No pheasants available for young season, Thanksgiving

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LINCOLN — Because vendors have been unable to supply birds, the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission will not release pen-bred pheasants until the young pheasant season and the Thanksgiving holiday this year.

Statewide youth season will still take place between October 22 and 23, but only youth 15 and under will be allowed to hunt.

In a statement released by Game and Parks, Alicia Hardin, the commission’s wildlife division administrator, lamented the deprivation, saying that “it is very unfortunate that the commission was unable to purchase birds to release for the special season this year”.

“Two separate RFPs and numerous phone calls were made to potential vendors,” Hardin continued, “but neither was able to meet the demand this year. We know families are eager to hunt in our public areas during the special season.We encourage hunters to get out and take the young people of Nebraska hunting and spending quality time outdoors.

Those interested in hunting pen-raised birds in a more controlled environment are encouraged to visit one of the state’s 48 controlled shooting areas. CSAs are private areas for hunting upland game birds for an extended season.

Other options for young hunters include attending a free Youth Mentor Hunt event for ages 12 to 15 or participating in the Next Steps Hunt program, both sponsored by Pheasants Forever chapters statewide.

In recent years, the Game and Parks Commission has released about 16,500 pheasants in 19 public areas across the state. The agency plans to release pheasants next year.

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