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2010 Fall Outdoor Nebraska Newspaper

2010 Fall Outdoor Nebraska Newspaper

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Published by NEGameandParks

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Published by: NEGameandParks on Nov 19, 2010
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OutdoorNebraska.org
Published by the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission Fall 2010
It did not take long for the firstwinner of the Nebraska Super TagLottery to start filling his tag. LeoBenes of Firth already has baggedan elk and a turkey. He has theremainder of the 2010 huntingseason and all next year to harvestanother turkey, a deer and anantelope.Benes harvested his turkey witha bow on Sept. 17 near Firth andthen shot a bull elk on Oct. 11 atFort Robinson State Park.The Super Tag is a new offeringby the Nebraska Game and ParksCommission. More than 1,700applicants paid $25 each to enterthe lottery, which is available only to Nebraska residents. Normally, aperson may draw only one bull elk permit in a lifetime, but the SuperTag lottery offers those hunters achance at a second one.Gov. Dave Heineman drewBenes’ entry at the July meetingof the Nebraska Game and ParksBoard of Commissioners inLincoln. The multi-species permitis valid for two years.It may not be surprising thatBenes, 50, a battalion chief forthe Lincoln Fire and RescueDepartment, started filling his tagso quickly. When he was notifiedthat he had won the Super Tag, heimmediately drove to Game andParks headquarters in Lincoln toclaim his prize.Benes hunted frequently asa youth. That changed when hebecame an adult, and he only recently returned to hunting. Infact, he purchased a new rifleearlier this year.The only problem with the newrifle was that Benes still had notshot it. On their way to the PineRidge for the elk hunt – the day before he shot his animal – Benesand a friend, Kevin Houfek, of Firth, stopped at a shooting rangenear Grand Island. Five shots wereall he needed to sight in the rifle.The next morning, Benesspotted his elk and then stalked italong a ridge for 45 minutes. Heshot the elk from 150 yards with ashot through the heart and lungs.Benes’ expectations already were surpassed. Coming homewith no animal but a lot of scouting information was to beexpected. Bagging a cow wouldhave been great, but taking a bullwas a bonus.“I never thought I would getit so quickly,” said Benes, whowill have the elk mounted. “I hadresigned myself to bring back a cow. I had convinced myself to believe my trip would be forscouting purposes more than tomake a score.“With the permit good for twoyears, I thought the trip wouldgive me a chance to get familiarwith the area, the habitat, andthen hopefully be successful thenext year,” Benes said. “But theopportunity presented itself andI was able to take an animal thisyear.”A taxidermist estimated theelk’s antlers might score 330-340.Benes said he hopes to get hisdeer with a bow by the end of thisseason, bag his second turkey inthe spring, then shoot an antelopenext fall. The Super Tag allowsBenes to hunt with any legalweapon in any open hunting unitduring the general hunting seasonfor each species.
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Leo Benes of Firth shot this bull elk on Oct. 11 while hunting in the Hat Creek Unit at Fort RobinsonState Park. Benes was the rst winner of the Nebraska Super Tag Lottery.
Super Tag Success
Multi-speciespermit winnerquickly bagshis bull elk 
 
Outdoor Nebraska
is published by theNebraska Game and Parks CommissionCopyright 2010
Commission Ofces
Headquarters
2200 N. 33rd St. P.O. Box 30370Lincoln, NE 68503-0370(402) 471-0641OutdoorNebraska.org
Alliance
299 Husker Rd., Box 725Alliance, NE 69301-0725(308) 763-2940
Bassett
524 Panzer St., Box 508Bassett, NE 68714-0508(402) 684-2921
North Platte
301 E. State Farm Rd.North Platte, NE 69101-0430(308) 535-8025
Norfolk
2201 N. 13th St.Norfolk, NE 68701-2267(402) 370-3374
Kearney
1617 First Ave.Kearney, NE 68847-6057(308) 865-5310
Ak-Sar-Ben Aquarium
21502 W. Neb. Hwy. 31Gretna, NE 68028(402) 332-3901
Omaha
1212 Bob Gibson Blvd.Omaha, NE 68108-2020(402) 595-2144
Commissioners
Chairman: Jerrod Burke, CurtisVice Chairman:Mick Jensen, Blair2nd Vice Chairman:Ron Stave, WaterlooDr. Mark Pinkerton, WilberDr. Kent Forney, LincolnLynn Berggren, Broken BowRex Fisher, OmahaMark Spurgin, PaxtonNorris Marshall, Kearney 
Director:
Rex Amack 
Staff 
Public Information Manager,Information and Education:
 Scott Bonertz
Editing and Design:
 Jerry Kane
Outdoor Nebraska
Vol. 19, No. 2
Page 2
Outdoor Nebraska
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has denied a petition calling for a ban onthe manufacture, use and processing of lead infishing gear.On Aug. 3, 2010, the American BirdConservancy and many other groups petitionedthe EPA under the Toxic Substances ControlAct to “prohibit the manufacture, processing,and distribution in commerce of lead for shot,bullets, and fishing sinkers.” On Aug. 27, theEPA denied the portion of the petition relatingto lead in ammunition because the agency doesnot have the legal authority to regulate this typeof product under TSCA.In a letter to the petitioners, the EPAindicated the petitioners had not shown thatthe requested rule is necessary to protectagainst an unreasonable risk of injury to healthor the environment, as required by the ToxicSubstances Control Act (TSCA). The letteralso indicates that the increasing number of limitations on the use of lead fishing gear onsome federal and state lands, as well as variouseducation and outreach activities, call intoquestion whether a national ban on lead infishing gear would be the least burdensome,adequately protective approach to address theconcern, as called for under TSCA.Nontoxic alternatives to lead are availableand commonplace.
Antlerless Season Nets 3,000 Deer 
Hunters harvested 3,000 deer during therecent October Antlerless season, according to theNebraska Game and Parks Commission. There were 7,230 October Antlerless permitssold, and 2,700 deer shot by those permit holders,for a hunter success rate of 37 percent. Another300 deer were taken by Season Choice permitholders during the Oct. 2-11 October Antlerlessseason. The October Antlerless season was createdin 2009 to allow for the additional harvest of antlerless white-tailed deer in eastern Nebraska.
Hedgeeld Rehabilitation Completed
Hedgefield Reservoir in Lancaster County isrefilling following completion of a lake restorationproject, according to the Nebraska Game and ParksCommission.Major components of the rehabilitation includelake deepening, construction of an ADA-accessiblebreakwater jetty, a sediment trap on the south end,and a concrete boat ramp with expanded parkingon the west side.Rough fish were removed from the lake andreplaced with largemouth bass and bluegill. Anglers will find some fish to catch next fall, but it will beapproximately two years before the fish will belarge enough to harvest.
Record Number of Bull Elk Harvested
Not all elk hunting seasons have closed, butalready a record 76 bulls have been harvested,according to the Nebraska Game and ParksCommission. Thirty-nine antlerless elk also havebeen taken.In a year in which elk populations continue toexpand in Nebraska, a record 2,290 applicantsreceived a record 272 permits. The 2009 elk harvest included 66 bulls and 72antlerless elk. The 2010 bull elk and the first half of theantlerless elk seasons closed Oct. 24. Antlerlessseason reopens Dec. 1-21. The Boyd Unit elk season continues through Dec. 31, except for theclosure for the November firearm deer season.
Changes Made to Open Fields and Waters
 The Nebraska Game and Parks Board of Commissioners, in its August meeting, approvedchanges to the Open Fields and Waters Program. The program is designed to expand hunter andangler access to private lands. The following changes were made:Create a signing bonus for contracts of five years or longer – This applies to huntingand fishing access. The bonus will equal 25percent of the annual payment amount, and it would be paid after the contract is signed.Create rates for hunting access to woodlandalong rivers – The rate is $15 per acre for thetarget area and $12 for standard.Create rate for hunting access for springturkey season only – The rate equals a75-percent reduction of the annual payment.Create a rate for ice-fishing access fromDecember through February – The rateequals a 75-percent reduction of the annualpayment.
New Trail Features at OutdoorNebraska.org
 Trail users have a new tool on the NebraskaGame and Parks Commission’s Web site. A newpage dedicated to trails includes information abouthiking, biking, equestrian, water, and motorizedtrails.Visit the page at http://outdoornebraska.ne.gov/ trails.asp. The page includes an interactive map detailingtrails and their amenities, as well as photographs.Eugene T. Mahoney State Park (SP), Platte RiverSP and Branched Oak State Recreation Area (SRA)have been mapped so far, but all state parklandseventually will be included.
Muzzleloader Deer Season Opens Dec. 1
 The statewide muzzleloader deer season is Dec.1-31. Hunters will hope for better conditions thana year ago, when snow covered the state much of the month. Harvest during the 2009 muzzleloaderseason decreased 15 percent from the previous year. The permit fee is $30 for residents and $209 fornonresidents, and permits are unlimited in number. The bag limit is one deer of either sex, exceptno mule deer may be taken in the Mule DeerConservation Area (MDCA), and one antlerless white-tailed deer. The MDCA is comprised of theBuffalo, Frenchman, Republican, and Platte units.
Pheasant Hunters Should Report Leg Bands
Hunters should report any leg bands they find on the pheasants they shoot this fall in theSouthwest Focus on Pheasants area, according to Jeff Lusk, upland game program manager for theNebraska Game and Parks Commission.Game and Parks is capturing wild birds in thefocus area and putting leg bands on them. Thepurpose is to help understand how pheasantsmove and use the study area, portions of Hitchcock,Hayes and Red Willow counties, as well as hunterharvest in the area.Hunters should provide the number of the band,and the location and date it was recovered. Huntersmay keep the band after reporting it. Bands may bereported by calling (402) 471-1756.
Outdoor Briefs
EPA denies petition calling lead ban in shing gear 
 
Fall 2010
Page 3
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 Young Nebraska hunters took advantage of the youth pheasant season, Oct. 23-24, many  with the aid of mentors.While activity was slow in some regions,plenty of youth got to experience the seasonthrough mentored hunts conducted by groupssuch as Nebraska Game and Parks Commissionconservation officers and Pheasants Foreverchapters. The youth pheasant, quail and partridgeseason allows young hunters to have thefields to themselves for two days. The regularpheasant season traditionally opens a week later.Here is a wrap-up of the youth season:Panhandle – Little activity was reported, but what hunters there were took part in mentoredhunts.Northeast – Officers checked hunters atWillow Creek, Wood Duck, Wilkinson, and Oak Valley wildlife management areas. Huntersbagged a few birds and reported seeing fewbirds. District III conservation officers were busy  with mentored hunts.Southwest – One officer checked 11 huntersbut only one pheasant, and five other huntersmanaged to get shots. Another officer found nohunters in the field but plenty of pheasants inHitchcock, Hayes and Dundy counties. Anotherofficer, who observed many birds in Loganand southwest Lincoln counties, only checkedtwo hunters. Yet another officer checked threehunters and one bird in the North Platte area.Another officer, who saw many pheasants inFurnas County, checked 11 hunters and 10birds.Southeast – Several mentored hunts took place in the region. One officer observed moreanglers than hunters on Lancaster County WMAs. Jack Sinn WMA had several youthhunters.South-central – Many hunters, who mostly  were concentrated on or near public land, werechecked on the opening morning.
Mentors help youth succeed inpheasant season
 The Nebraska Game and ParksCommission is using a new online tooldesigned to increase hunter access to land where landowners seek more antlerlessdeer hunters. The Antlerless Deer Hunter Programallows hunters to register online andlandowners to scan the database forhunters in their area, then contact them by telephone or e-mail. This program is available atOutdoorNebraska.org. Click on Hunting,Programs and then Antlerless Deer HunterProgram to access it, or go directly tohttp://outdoornebraska.ne.gov/hunting/ programs.asp.“We hear from many hunters whohave difficulty finding land to hunt,” saidKit Hams, big game program manager with Game and Parks. “We also hearfrom landowners who say hunters only  want to shoot bucks or they do not feelcomfortable telling hunters to shoot does. This program has the potential to addressboth problems with a mutually beneficialsolution.”Hunters provide the following whenthey register: name, address, telephonenumber, e-mail address, counties andmonths in which they are willing to hunt,preferred weapons, and the number of deer they want to harvest.Landowners search the database by county and can see the hunter’s firstname, contact information and huntingpreferences (county, month and weapon).“With 136 days of deer seasonsand 250,000 permits and bonus tags thatallow antlerless deer harvest, we havemore than enough days and permits tocontrol deer herds,” Hams said. “This isone more tool to help.”
Antlerless Deer Hunter Program designedto increase access to private property
 The Nebraska Game and ParksCommission and National ShootingSports Foundation have launcheda statewide marketing campaignto encourage fathers to take theirchildren hunting.With deer and turkey permitsonly $5 for youth, and deer andturkey populations plentiful, andhunting opportunities abundant, fallis the perfect time to introduce a sonor daughter to hunting.Game and Parks has developednew Web pages atOutdoorNebraska.org/youththat detail informationabout youth hunting in Nebraska. The site also allows adult mentors toregister for a free Nebraska uplandbird hunt.“Too often our busy lifestylesdiscourage youngsters fromparticipating in time-honoredtraditions such as hunting,” said Jeff Rawlinson, assistant divisionadministrator in the Information andEducation Division.
 Young Nebraska hunters enjoyed the youth pheasant season, Oct. 23-24.
Campaign urges dads to take children hunting

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