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Wildlife Management Areas

Schilling WMA

This area was acquired in 1954 and developed by the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission with Pittman-Robertson funds from the federal excise tax on hunting equipment. Originally named Plattsmouth Waterfowl Management Area, the name was changed in 1980 to honor Randall W. Schilling, manager of the area, who died in a plane crash while on a deer survey along the Missouri River.

Bordered by the Missouri and Platte rivers, the 1,500-acre area is administered by the Commission's Wildlife Division. With 25 acres of water, it provides resting, feeding, and limited breeding grounds for waterfowl.

The area is open to fishing and hunting, subject to special area regulations.

Summer Recreation

The area is normally open to the public daily from April 1 through October 14 from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. No overnight camping is allowed.

Since this is first and foremost a waterfowl management area, provisions for recreation are limited. However, visitors can enjoy fishing, picnicking, nature observation, wildlife photography and hiking. Other less common activities include horseback riding, archery and mushroom hunting.

Fishing is the primary summer sport. The area provides bank fishing access to 2 miles of the Missouri River and 1/2 mile of the Platte River. Catfishermen particularly like the confluence of the Platte and Missouri rivers. In addition, some 14 rock levees extend into the deep channel of the Missouri and provide ideal haunts for both fish and fishermen. Pond anglers can try their luck for bullheads in the 25-acre "goose" lake.

Waterfowl Observations

Each fall, thousands of migrating waterfowl use the Schilling Area during their flight between their nesting and wintering grounds. Waterfowl populations sometimes peak in excess of 200,000 birds. Lesser snow geese are the most abundant migrants to use the area, but Canada, whitefronted and Ross' geese, along with several species of ducks, may also be observed.

Public tours are normally conducted on Sundays at 4 p.m. from November 1 through December 15, providing there are waterfowl on the area. Contact the area manager for special group tours.

General Regulations

Schilling WMA includes all contiguous land which is the property of the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, including accreted land along the Missouri and Platte rivers.

It shall be unlawful to hunt, take, pursue, molest, or disturb any birds or animals within the posted refuge boundaries of the Schilling area. This area is open to the public by foot traffic only from January 1 to March 31.

All regulations governing state-controlled areas, such as consumption of alcoholic beverages, littering, etc., are in effect at Schilling.

All public use activity is subject to the provisions of the appropriate state or federal laws and regulations.

General regulations governing methods of taking, shooting hours, and legal firearms shall apply except as otherwise provided. All other species of game and nongame birds and animals are protected by law. Target and blue rock shooting is prohibited.

Report any violations you observe by calling the Nebraska Wildlife Crimestoppers hotline at 1 (800) 742-7627 or contacting your nearest conservation officer any time.

Non Waterfowl Hunting Regulations

Important: These regulations will be strictly enforced. The future of the hunting program at Schilling depends on your cooperation in following these regulations and conducting your hunt in a safe and sporting manner respecting other hunters and fishermen present on the area.

Schilling WMA is open for hunting during the legal season Jan.l through Oct. 14th. The area is closed to all individuals not directly participating in the controlled waterfowl hunt or other Commission-authorized activities from Oct. 15-Dec. 31 of each year. The area reopens to hunting, in season, and other pubic access beginning January 1, unless otherwise announced.

Waterfowl hunting is allowed on the area only during the controlled hunt. Deer hunting is prohibited on Schilling. Only shotgun and archery hunting are allowed here. Rifles and handguns are prohibited. Only steel shot is allowed. Shells with led shot are prohibited.

All hunters at Schilling WMA must sign in at the area headquarters prior to hunting. Upon completing a hunt, all persons must sign out at the area headquarters All hunting is on a first-come, first-served basis. Reservations will not be accepted, except for controlled waterfowl hunting.

The area manager has the authority to limit access and numbers of hunters who use the area. No hunting is allowed within 200 yards of the headquarters building.

Hunting Reservations

Waterfowl hunting is primary by reservation However, some blinds may be open on a day-to-day basis Reservation dates at Schilling are November 1 through December 15th. The legal hunting season extends beyond that date. Hunting on a day-to-day basis may be allowed at the discretion of the area manager.

Reservation application cards may be requested by mail, email or phone anytime after July 1 or may be picked up at the area headquarters or at the Game and Parks Commission office at 2200 N. 33rd Street, Lincoln, NE 68503-0370.

Completed applications must be received at the area headquarters by August 30th. An impartial drawing will be held at 9 a.m. on the first Wednesday of September at the commission office in Lincoln. Individuals are invited to attend the drawing, however it is not necessary for an applicant to be present. Successful applicants will be sent a card indicating the date and time the reservation is valid. If no reservations are available for the date requested, the applicant will be so advised.

Only one (1) reservation application per individual will be accepted. A reservation entitles the holder to one blind on one hunting day The reservation card must be presented at the area headquarters on the day and time indicated.

The reservation-holder may invite up to three guests, since four hunters are allowed per blind. Reservations are not transferable, and the holder must be present to honor the reservation.

There are no restrictions on the number of times individuals may hunt on the area, but they may hold only one reservation per season. Occasionally blinds become available because of cancellations. These blinds will be filled by a drawing among persons or parties at the headquarters when the blind becomes available.

Waterfowl Hunting Regulations

Shooting hours are 30 minutes before sunrise until 3:30 pm. At the discretion to the area manager shooting hours may be extended until the close of legal shooting hours. Hunting shall be from official blinds only, except that cripples may be pursued and shot within the retrieving zone as posted. Only steel or non-toxic shot shells are permitted.

Legal game is restricted to ducks and goose only. The daily bag limit on ducks and geese will be the same as set forth in the general hunting regulations.

Only those persons or parties properly authorized will be allowed to hunting on the area No more than four (4) persons shall occupy or hunt from a blind at one time.

The use or possession of dogs on the area during waterfowl season is not permitted.

Daily hunting fees are $5 per hunter. An annual use receipt may be purchased for $30. Sales tax, as required, will be added.

All hunters must check out through the area headquarters upon completion of their hunt. Hunters who wish to leave temporarily must check out and then check back in at the headquarters on their return.

Persons hunting on surrounding lands may not cross area boundaries to retrieve crippled or dead birds. If such conditions exist, area management personnel must be notified, and they will make a reasonable attempt to retrieve such birds.

For information, call or write to:
Area Manager
Schilling Wildlife Management Area
PO. Box 525
Plattsmouth, NE 68048-0525
Phone: 402-296-0041

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Nebraska Game and Parks Commission - 2200 N. 33rd St. Lincoln, NE 68503 - 402-471-0641

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