Monday, September 21, 2009

Mountain Lions in Nebraska

The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission

LINCOLN, Neb. – With an increase in confirmed mountain lion sightings in the Panhandle in recent years, the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission wants to ensure people are aware of its policies regarding the cats.

“Mountain lions are native to Nebraska, but to ensure the species be secure in Nebraska over the long term, the Commission recognizes that mountain lions that depredate on livestock, threaten humans or enter towns should be killed,” Commission Director Rex Amack said. “Mountain lions that are not interacting with humans or livestock are fully protected by law.”

State Sen. LeRoy Louden of Ellsworth is aware of mountain lion sightings in his area. He represents District 49, which includes the northern Panhandle and part of the western Sandhills.
“There are reports confirmed by the Commission and pictures of mountain lions in the area that are published in newspapers,” Louden said. “I want citizens to know they have the right to defend themselves, family and property against mountain lions.”

Map of Mountain Lion Sightings in Nebraska

The following are facts and Commission policies from the Mountain Lion Response Plan:
-- A mountain lion may be destroyed by a landowner if it attacks or attempts to attack livestock.
-- People may defend themselves by killing a mountain lion if it attacks or shows aggression toward them.
-- If a landowner believes livestock has been killed or injured by a mountain lion, the scene should be left undisturbed and the Commission contacted immediately.
-- If evidence of depredation by a mountain lion exists and a landowner wants action, an attempt will by made to prevent further damage by killing the mountain lion.
-- An attempt will be made by the Commission or local law enforcement to kill a mountain lion that is confirmed to be within town limits.
-- Anyone who kills a mountain lion for any reason must contact the Commission immediately and surrender the carcass.
-- By law, a mountain lion will be left undisturbed if it is not threatening people and has not caused depredation.

Anyone who observes a mountain lion should contact the nearest Commission office or call (402) 471-0641.

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Thursday, September 10, 2009

Archery Season Starts September 15th

The Independent

Nebraska bowhunters, with bonus tags in tow, will take to the woods Sept. 15 for the opening of the archery deer hunting season.

Those bonus tags were added to statewide archery permits in 2008. Bowhunters responded by taking a record 7,440 deer last year, up from 4,854 in 2007.

The archery season is not the only one to open Sept. 15. Landowner, youth and season choice seasons also begin.

"We encourage all archers to use their bonus antlerless whitetail tags to help with the control of white-tailed deer," said Kit Hams, big game program manager for the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. "The Deer Exchange is available to those with too many deer for their own use." Visit for more information on the Deer Exchange.

The following is a summary of the seasons that open Sept. 15:
Archery - Season: Sept. 15-Nov. 13 and Nov. 23-Dec. 31; Open to: residents and nonresidents; Permit: residents, $30; nonresidents, $209; Hunting Area: statewide; Bag Limit: one deer of either sex, plus one antlerless whitetail; Weapon: longbows or compound bows that have a pull of at least 40 pounds at or before 28-inch draw.

Landowner - Season: Sept. 15-Jan. 15. 2010; Open to: residents and nonresidents; Permit: residents, $15.50, nonresidents, $105; Hunting Area: land owned or operated by the landowner and described on application; Bag Limit: one deer of either sex and one antlerless deer; Weapon: any legal weapon, provided the season is open for that weapon; Note: January season is antlerless only. Landowners in Season Choice Areas 18 and 21 also may hunt on their land with a firearm during the October Antlerless season, Oct. 9-11.

Youth - Season: Sept. 15-Jan. 15, 2010; Open to: residents and nonresidents ages 10-15; Permit: residents, $30; nonresidents, $209; Hunting Area: statewide; Bag Limit: one deer of either sex and one antlerless whitetail; Weapon: any legal weapon, provided the season is open for that weapon; Notes: January season is antlerless-only; youth age 16 may hunt with a youth permit provided they are 15 when they purchased the permit and not older than 15 on Sept. 15. Youth also may hunt in Season Choice Areas 18 and 21 during the October Antlerless season, Oct. 9-11.

Season Choice - Season: Sept. 15-Jan. 15, 2010; Open to: residents and nonresidents; Permit: residents, $30; nonresidents, $55; Hunting Area: permit only valid in area for which it was issued; Bag Limit: depends on area; Weapon: any legal weapon, provided the season is open for that weapon; Notes: January season is antlerless-only. Season Choice Area 18 and 21 permit holders also may hunt during the October Antlerless season, Oct. 9-11.

Holders of permits for landowner, youth and season choice seasons may hunt with:

Legal archery equipment Sept. 15-Nov. 13 and Nov. 23-Dec. 31,
Legal muzzleloaders Dec. 1-31,
Legal firearms Nov. 14-22,
Legal firearms Jan. 1-15, 2010 (antlerless only).

Permits may be purchased at Commission offices and at A habitat stamp is required of all deer hunters, except residents age 15 or younger.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Fall Turkey Hunting Season Opens Sept. 15

The Independent

Fall Turkey Hunting Season Opens Sept. 15

Get ready turkey hunters; it is going to be a long season. The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission wants to remind those hunters used to an October opening that the fall season begins Sept. 15.

From Sept. 15-Dec. 31, holders of fall turkey hunting permits may pursue gobblers using either shotgun or archery equipment. Also, there is no need to suspend the hunt in November. They may hunt turkeys during the November firearm deer season, although they must wear at least 400 square inches of hunter orange on their head, chest and back during the November firearm deer season.

The longer season and hunting in November are the two biggest changes to fall turkey hunting in 2009.

No longer are there separate archery and shotgun fall seasons, with permits required for each respective weapon. Hunters only need to purchase a fall turkey hunting permit, then may harvest turkeys with either equipment.

In 2008, 11,335 fall turkey permits were sold and 8,775 birds were taken. Those numbers are expected to increase dramatically this year due to the large population of birds and the liberalized season.

“Fall turkey population numbers should be outstanding,” according to Kit Hams, big game program manager for the Commission.

“We have a record adult population and good spring weather resulted in big increases in the Summer Rural Mail Carrier Survey,” he said. “The summer survey results were up 40 percent from 2008 and up 230 percent from 2002. The Panhandle and central Nebraska regions increased the most, but all regions showed an increase in turkey numbers. In general, the number of birds should be the best we’ve ever seen in most areas.”

Fall turkey permits allow the harvest of two birds of either sex and are valid statewide. Nebraska turkey permits costs $24 for residents, $91 for nonresidents, and up to two fall permits per hunter can be purchased online or at any Commission office. Shooting hours are 30 minutes before sunrise to sunset.

For more information about turkey hunting regulations in Nebraska, go to or pick up a copy of the 2009 Spring and Fall Turkey Hunting Seasons pamphlet, available at Commission offices and permit vendors across the state.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Canadian Geese Prospects in South Dakota

People just don't realize how much work we outfitters put in during the summer months! I've been busy getting leases and concessions ready, blinds need up-keep, scouting is a year round operation, plus we all know what family is like. We sure would like to add more information here at the blog, and we are going to try our hardest to be more proactive, and keep you up to date.

Well, my neighbors up north in South Dakota forwarded the following prognostication of the Canadian Goose season. Myself, I am getting ready for deer, turkey, and then Snow Goose, for which we will have another incredible season!

"With the early Canada goose season approaching, Game, Fish and Parks Department officials are predicting excellent hunting throughout eastern South Dakota.

“Hunters should be able to find plenty of birds,” said GFP Region 4 Wildlife Manager Scott Lindgren. “With the water and habitat conditions around the area, geese have had an exceptional year.”

While hunting opportunities will be good for hunters, area farmers have additional concerns and challenges with the increased population of resident Canada geese, in particular damage to soybean fields.

“We have had farmers calling our office with depredation complaints,” said Lindgren. “We are hoping sportsmen will assist with curtailing future depredation by taking advantage of the Early Fall Canada goose season.”

Lindgren said that most of the geese shot in the September season are resident geese and the ones that have been causing depredation on agriculture crops. “Hunters are the best way to control their population. By October, northeastern South Dakota begins seeing more migrant Canada geese; they are not the ones causing the depredation.”

Hunting early Canada geese is no easy task however. “Most of the hunting pressure occurs opening weekend and this can be the most difficult time to get permission to hunt private land,” said Lindgren. “Access is much better after the first week and hunting gets very good in the middle of September. Even though we have high numbers of geese in all of northeastern South Dakota, scouting is still the key. Plenty of geese use public hunting areas for resting areas, so they can be good as well.”

The GFP has also added some special waterfowl access areas in Day and Marshall Counties to help waterfowl hunters gain access in high depredation areas. These areas are in the 2009 Walk In Area Atlas, which will be available this week, or for more information call the Webster GFP office at 345-3381.

Licenses are available for nonresidents for $45, are valid for the entire September season and can be purchased by mail, online at, at the Sportsman’s Cove in Webster, or the Cowboy 2 in Watertown at the junction of highways 212 and 81. Non-residents will also need their federal waterfowl stamp.

Resident hunters need a small game or combination license. In addition, they must have the state Migratory Bird Certification and a federal waterfowl stamp.

“We want to encourage hunters landowners who have encountered goose depredation to utilize hunters in this unique situation. This is a great opportunity for hunters to introduce kids and others who are not active goose hunters. If hunters can provide assistance to producers while enjoying the outdoors and the sport of hunting, we see it as a win-win for everyone,” said Lindgren.

The Early Canada Goose Season runs September 5-30. The daily limit is 5 birds with a 10 bird possession limit.

For more information, visit

Anyone that is interested in a Snow goose hunt please reach us at Nebraska Hunting Company. I urge you to book early as this may be one of the best seasons we have had.

Good Hunting,
Scott Croner

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Important Dates to Remember: August

Hello everyone,

These are the important dates in the month of August from the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission.

Aug. 1
Squirrel hunting season opens
First day requests accepted for special grouse hunting permits

Aug. 7
Final day to apply for bighorn sheep hunting lottery

Aug. 9
Archery paddlefish season closes

Aug. 10
First day to purchase fall turkey hunting permits, beginning at 1 p.m. CT

Aug. 15
Bullfrog season opens
Elk hunting season in Boyd Unit opens

Aug. 20
Archery antelope hunting season opens

Aug. 28
Nebraska Game and Parks Board of Commissioners meeting, Lincoln, 8 a.m.
Drawing for bighorn sheep hunting permit

Aug. 31
Raccoon and Virginia opossum running season closes

J Scott Croner
Nebraska Hunting Company

Friday, July 24, 2009

Outfitter Chronicles: J Scott Croner Part II

Hello friends!

The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles has posted the second part of my interview with them on their blog:

The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles: Outfitter Chronicles: J Scott Croner Part II

I would once more like to thank Albert for the great interview and for allowing me to speak to all his readers!

J Scott Croner
Nebraska Hunting Company

Outfitter Chronicles: J Scott Croner Part I

Hello everyone,

I have had a real treat in doing an interview with Albert Rasch of The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles. We covered some serious topics, but we had a lot of fun too. I'm looking forward to hunting some Florida Hogs sometime in the future with Albert!

You can find the interview at The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles: The Outfitter Chronicles: J Scott Croner Part I

Thanks again for stopping by, and don't forget to check on our latest hunting packages at Nebraska Hunting Company.

J Scott Croner
Nebraska Hunting Company

Monday, July 20, 2009

Frequently Asked Questions: Part II

© 2009 J Scott Croner and
Nebraska Hunting Company Hunting Merriam's Turkey, Nebraska turkey hunting, hunting turkey in Nebraska
Frequently Asked Questions: Part II

Q. What kind of shape do I need to be in?
A. This is a great question. A hunter needs to be able to walk 2 – 5 miles on rolling hills with some steep inclines. It always makes for a better hunt if you do some exercise before the season starts; it is just like getting you equipment ready.

Q. Can I hunt all day in Nebraska?
A. Yes we can hunt from ½ hour before sunrise until sunset. There is shooting light from almost 5:30am until 8:30pm or so.

Q. Can I hunt on Sundays?
A. Yes we can hunt everyday of the week. Keep in mind we start hunting when you arrive at the lodge. It is NOT part of the days of your hunt however when the weather is good you should hunt. You never know when it will get nasty.

Q. What is there to do after I shoot my gobblers?
A. You can go site seeing, but will have already seen just about everything in the area. We suggest taking it easy and taking a well deserved break.

Q. What are the sleeping arrangements like in the lodges?
A. There are single and double rooms depending on how many in your group.

Q. How many hunters do you take at a time?
A. NHC can take 2 – 6 hunters per day as long as some of them are experienced. You will normally be by yourself. On occasion we have hunters that prefer to hunt together, and we will certainly accommodate you if you are here in a party or family group!

Q. Can you accommodate Women? Kids?
A. Of course! Both women and young adults can hunt too.

Q. What is your alcohol policy?
A. The lodge serves alcohol, however once you drink, you are done for the day with hunting.

Q. What shot size do you recommend?
A. Take the time to pattern your gun! You need to see what shoots the best out of your gun, check 4’s, 5’s, or 6’s. You may also want to be careful with how tight of a choke you use. Often hunters come with chokes that are way too tight! Some of our birds are shot at very close range and every year some of our hunters are taking multiple shots at toms or missing them altogether as the shot charge whizzes by them.

Q. Do you shoot jakes?
A. No, not on purpose! However accidents happen and a few jakes have been shot. But the good thing is, they taste good too.

Q. How do I get to your camp?
A. You will fly into Omaha and then you will have to drive to Brewster, Nebraska. It’s about 4.5 hours. Nebraska is big.

Q. What do I bring with me?
A. Multiple changes of camo clothes, turkey calls, shotgun ammo, shotgun .

Q. What weather can I expect?
A. The Midwest can be fickle in the spring. Temperatures can range from 25deg – 90deg during our turkey season, sometimes all in the same day! You might have rain, snow, tornados, and thunderstorms. Yes it is all here during spring turkey season.

Q. How may I reserve a spot?
A. Reserve your spot by submitting a 50% deposit along with all of your information.

Q. How fast do you book up?
A. Typically the weekend hunts (Thursday – Sunday) are booked by January. By mid March we are usually booked up, but occasionally we will have a cancellation and you may be able to take advantage of it and book a hunt when no others are available.
If you have any questions please call us, or leave us a comment and we will do our best to answer you quickly and to your satisfaction.

J Scott Croner
Nebraska Hunting Company

Frequently Asked Questions: Part I

© 2009 J Scott Croner and
Nebraska Hunting Company Hunting Merriam's Turkey, hunting merriams turkey, nebraska turkey hunting, hunting turkey in nebraska

Frequently Asked Questions: Part I

When you are planning your first outfitted hunt you probably have, or should have some questions. We have put together the most asked questions, and several that should have been asked!

Q. What is your success rate?
A. In a word, Outstanding! In the past 5 years only 3 hunters out of a total of over 100 hunters have not harvested a turkey. All of our other hunters have harvested 2 toms and many of them in the last 2 years have harvested 3 toms during their stay with us.

Q. How many birds can I harvest?
A. Nebraska law allows hunters to hunt and harvest 3 tom turkeys in the spring. When hunting with the Nebraska Hunting Company you can harvest 2 toms. There is an additional fee for harvesting the 3rd tom.

Q. Is there a draw for permits?
A. No, permits are over the counter (internet download) and unlimited.

Q. What is included in your turkey hunt package?
A. The packages are all inclusive. (Food, Lodging, Transportation once you arrive at the lodge.)

Q. What is not included?
A. You will have to purchase your turkey permits, habitat stamp, alcohol, and tips are not included.

Q. Do you have a taxidermist?
A. If you do not have a taxidermist, we recommend that you use Wildlife Creations Taxidermy in Omaha, Nebraska. We will deliver your turkey to him so that he can mount it just the way you want.

Q. What is an appropriate tip amount?
A. 10% - 15% of hunt package based on how successful the hunt is.

Q. What airport should I fly into?
A. Your best bet is Omaha, Nebraska it has the least expensive fares.

Q. Are all of your turkeys Merriam’s?
A. The Merriam’s turkey is defined as having off white tail tips and coverlets. Over 75% of the birds we harvest fall within this color range. The occasional Eastern, Rio, or Hybrid birds that we harvest also make unique and exceptional trophies, often growing heavier with longer beards and much longer spur lengths than our Merriam’s turkeys. Take a look at our gallery to see what our trophy turkeys look like.

Q. What are the season dates?
A. Archery starts late March and runs through end of May.
A. Shotgun starts mid April and runs through end May.

Q. When is the best time to hunt?
A. We have yet to find a day of the week or weekend that is not a great one to hunt on. What do they say? A bad day of hunting is better than a good day at work! But if we had to pick, it would be the 2nd to the 5th week.

Q. Do you clean my bird?
A. If you are NOT an expert at cleaning a turkey, don’t worry, we can do it for you. If you are not getting a full mount, we will cut the tail, beard, and feet off of the tom and then breast him out and cut the legs and thighs off.

Q. What camouflage works best?
A. All camo works however a grassland pattern works best during the early season and then camo patterns with more green as we get into May.

Q. How good of a caller must I be?
A. If you want to call in your own birds, you should be at least an average caller with a few bird harvests under your belt. We don’t want you to be discouraged if you have problems calling the turkeys into gun range. You are here to have a good and successful hunt, and we want to help you make it happen.

Q. Can I do my own calling?
A. Yes you can always do your own calling. If you are going to call your own birds you will be put in a location where there are plenty of birds.

Q. What calls do you recommend?
A. Most turkey hunters know that you need diaphragm, box, glass, and slate calls. Each call makes a different sound and birds can react differently to all of them. Again, you should have some experience in calling them in.

We will continue or Frequently asked Questions on our next post!

J Scott Croner
Nebraska Hunting Company

Monday, July 13, 2009

Hunting Turkey: Merriam's in Nebraska

© 2009 J Scott Croner and
Nebraska Hunting Company

We have had a very nice article posted about our Merriam Turkey hunting programs and the success of one of our regular clients, Mr Todd Ried, by Albert over at The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles.

Hunting Trophy Turkey: Merriam's in Nebraska covers some information about all six turkeys found in North America, and also talks about Todd's melanistic Merriam's turkey. Talk about a great trophy!

A little known fact is that Nebraska Fish and Game stocked Merriam's turkeys in the late 1950s:

"The modern history of wild turkeys in Nebraska began in 1959 with the release in the Pine Ridge of 28 Merriam's turkeys trapped in South Dakota and Wyoming. Although Merriam's are not native to Nebraska, the release succeeded, and the Pine Ridge population grew to about 3,000 birds in only four nesting seasons."

The history of turkey hunting and the efforts to bring them back again in Nebraska is one of the most interesting stories in wildlife management. We will be covering more of it in greater depth in the future.

J Scott Croner
Nebraska Hunting Company

Saturday, July 11, 2009

The Nebraska Hunting Company

© 2009 Scott Croner and
The Nebraska Hunting Company

Welcome to the Nebraska Hunting Outfitters and Nebraska Hunting Company Blog!

As we continue to grow, we would like to share our adventures with each and every one of you, and also give an opportunity to our clients and friends to share their stories with you also.

We still haven't quite figured out what we are going to put on here besides all the great hunts we have, but some of the ideas are:
  • Recipes from our kitchens,
  • News from our hunting concession areas,
  • Definitely pictures!
  • Special deals that come up from time to time,
  • and of course, news from our friends throughout the world!

If anyone has any other things that they would like to see we will definitely see if it will fit in as soon as possible!

Thanks You!

Sincerely yours,
J Scott Croner
CEO Nebraska Hunting Company