LINCOLN, Neb. – Nebraska youth got to experience an upland hunt as adult mentors took them afield for the state’s special youth pheasant hunt Oct. 19-20.
The special hunt took place on 14 wildlife management areas (WMA), where the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission released 7,390 roosters Oct. 18.
In total, 362 adult mentors accompanied 440 youth hunters on the hunt this year, up almost 15% from 2018. Youth and their mentors harvested 25 wild roosters and 745 released roosters.
“We are excited to see so many youth out in the field harvesting pheasants and we are grateful for the mentors and parents who are taking kids out,” said John Laux, Game and Parks’ upland game program manager. “There will be many more great days afield for mixed bag hunting with youth this year, including upland game, turkey and deer.”
Pheasants were released at the following WMAs: Pressey (Custer County); Sherman Reservoir (Sherman County); Oak Valley (Madison County); Powder Creek (Dixon County); Branched Oak (Lancaster County); Twin Oaks (Johnson County); Hickory Ridge (Johnson County); Wilkinson (Platte County); Yankee Hill (Lancaster County), Cornhusker (Hall County), Arrowhead (Gage County), George Syas (Platte County), Rakes Creek (Cass County), and Kirkpatrick Basin North (York County).
The highest harvest success rates were at Sherman Reservoir, Pressey, Kirkpatrick North Basin, and Rakes Creek.
The special hunt, which takes place annually during the statewide youth pheasant, quail and partridge season, was for youth ages 15 and younger. Youth could take two rooster pheasants per day while adult mentors were allowed to harvest one per day. Only one adult mentor per youth was allowed to hunt.
This was the ninth year of the pheasant releases during the special youth season, which is intended to increase youth participation in upland game hunting.
The statewide pheasant, quail and partridge season is Oct. 26 – Jan. 31, 2020, giving hunters an opportunity to start or complete a Nebraska Upland Slam. Visit OutdoorNebraska.gov/uplandslam for details. Permits are available at OutdoorNebraska.org.