Recently, commissioners Lynn Berggren and Norris Marshall asked if NEBRASKAland would be interested in covering a set of articles about Nebraska’s waterfowl hunting opportunities. The parameters were simple: they would take place on land available to hunters throughout the state, in different seasons, with a variety of people on each hunt. So our editorial staff jumped at the chance to broadcast this state’s resources.
The first leg of this idea came to fruition this morning as Berggren, conservation officer Terry Brentzel, husband and wife Dave and Angela McDermott, and Lincoln Journal-Star reporter Joe Duggan teal hunted on Ducks Unlimited-owned ground known as the Verona Complex in Clay County. “The Verona Complex was provided by DU donor dollars,” said DU Manager of Conservation Programs in Nebraska Steve Donovan. “This land is an example of how DU is providing great wildlife habitat here in Nebraska and making it available for all Nebraskans for a variety of uses, including teal hunting.”
Donovan was more than right when he spoke about providing great wildlife habitat, but I just didn’t think this example would be so close to the parking lot. Used to hauling camera gear (and myself) across vast acreages of land when covering various hunts for the magazine, Terry put my mind at ease (and I have to admit, confused me a little bit) when he told us at our vehicles that if we happened to forget anything back at the truck, we could just go back and get it real quick.
That was my introduction to some of the state’s waterfowl opportunities: manageable walks and even more manageable hunts. So much so that dove stools and buckets were used for standard resting equipment, a smattering of decoys for our spread, including a Mo-jo dove decoy, and that’s about it. Well, also plenty of mosquito spray.
Despite only killing a couple of birds, probably due to an overnight hail storm that none of us were aware of until after the hunt, there was plenty of story-telling by all, including a number of law enforcement war stories from Brentzel, which always seem to pass the time better than just about anything (except a few good volleys).
“Should have been here yesterday,” Brentzel finished the morning, “birds were everywhere.”
Yet if the following hunts, and the folks going on them, are anything like this morning, I’m not too concerned with yesterday. Today was just fine for me.