Sighting In

I was helping out at the Lincoln Ike’s Hunter Sight In day today and am amazed at how many people only shoot their deer rifles once a year and then are frustrated when they can’t make the shot.  Sighting in is important (even if the gun shot well last year) but so is shooting throughout the year to keep your edge. 

If you have not sighted in your rifle for the November 13 opener its not too late.  You owe it to the deer and the time you have invested in the hunt.  Here are a few tips:

1. Sight in from a bench for the most steady hold possible.  You want to see what the gun will do not how skilled you are.

2. Use sandbags or a good rifle/handgun rest.

3. A quick method for sighting in is to fire one round at the target center at 100 yards.  Now see where the bullet actually hit.  While holding the crosshairs on the bullseye, move use the scope turrets to move the crosshairs now over to the bullet hole.  Now fire another round at the bullseye.  You should be on!

4. Now fire a three shot group (always three shots…then make adjustments). 

5. After a three shot group, clean the bore prior to the next group.

6. When making scope adjustments, remember most scopes move the point of aim 1/4″ per click at 100 yards.

7. Once sighted in, take a few shots using the type of rest you will use in the field.  Your groups will open a bit but that is okay.  As long as you can keep all shots fired into a 9″ pie plate you are good to go.  If everything is working, you should expect groups no larger than 3″ from the bench at 100 yards.  Don’t forget the eye and ear protection!

You will be amazed at how good it feels to head to the deer woods with the confidence of a well sighted in rifle that you know how to shoot well!  That is a skill to be proud of!

Get Em’ Out There


Experts work with hunters to prep them for deer season at the Lincoln Ikes

Sighting in requires a good rest and sometimes a bit of coaching

Pheasant Opener

By all accounts I think most hunters were pleasantly surprised at the number of birds they saw in the field this weekend.  Having crops out of the field helped a lot in many areas with the corn harvest around 75-80% and beans over 95%.  Hunter numbers were down across the state but harvests were good.  Best numbers for pheasants were in the southwest.

Bird numbers in the southeast reflected the effects of a harsh winter and hunter pressure on private land was low.   There are a lot more birds out there for the hunting and a whole season ahead of us!  My advice…try some of the excellent CRP-Hunter Access lands that allow public access to private lands.  Many of these have good bird numbers and are worth the walk.  You can pick up a Map Atlas booklet that shows locations by county at any NGPC office or permit vendor or online at

Be safe! 

Know your target and what lies beyond

Wear blaze orange

Keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot

Muzzle control – point that thing in a safe direction…always

Know where members of your hunting party are at all times

Get Em’ Out There


Two happy hunters on opening morning!

CRP-MAP lands rock!

Grouse Nirvana

After  a long week hosting the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies Conservation Ed Training Academy I took the weekend to head out west with my father-in-law to chase grouse.  We had a blast!  I think grouse hunting is just plain awesome and truly enjoy chasing these psychotic sandhill chickens.  You will walk a ton (like I need that kind of impact to my cholesterol level) but in some of the best scenery in the state.  Grouse can pop up at any time and give you little warning but when their numbers are large it is a blast (yes pun intended). 

Grouse can be a challenge for some and generally we have luck when the weather gets a bit cold and they tend to huddle up on the protected side of hills from the wind.  On warmer days, the shady side of hills is best.  They are not like pheasant and do not care for thick cover grass but rather favor more choppy sand hills with mixed grasses that have been thinned a bit by grazing.  Give it a trip or two and you’ll get the hang of it. 

We also enjoyed a bit of waterfowl in the sandhill potholes and of course had no intention of going through an entire pheasant opener without chasing them too!  Life is good!

Get Em’ Out There


Last night of camp with a tired old dog (the lab was tired too)!

Did I mention I like a BIG fire?

Finally a critter he was familiar with

Every morning was a gift!

Not a lot of trees in them there hills...

Doe Down

This would have to be the shortest hunt I have ever made.  I asked Hershy if he would fly solo on the Nebraska Outdoors Radio show so I could spend an evening in the deer woods.   As it turned out, I left the office later than planned (what else is new) and found myself walking to my stand around 5pm.  Once I arrived to the my ash tree throne, I noticed I had left my safety line in the truck.  Walked back, found the line and back to the tree.  Once safely fastened to that herbaceous beauty I call a tree stand, I brought up my bow and knocked an arrow.  As I was knocking the arrow I noticed a big doe entering the woods to my left.  As luck would have it she chose a trail that would place her 20 yards in front of me but she would not stop walking.  With heart pounding and eyes wide open, I gave out my best baahh.  She stopped dead in her tracks and I let the Montec loose.  A beautiful double lung shot!  She ran under 20 yards and started for the ground.  I truly appreciate not having to blood trail any critter.  I canceled my tag and left the stand with a huge smile on my face.  I think my hunt took a total of 15 minutes but what a time!  We are now enjoying the first batch of black pepper and sweet bourbon jerky from that deer and what a treat! 

Tele-check – I absolutely love this system.  So easy to check in deer now and allow time for taking care of the meat.  Good move!

I keyed in on this stand as it sits in timber at the edge of a crick bed adjacent to a CRP field that is excellent bedding as well as harvested corn and bean fields.  I will be back in this one soon!

Get Em’ Out There


Sometimes things just work out!

Blog Upgrade and Migration

The Nebraska  Game and Parks blogs will be migrating to a new and improved platform. We know our subscribers will enjoy the new look and enhanced functionality. All of our blogs will be moved into one great online news magazine called In order to make this transition, we need to delay our posts and your comments for a few days. We will not be posting articles or able to post your comments between Oct. 13-20. You can still access all of our blogs from their respective blog names or you can simply bookmark and find them there. We value your blog comments and appreciate your holding  any comments until our new site is live. Thanks for your patience. We’ll be back in touch in about a week.


See you out there….



(…we wanted to see what our archers do “behind-the-scenes” to help prepare themselves for the hunt – successful deer hunting goes well beyond just going to the woods, especially for the bow hunter…so we asked Sam what he does to get himself ready – here is his reply…hershy)

I spend a lot of time preparing for a hunt. Most of the things I do for pre-hunt preparations focus around scent control. I wash my clothes in scent shield’s scentless laundry detergent. When they go in the dryer, I also put in an earth-scented dryer sheet. After everything is clean, I put all of my clothes in a scent controlled bin with scent killer and activated carbon. When we get to our hunting spot, I spray them down with earth scented scent-killer. But even more important than masking your scent, is playing by the wind. Playing the wind means simply being up wind of where the shot should happen. We set our tree stands up so that we have an opportunity to hunt up wind from the deer trails & crossings.

During the Rut, we use doe urine as an attractant for the bucks. We spray the scent on cotton balls that are placed on the trails. Hopefully the bucks smell it and come in looking for a doe in heat and give us the opportunity to get a good shot. Keep in mind, like anything else, they don’t ALWAYS work. But sometimes, they work like magic.

Another tactic that will also increase your chance of success is being as quiet as possible going to the stand and moving as little as possible so that you don’t spook the deer if they sneak up on you. I have had countless deer see me before I see them. Most people think that deer can’t see all that well, but they can see movement very well. Just simply moving your head can spook a deer from farther than 30 yards!

Also, I spend countless hours in the back yard or at local ranges practicing with different scenarios so that I am ready for any shot opportunity. No matter how much preparation you go through for a hunt, you aren’t ready to take a shot if you haven’t practiced and tuned your bow. Make sure your broad heads are sharp and screwed in to your arrows well. We add silencers to our bows to make them less noticeable to the deer’s ears.


Nebraska Outdoors Radio Show

We have another great show lined up for you this Thursday evening from 6-7pm on 1240 AM KFOR Lincoln.   Our guest will be Dr. Dick Winter, a sporting dog enthusiast and trainer who will cover some of the finer points in preparing your dog for the upcoming season, training, etc.  We have had fun with him before so don’t miss it!

Get Em’ Out There