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Nebraska upland hunting #8234648 04/13/21 01:36 PM
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I have gone to Kansas upland hunting for 14 years. I have gone to South Dakota a hand full of times. I have never thought about Nebraska. I was driving through there 3 weeks ago and I saw several pheasant. Why don't people hunt Nebraska? I was looking at their website and they have 1.2 million acres of public access land and a ton of upland game species. What am I missing?

Re: Nebraska upland hunting [Re: stinkbelly] #8234677 04/13/21 01:55 PM
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Location, location, location. Longer drive.


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Re: Nebraska upland hunting [Re: stinkbelly] #8234707 04/13/21 02:25 PM
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I grew up hunting pheasants in Nebraska and it was lots of fun. One thing that seemed to make some differences was when the farmers started putting in concrete ditches which limited the nesting areas. There are still lots of pheasants there though as there is lots of farming still going on.

Re: Nebraska upland hunting [Re: stinkbelly] #8234711 04/13/21 02:27 PM
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I’ve been twice with Blue. I’m going again this year for Turkey. I like It.

Re: Nebraska upland hunting [Re: stinkbelly] #8234909 04/13/21 04:48 PM
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I hunted public land pheasant in Nebraska for 7 years, it's tuff hunting. I wasn't able to go until late December every year, so all of that public land was always pretty much shot out by then but I still tried hard. Most locals hit the public land hard early season, then it's pretty much over for them. I walked many miles in the snow & ice, driving from area to area day after day and was lucky if I could kick up one rooster a day. Nebraska doesn't have the pheasant numbers that they used to, at all. My ex FIL was born & raised there and the stories he and his friends told me about the birds in the old days were pretty impressive. It's certainly not that way now. This is due to the way farming is being done there now. The farmers USED to leave hedgerows around their fields, which was a lot of good cover for the birds that was desperately needed (especially in the Winter). Now most farm all the way to the road, taking out the hedgerows. Kansas has more birds, but S Dakota is where it's at.

Re: Nebraska upland hunting [Re: cbump] #8234917 04/13/21 04:53 PM
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Originally Posted by cbump
I’ve been twice with Blue. I’m going again this year for Turkey. I like It.



LOTS of turkey there. The biggest groups of turkeys I've ever seen were in Nebraska. Hundreds of birds per group, and saw group after group down on the Platt River, the Little Blue, and the Republican River. Was all private land though.

Re: Nebraska upland hunting [Re: stinkbelly] #8234925 04/13/21 04:58 PM
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How many of you used dogs? Flushers or pointers?


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Re: Nebraska upland hunting [Re: bill oxner] #8234936 04/13/21 05:06 PM
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Originally Posted by bill oxner
How many of you used dogs? Flushers or pointers?



I never got to use a dog pheasant hunting up there. My dogs were my feet.

Re: Nebraska upland hunting [Re: skinnerback] #8234960 04/13/21 05:30 PM
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Originally Posted by skinnerback
I hunted public land pheasant in Nebraska for 7 years, it's tuff hunting. I wasn't able to go until late December every year, so all of that public land was always pretty much shot out by then but I still tried hard. Most locals hit the public land hard early season, then it's pretty much over for them. I walked many miles in the snow & ice, driving from area to area day after day and was lucky if I could kick up one rooster a day. Nebraska doesn't have the pheasant numbers that they used to, at all. My ex FIL was born & raised there and the stories he and his friends told me about the birds in the old days were pretty impressive. It's certainly not that way now. This is due to the way farming is being done there now. The farmers USED to leave hedgerows around their fields, which was a lot of good cover for the birds that was desperately needed (especially in the Winter). Now most farm all the way to the road, taking out the hedgerows. Kansas has more birds, but S Dakota is where it's at.


Why do you say South Dakota is where it's at? It seems that they have lower bird numbers and less public land than Kansas.

Re: Nebraska upland hunting [Re: stinkbelly] #8234978 04/13/21 05:43 PM
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Originally Posted by stinkbelly
Originally Posted by skinnerback
I hunted public land pheasant in Nebraska for 7 years, it's tuff hunting. I wasn't able to go until late December every year, so all of that public land was always pretty much shot out by then but I still tried hard. Most locals hit the public land hard early season, then it's pretty much over for them. I walked many miles in the snow & ice, driving from area to area day after day and was lucky if I could kick up one rooster a day. Nebraska doesn't have the pheasant numbers that they used to, at all. My ex FIL was born & raised there and the stories he and his friends told me about the birds in the old days were pretty impressive. It's certainly not that way now. This is due to the way farming is being done there now. The farmers USED to leave hedgerows around their fields, which was a lot of good cover for the birds that was desperately needed (especially in the Winter). Now most farm all the way to the road, taking out the hedgerows. Kansas has more birds, but S Dakota is where it's at.


Why do you say South Dakota is where it's at? It seems that they have lower bird numbers and less public land than Kansas.



This is just according to what everyone has always told me. Coming from Nebraskans that had pretty much given up on pheasants in Nebraska. They all said that if you want to hunt wild birds, S Dakota has more birds than anywhere else. I've only been to S Dakota once and wasn't for a hunting trip, so I don't have any personal experience there. This is just what I was always told. All of those guys may have been hunting private land in S Dakota, I'm not sure.

Re: Nebraska upland hunting [Re: stinkbelly] #8234991 04/13/21 05:53 PM
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I could go on for hours about Nebraska upland history and numbers. I have hunted here for 60+ years. I started hunting when I was around 9 back in around 1958. It was not unusual for 5 hunters to kill somewhere around 60 pheasants and around 40 quail here on opening weekend. That was without dogs. Those days continued into around the mid 80's and began to drop off. Clean farming, Ethanol, pesticides, you name it. Ethanol was the start. There used to be milo fields here. Today, except in the eastern part of the state, it is almost 100% corn and soybeans. Even in the east, though, there is very little milo. Add herbicides (Roundup, etc) to the mix and you end up with cornfields that only have cornstalks and dirt in them. No weeds for roosting. Add to that as the earlier poster said, the removal of hedgerows and farming fenceline to fenceline and turning the ground over right after harvest and it wiped out most of our pheasants in a very short period of time. The pheasants have been making a slight comeback but it is nowhere near what it was. Pivot corners, set aside and WMA's here provide enough nesting that we are back to a very marginal amount of pheasants and quail. It is very spotty, though. I live here and am retired so I recently purchased a Vizsla pup to hunt 4 or 5 times a year, but would I drive clear in from another state to hunt what we have? Probably not. I always had a GSP from about 1969 through 1996, but when the last one got old I never replaced him, at that point I decided to get out of upland hunting and turn to turkeys and big game. The only way I would do it is if I knew someone here that knew where there are enough birds to justify a trip. G&P here might be able to tell you in general where to start looking but probably won't have specific contacts.

Kind of funny - back in the day, Iowa and Nebraska used to debate who was the pheasant capital of the US. I was in Iowan the other day picking up the pup. I can see where they might've survived the ethanol blow because their farms have terraces which are quite weedy. Nebraska is so flat terraces aren't required.

Just trying to be helpful. Where I hunt turkeys, you used to see pheasants. I live out here and I haven't seen a pheasant off the highway in years.

Re: Nebraska upland hunting [Re: stinkbelly] #8234998 04/13/21 06:02 PM
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Hunting is pretty much free up in those parts. A friend and I flew up to North Dakota to hunt Sharpies and Huns. We met and hunted with three hunters who drove up from Kansas. My friend and I left for the airport. The Kansas hunters said that they planned to road hunt their way home.


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Re: Nebraska upland hunting [Re: bill oxner] #8235012 04/13/21 06:11 PM
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Originally Posted by bill oxner
Hunting is pretty much free up in those parts. A friend and I flew up to North Dakota to hunt Sharpies and Huns. We met and hunted with three hunters who drove up from Kansas. My friend and I left for the airport. The Kansas hunters said that they planned to road hunt their way home.



Road hunting is pretty common there. Heck, we killed almost all of our birds from the truck driving dirt roads shooting them in the ditches. Not legal, but not really a big deal up there. Not like in Texas LOL. I was kinda freaked out the first time I was asked if I was tired of walking all day and not seeing any birds....said get in the truck & let's go. That's how a lot of folks do it. Grab some beer and drive dirt roads out in the middle of nowhere. Was pretty fun, actually.

Re: Nebraska upland hunting [Re: stinkbelly] #8235027 04/13/21 06:21 PM
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They call pheasant ditch parrots for a reason.


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Re: Nebraska upland hunting [Re: bill oxner] #8235040 04/13/21 06:33 PM
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Originally Posted by bill oxner
They call pheasant ditch parrots for a reason.



Yep, but they sure are delicious!

Re: Nebraska upland hunting [Re: stinkbelly] #8235041 04/13/21 06:36 PM
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Have to differ with you skinnerback on Road hunting being pretty common here. Do it in front of a G&P Warden and see what happens. "Grab some beer and drive dirt roads out in the middle of nowhere. Was pretty fun, actually". There are some unsafe non-ethical shooters (notice I didn't call them hunters) that do that sort of thing I'm sure but trust me, if most of the resident hunters here see you doing such a thing, you will be reported. Not trying to start a debate, but you sure don't paint a very pretty picture of Nebraska hunters.

Re: Nebraska upland hunting [Re: stinkbelly] #8235044 04/13/21 06:37 PM
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30-40 years ago Nebraska was an excellent ring neck hunt, but like S.E. Ks. the farmers took out all the hedge rows, ruined it for the quail, used to push 20+covey's in a day and were huge comey's.


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Re: Nebraska upland hunting [Re: colt45] #8235048 04/13/21 06:39 PM
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Originally Posted by colt45
30-40 years ago Nebraska was an excellent ring neck hunt, but like S.E. Ks. the farmers took out all the hedge rows, ruined it for the quail, used to push 20+covey's in a day and were huge comey's.



Its everywhere.


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Re: Nebraska upland hunting [Re: Huskerron] #8235050 04/13/21 06:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Huskerron
Have to differ with you skinnerback on Road hunting being pretty common here. Do it in front of a G&P Warden and see what happens. "Grab some beer and drive dirt roads out in the middle of nowhere. Was pretty fun, actually". There are some unsafe non-ethical shooters (notice I didn't call them hunters) that do that sort of thing I'm sure but trust me, if most of the resident hunters here see you doing such a thing, you will be reported. Not trying to start a debate, but you sure don't paint a very pretty picture of Nebraska hunters.


agree


hold on Newt, we got a runaway
Re: Nebraska upland hunting [Re: Huskerron] #8235067 04/13/21 06:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Huskerron
Have to differ with you skinnerback on Road hunting being pretty common here. Do it in front of a G&P Warden and see what happens. "Grab some beer and drive dirt roads out in the middle of nowhere. Was pretty fun, actually". There are some unsafe non-ethical shooters (notice I didn't call them hunters) that do that sort of thing I'm sure but trust me, if most of the resident hunters here see you doing such a thing, you will be reported. Not trying to start a debate, but you sure don't paint a very pretty picture of Nebraska hunters.



Yeh I figured that would ruffle some feathers. grin

Re: Nebraska upland hunting [Re: stinkbelly] #8235087 04/13/21 07:10 PM
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I'm not big into ditch hunting because I love to watch my dogs work.

Re: Nebraska upland hunting [Re: stinkbelly] #8235095 04/13/21 07:15 PM
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Originally Posted by stinkbelly
I'm not big into ditch hunting because I love to watch my dogs work.

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Re: Nebraska upland hunting [Re: stinkbelly] #8235098 04/13/21 07:16 PM
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Originally Posted by stinkbelly
I'm not big into ditch hunting because I love to watch my dogs work.



I've been told that ditch hunting is legal in S Dakota as long as you are not in a vehicle. I don't know if that's true or not, but have heard that from several people.

Re: Nebraska upland hunting [Re: stinkbelly] #8235116 04/13/21 07:33 PM
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Theyd probably double the fine if they saw you doing that with a couple of bird dogs on board. Years back you might have seen that but now in these days of cellphones, pretty much every Hunter knows that G&P has some pretty limited resources and feels a responsibility to get a plate number and call it in. In the case of things like trespassing, I would fear the landowner much more than G&P. Anyway, trying to grow more mellow in my old age so I’m out just wanted folks to know that’s not how we hunt up here. 😊 Looks like somebody found some bobwhites Bill.

Re: Nebraska upland hunting [Re: stinkbelly] #8235122 04/13/21 07:43 PM
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I agree that state laws are tough to follow. When I lived in Omaha, I hunted in Iowa a lot. It’s been a few years but you couldn’t hunt there before 8:00 am. Guns had to be cased. I think you could shoot from the road. And you could go on to private land to retrieve the bird if you left gun in vehicle. Nebraska - you can hunt at 1/2 hour before sunup. You cannot shoot from road or right of way and you cannot cross that fence under an conditions without permission. It was excruciating to have to look at your watch to see if it was 8:00 am yet.

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