LINCOLN, Neb. – For most upland game bird hunters, taking to the field provides a lot more than just the act of harvesting birds. It is a great opportunity for exercise, camaraderie and enjoying this time of year.
Nebraska Hunter Education Coordinator Wendy Horine encourages all those going afield for an upland bird hunt to remember the basics of hunting safety: point the gun in a safe direction; treat every firearm as if it is loaded; keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to shoot; and know your target and what is beyond it.
Horine offers the following additional reminders for the Oct. 28 opener of pheasant, quail and partridge seasons:
— Read the 2017 Small Game Guide before heading out to become familiar with species-specific regulations.
— Be prepared for longer trips with plenty of water and snacks. Keep your dog rested and hydrated, too.
— Make sure you have landowner permission before hunting on private land, even if you asked and received permission last year. Remember to thank them for their hospitality afterward.
— Since upland game bird hunting is frequently a group activity, know where your hunting partners are at all times and only shoot within your own zone of fire. Never shoot at a sound, shadow or movement.
— Although not a requirement, all game bird hunters are strongly encouraged to wear blaze orange as a precaution in the field.
The Nebraska pheasant, quail and partridge season is Oct. 28 – Jan 31. Permits are available at OutdoorNebraska.org. Mobile permits are available.
Pheasant abundance in southwestern part of the state remains high compared to some regions, and the best hunting opportunities should be found in the Panhandle and southwest regions this year, according to the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission’s Upland Game Hunting Outlook. The outlook states that northern bobwhite abundance increased in most regions of the state compared to 2016.
For a closer look at the upcoming season, read the Upland Game Hunting Outlook at OutdoorNebraska.gov/Upland.