Nebraska Game and Parks says field reports show that the opening weekend for state pheasant, quail, and partridge hunting seasons had mixed success for hunters – largely depending on where they were.
Hunter success for pheasants was highest in the Northeast with 0.62 birds per hunter. Pheasant hunters also had relatively good success on public lands in the Rainwater Basin region in south-central and southeastern Nebraska.
Drought conditions farther west appear to have limited production this year as many opening week hunters reported seeing fewer pheasants than in recent years. Harvest success was highly variable and below average overall in the Southwest and Panhandle at 0.37 and 0.16 birds per hunter, respectively.
Game and Parks staff contacted 926 upland bird hunters while making bag checks during the opening weekend. Those hunters harvested 338 pheasants, 79 quail, and nine prairie grouse.
Hunter success for pheasants averaged 0.37 birds per hunter, slightly below that observed in 2020 (0.48) and 2019 (0.56).
Staff talked with an additional 1,066 hunters at the 19 pheasant-release sites across the state. These hunters bagged 756 pheasants, of which 90% were pen-raised.