Please Sign In

Please enter a valid username and password
  • Log in with Facebook
» Not a member? Take a moment to register
» Forgot Username or Password

Why Register?
Signing up could earn you gear (click here to learn how)! It also keeps offensive content off our site.

The Nebraska Sandhills: Bird-Hunting Heaven

Recent Comments

Categories

Recent Posts

Archives

Syndicate

Google Reader or Homepage
Add to My Yahoo!
Add to My AOL

Man's Best Friend
in your Inbox

Enter your email address to get our new post everyday.

September 24, 2012

The Nebraska Sandhills: Bird-Hunting Heaven

By Chad Love

If you've never visited the Nebraska sandhills, you owe it to yourself to visit this undeniably beautiful bird-hunting destination at least once. It's definitely bucket-list worthy. Greater prairie chickens and sharptails are the main upland targets here, with sharptails being the predominant bird in the northern portions of the region and prairie chickens dominating the south. But what is common throughout this ecosystem is the beauty of the area.

Undulating grass-covered sand hills, some rising as high as 300 feet, cover some 23,000 square miles of west-central Nebraska, with numerous spring-fed lakes dotting this unbroken, pristine and sparsely populated region. Being a lifelong prairie rat, it's also an area that has always intrigued me, so when hardcore bird hunter, central Nebraska native and sandhills lover Ted Gartner invited me to spend a day or two exploring the region while testing out Garmin's new Alpha track and train combination GPS/E-collar system, I jumped at the chance.

Gartner, Garmin International's director of corporate communications, has hunted the Nebraska sandhills all his life. The area holds a special place in his heart, and after having spent a couple days running dogs and simply driving around marveling at their stark, silent beauty, I now understand why he and many other serious bird hunters hold the sandhills region in such high esteem. Unlike most areas of the great plains, the sandhills remain largely untouched by the plow. Watching your dogs run across a landscape that has remained largely unchanged since the Sioux roamed and hunted bison across these same hills in centuries past is a special treat.

Anyone else ever hunted the Nebraska sandhills region? What did you think of it?

Comments (3)

Top Rated
All Comments
from HuskerHunterFisher wrote 1 year 30 weeks ago

Haven't had a chance to hunt them, but I love going out to Calamus and Merritt Reservoirs in the Sandhills of Nebraska. I have been camping at Calamus since I was 3, and I have always wanted to head out there for a fall bird hunt. Once I find time away from the thing people call "higher education" to get out there, I plan on heading to the Sandhills.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Casey Walker wrote 1 year 30 weeks ago

I lived at the NW edge of the sandhills in Rushville. The sandhills are one of the most game rich areas of Nebraska. I hunted everything from doves to deer in that area. The vast area of the ranches in that area make for a lot of walking and huge areas all to yourself. Most all of the ranchers I talked to where more then willing to let bird hunters on. The people of that area are as genuine as you will find anywhere. After opening weekend of pheasant season if you have a map of the Walk in CRP you can hunt all day and hardly see a vehicle. I have moved to Wyoming so I am chasing Sage grouse and chucker now but the best thing my wife ever bought me was a lifetime hunt/fish permit so when we go back to see family and can still get out and chase some birds.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from uglymike wrote 1 year 29 weeks ago

I live in Nebraska, hunted the sandhills for years. If you're coming to the sandhills to hunt, here is a little advice from someone who's been there, done that. 1.get yourself and your dog in good physical shape. 2.depending on time of year, be prepared for 90's to below freezing.3.the wind always blows in Nebraska, assume 20mph winds, or better!4.cactus and sandburs, you and your dog be prepared.5.GPS! you can go for miles and not see a tree, very easy to get turned around, no landmarks.Again, GPS! lastly, and again, get in good physical shape, and enjoy some unique country.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from HuskerHunterFisher wrote 1 year 30 weeks ago

Haven't had a chance to hunt them, but I love going out to Calamus and Merritt Reservoirs in the Sandhills of Nebraska. I have been camping at Calamus since I was 3, and I have always wanted to head out there for a fall bird hunt. Once I find time away from the thing people call "higher education" to get out there, I plan on heading to the Sandhills.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Casey Walker wrote 1 year 30 weeks ago

I lived at the NW edge of the sandhills in Rushville. The sandhills are one of the most game rich areas of Nebraska. I hunted everything from doves to deer in that area. The vast area of the ranches in that area make for a lot of walking and huge areas all to yourself. Most all of the ranchers I talked to where more then willing to let bird hunters on. The people of that area are as genuine as you will find anywhere. After opening weekend of pheasant season if you have a map of the Walk in CRP you can hunt all day and hardly see a vehicle. I have moved to Wyoming so I am chasing Sage grouse and chucker now but the best thing my wife ever bought me was a lifetime hunt/fish permit so when we go back to see family and can still get out and chase some birds.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from uglymike wrote 1 year 29 weeks ago

I live in Nebraska, hunted the sandhills for years. If you're coming to the sandhills to hunt, here is a little advice from someone who's been there, done that. 1.get yourself and your dog in good physical shape. 2.depending on time of year, be prepared for 90's to below freezing.3.the wind always blows in Nebraska, assume 20mph winds, or better!4.cactus and sandburs, you and your dog be prepared.5.GPS! you can go for miles and not see a tree, very easy to get turned around, no landmarks.Again, GPS! lastly, and again, get in good physical shape, and enjoy some unique country.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment