Because vendors were unable to provide birds, the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission will not be releasing pen-reared pheasants before the youth pheasant season and Thanksgiving holiday this year.
The statewide youth season still will take place Oct. 22-23, but only youth ages 15 and younger will be allowed to hunt.
“It’s very unfortunate the Commission was unable to purchase birds to release for the special season this year,” said Alicia Hardin, the agency’s Wildlife Division administrator. “Two separate requests for proposals and numerous phone calls were made to potential vendors, but none were able to fulfill the request this year. We know families look forward to hunting our public areas during the special season. We encourage hunters to still go out and take Nebraska’s youth hunting and spend some quality time outdoors.”
People interested in hunting pen-raised birds in a more controlled environment are encouraged to visit one of state’s 48 Controlled Shooting Areas. CSAs are privately-owned areas for hunting upland gamebirds during an extended season. For more information, visit OutdoorNebraska.org/CSA.
Other options for youth hunters include attending a free Youth Mentor Hunt event (ages 12-15) or participating in the Next Steps Hunt Program, both sponsored by Pheasants Forever chapters throughout the state. For more information, visit NebraskaPF.com.
In recent years, Game and Parks has released approximately 16,500 pheasants on 19 public areas across the state. The agency is planning to release pheasants next year.