January 31, 2011
Nebraska May Allow Pheasant Hunting in Roadside Ditches
By Chad Love
From this story in the Lincoln Journal Star:
They call it road hunting. Except, they don't hunt roads, they hunt pheasants. South Dakota and Iowa are two states in the pheasant belt that allow hunters to pursue roosters in road ditches. Nebraska currently outlaws the practice, but the Game and Parks Commission wants to reconsider road hunting. On Jan. 21, commissioners assigned staff members to investigate what it would take to allow roadside hunting for rooster pheasants. The commissioners didn't set a deadline, but staffers will likely prepare a report on the topic within the next few months.
In addition to repealing an existing law, road-hunting advocates would have to overcome safety and trespassing concerns held by those who want to see the status quo maintained. If nothing else, perhaps a discussion on road hunting will focus attention on making the laws of roadside ditch mowing more wildlife-friendly. Currently, the laws require rural landowners who live on county roads to mow their ditches twice a year, including once before July 15. A pheasant-friendly regimen would hold back the mowers from April through mid-July to avoid the peak of nesting activity. In recent years, the commission has been working on a roadside habitat project to demonstrate how ditches can be managed to increase their value to wildlife.
Thoughts? Does your state allow bird hunting in roadside bar ditches and right-of-ways?