to keep hunters invisible to waterfowl that are focusing on the decoy spread.

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Kevin Berggren and dog Limit use natural vegetation for camouflage on their layout blind.

Don’t forget breakfast in the blind – many hunters are well-known for burritos, rolls, eggs and bacon or biscuits and gravy in the blind. The birds are sure to fly once plates of food are made – and it’s another way hunters enjoy the experience.

Kids love to get out in the field when given the chance – with warm clothing and snacks there’s plenty for kids to do. Kaleb started the day off in Grandpa Lynn’s duck boat, going across the lake in his warm camo clothes. Once the hunt began he was on dad’s (Pat Berggren) lap asking questions about the decoys, weather and everything under the sun as youngsters do. After a while he was in uncle Kevin’s layout blind where the laughing commenced and memories with uncle Kevin were made.

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Kevin Berggren and nephew Kaleb enjoy a laugh in the layout blind.
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Pat Berggren (left) and son Kaleb watch for ducks with Jerrod Burke, Logan Burke and Lynn Berggren.

When a couple buffleheads came zipping into the decoys, Kaleb got a chance to watch Limit, uncle Kevin’s yellow lab, work and he got to see firsthand the quarry of the hunt.

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Kaleb is happy to take a couple buffleheads to the duck boat.

Sitting in the blind is where stories are told; it’s where memories and bonds are made strong and where old hunters can introduce young hunters to the passion.

One thing about hunting – it’s not about the kill but about time spent. When you wrap all the above together in a package anyone can see that there is more to hunting than meets the eye.

Nebraskans’ are blessed to have public places to hunt. Sherman, Merritt, Medicine Creek, Lake Maloney, Sutherland, Red Willow, Swanson, Elwood, Harlan County, Johnson, McConaughy, Lake Ogallala and Enders Reservoirs all offer opportunities for waterfowl hunting during the goose and duck seasons.

From bank hunting to hunting from a boat, all it takes is a few pieces of equipment, the ambition to do so and a few family members or friends to share the experience with.

About julie geiser

Julie Geiser is a Public Information Officer and NEBRASKAland Regional Editor based out of North Platte, where she was born and still happily resides. Geiser worked for the commission previously for over 10 years as an outdoor education instructor – teaching people of all ages about Nebraska’s outdoor offerings. She also coordinates the Becoming an Outdoors Woman program for Nebraska Game and Parks Commission (NGPC). Geiser went on to work in marketing and writing an outdoor column for the North Platte Telegraph before returning to NGPC in her current position. She loves spending time outdoors with her family and getting others involved in her passions of hunting, fishing, camping, boating, hiking and enjoying Nebraska’s great outdoors.

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