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Pheasant, Quail Hunters Enjoy Increased Bird Numbers on Opening Weekend

LINCOLN – Hunters across the state saw noticeably improved hunting for pheasant and quail on the opening weekend of the season Oct. 31 – Nov. 1, according to the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. Hunters contacted by conservation officers reported more birds than in recent years and generally reported good success.

Southwest Nebraska provided the most consistent hunting in the state. Good numbers of pheasants were seen across the region, particularly in Lincoln, Hayes, Perkins, Dundy, Chase, and Red Willow counties.

Improved quail numbers were consistently reported across the Southeast region, but pheasant hunting success was more variable. Pheasant hunters on public hunting areas in the Rainwater Basins reported seeing good numbers of birds.

The Northeast region saw improved hunting in areas where sufficient grassland cover remained. Successful pheasant hunters were reported in Madison, Knox, Burt, Thurston, Dixon, Pierce, and Antelope counties.

Unharvested crop fields hampered hunters in the Northwest region, but good numbers of pheasants were reported. The highest hunting pressure and success appeared to be in Box Butte County.

Hunting conditions across the state are expected to improve in the coming weeks as the weather cools, more crop fields are harvested, and hunting pressure declines. Additionally, rain prior to opening weekend made travel difficult and many minimum maintenance roads were impassable on opening day. Good habitat conditions prevail across the state, which is good news for birds and hunters alike.

To view the Commission’s full upland game hunting forecast, visit OutdoorNebraska.org, and then click on Hunting, Upland Game, and Forecast. Hunters can find public hunting sites, as well as private sites open to public walk-in hunting, in the Nebraska Public Access Atlas. Go to OutdoorNebraska.org, and then click on Guides.

The pheasant and quail seasons run through Jan. 31, 2016.

About Jerry Kane

Jerry Kane is the news manager with the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. He can be contacted at jerry.kane@nebraska.gov or 402-471-5008.

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