Outdoor notes: Peru State teacher-candidates certified in archery instruction

Outdoor notes: Peru State teacher-candidates certified in archery instruction
Hannah Sexton (Sedalia, Colorado) lines up her shot. (Courtesy Photo)

PERU –  A group of nine Peru State students received their National Archery in the Schools Program Education (NASPE) Instructor certification on Monday, February 25.

Every spring, Dr. Frank Lynott, teaches the HPER 418 National Activity Certifications course. Lynott is an Assistant Professor of Health, Physical Education and Recreation at Peru State and has been an Instructor Trainer with National Archery in the Schools Program Education (NASPE) since 2006.

Students in the HPER 418 course become certified as archery, fly fishing and Red Cross instructors. For their archery certification last week, students performed a practical lesson and took a written test.

“When I first developed and proposed this class, I was nervous,” Lynott said. “After all, who has ever heard of a class that would certify students as archery, fly fishing and Red Cross instructors? However, with the support of the administration, faculty and staff, this course has become a great success.”

Hannah Sexton writes, “It was really fun to learn how to teach archery! I never got the experience to do it in high school, so having Dr. Lynott teach us how to shoot as well was a great experience. I hope I get the opportunity to teach it to my students someday!”

Lynott said, “This class is unique to Peru State College and students who have taken it have reported that they appreciate the unique skills they leave the class with.”

“Teaching this class for me is a rewarding experience for several reasons,” Lynott adds, “One, I get to introduce some activities that I find enjoyable and therapeutic to others. Two, students have reported that the certifications from this class have helped them to get jobs.”

Ashton Peiman (Lincoln, NE) and Steven Wilkie (Bellevue, NE).

“And last but not least, every Spring I get to experience the joy students experience as they learn skills they may have never even considered before. It is a true joy for me.”

For more information about the HPER 418 course or the physical education major at Peru State, contact Dr. Frank Lynott at flynott@peru.edu.

Commissioners to consider waterfowl season recommendations

LINCOLN, Neb. – The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission will consider 2019 waterfowl hunting season recommendations at its March 15 meeting in Nebraska City.

The meeting begins at 8 a.m. in the Terrace Room of Lied Lodge and Conference Center, 2700 Sylvan Road.

A public hearing is scheduled at the meeting for the waterfowl recommendations. The recommendation for early teal moves the season approximately one week later than 2018 dates to accommodate weekend days. All other waterfowl season recommendations include only calendar date adjustments.

The 2019 waterfowl recommendations are:

Early Teal – Low Plains: Sept. 7-22; High Plains: Sept. 7-15; Daily bag limit: six; Possession limit: Three times the daily bag limit

Youth Waterfowl – Zone 1: Oct. 5-6; Zone 2: Sept. 28-29; Zone 3: Oct. 19-20; Zone 4: Sept. 28-29; Daily bag and possession limits same as regular duck season

Duck and Coot – Zone 1: Oct. 12-Dec. 24; Zone 2: Oct. 5-Dec. 17 and Jan. 6-27; Zone 3: Oct. 24-Jan. 5 and Jan. 6-27; Zone 4: Oct. 5-Dec. 17; Daily bag limit: six (with restrictions); Possession limit: Three times the daily bag limit

Dark Goose – East Unit: Oct. 28-Feb. 9; Niobrara Unit: Oct. 28-Feb. 9; North Central Unit: Oct. 5-Jan. 17; Panhandle Unit: Oct. 28-Feb. 9; Platte River Unit: Oct. 28-Feb. 9; Daily bag limit: five; Possession limit: Three times the daily bag limit

White-fronted Goose – Statewide: Oct. 5-Dec. 8 and Jan. 18-Feb. 9; Daily bag limit: two; Possession limit: Three times the daily bag limit

Light Goose Regular Season – Statewide: Oct. 5-Dec. 25 and Jan. 18-Feb. 9; Daily bag limit: 50; Possession limit: none

Light Goose Conservation Order – East Zone: Feb. 10-April 15; West Zone: Feb. 10-April 5; Rainwater Basin Zone: Feb. 10-April 5; Daily bag and possession limits: none

Crow – Statewide: Oct. 15-Dec. 15 and Jan. 13-March 14

Falconry – Concurrent with teal, youth and regular duck season dates, plus, Zone 1: Feb. 25-March 10; Zone 2: Low Plains: Feb. 25-March 10; High Plains: Concurrent with all duck season dates in High Plains Zone; Zone 3: Low Plains: Feb. 25-March 10; High Plains: Concurrent with all duck season dates in High Plains Zone; Zone 4: Feb. 25-March 10

A public hearing is scheduled for input regarding the listing and delisting of state threatened and endangered species in the Commission’s District 1, which is southeast Nebraska.

The commissioners also will consider recommendations:

— to increase the Cash Change Fund at Victoria Springs State Recreation Area (SRA) and Schramm Park SRA, and to eliminate the Cash Change Fund at Lake Wanahoo

— to remove wildlife management area designations at Upper Brownville Bend, Hamburg Bend, Kansas Bend, William Gilmour, and Langdon Bend effective Oct. 1, 2019

— to clarify wildlife regulations to allow late-season doe/fawn antelope hunters the ability to legally carry a centerfire rifle or handgun while hunting, and to clarify the process for landowners to obtain a damage control permit for deer, antelope, elk or game birds

— to amend orders to change to the woodcock hunting season to the Saturday closest to Oct. 5 through the Monday closest to Nov. 18

— to move mountain (bighorn) sheep open seasons, permits authorized, bag limit, shooting hours and areas open from wildlife regulations to orders

The commissioners also will hear several staff reports, including updates on the Nebraska Upland Slam and The Berggren Plan for Pheasants and a preview of big game hunting.

A complete agenda is available at outdoornebraska.gov/commissioners/.

Pond owners should be wary of possible winterkill

LINCOLN, Neb. – Private pond owners should be wary of fish possibly succumbing to winterkill.

A prolonged winter and recent frigid weather are keeping ponds covered with snow and ice well into March, creating conditions for a winterkill, said Jeff Blaser, private waters specialist with the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission.

Winterkills typically occur in small, shallow ponds with abundant aquatic vegetation. Snow and ice covering a pond prevent the water from exchanging oxygen with the air. Excessive snow and thick ice allows very little sunlight penetration, so plants are not able to produce enough oxygen. If excessive snow cover persists, the plants die and subsequent decomposition, along with respiration by various aquatic organisms, can completely deplete the oxygen, resulting in a fish kill.

Blaser recommends pond owners take stock of their waters at ice-out. “Depending on the size of the pond, the presence of 40 or 50 dead fish would not indicate a large winterkill; however, thousands of dead fish of various species and sizes would be evidence of a major die-off event.”

Blaser suggests owners check for fish (visually and angling) following ice-out to help determine the status of the fish populations. The findings from these actions could indicate a pond is a candidate for restocking

Pond owners can contact Blaser at 402-471-5435 for management suggestions if they had a major fish kill.

NASP archery tournament March 23 in Lincoln

LINCOLN, Neb. – More than 800 students from 36 schools around the state are expected to compete in the annual National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP) state tournament March 23 in Lincoln.

The event takes place at Speedway Sporting Village, 345 Sporting Village Drive. Action begins at 9 a.m. and will continue through the afternoon.

NASP is a national target archery program for students in grades 4-12. More than 280 schools in Nebraska have NASP as part of their curriculum, with nearly 35,000 students participating. Nationally, more than 2 million students take part in the program.

“NASP teaches a life skill to boys and girls of all abilities,” said Aaron Hershberger, outdoor education specialist with the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. “It builds confidence, stimulates improved educational performance, and teaches patience and discipline.”

Spring rainbow trout stockings put on hold

LINCOLN, Neb. – With frigid temperatures gripping much of the state and many lakes locked with thick ice, the spring stockings of rainbow trout and the season opener at the Two Rivers State Recreation Area Trout Lake are on hold.

“Due to the extreme cold weather we have been having, the spring trout stockings and Two Rivers opener will be postponed until more seasonal weather permits the hatcheries to get the fish into the lakes and there is open water to be fished,” said Jim Gleim, fish production administrator for the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission.

The Two Rivers Trout Lake was scheduled to open March 9, and other trout stockings were to begin the following week. New dates will be announced when conditions allow stocking.

For more fishing information or to purchase a fishing permit, visit OutdoorNebraska.org.

Stutheit presented with DU Wetland Manager Award

LINCOLN, Neb. – Randy Stutheit, wetland biologist with the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, was presented the Ducks Unlimited (DU) Wetland Manager Award on Feb. 28.

John Denton, DU’s manager of conservation programs for Nebraska, made the presentation at Game and Parks’ Lincoln headquarters. Stutheit also was recognized that evening at the Lancaster County DU banquet.

Stutheit, who has more than 35 years of service with Game and Parks, works on wetland conservation projects throughout the state. One of his main job duties over the past 15 years has been coordinating wetland restoration projects on Game and Parks properties. In this capacity, he has overseen restoration projects on more than 40 wildlife management areas.

DU has presented the Wetland Manager Award annually for four years. Denton said it was created to award wetland managers and stewards within Game and Parks for the “thankless work that they do day in and day out to maintain wetland habitat.”

Previous winners of the award were Warren Schwanebeck, Brad Seitz and George Cargill.

Nebraska mule deer receive monitoring devices

NORTH PLATTE, Neb. – One hundred and twenty mule deer does are wearing GPS monitoring devices for the second year of a research study designed to aid in the management of mule deer populations in high- and low-density areas of Nebraska.

A crew of about 15 people, consisting of graduate students, faculty, and collaborators from the School of Natural Resources at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL), along with Nebraska Game and Parks Commission (NGPC) staff, equipped the deer with monitoring devices after a helicopter capture crew caught them in four study areas last week; two in the northwest and two in the southwest.

The GPS devices will allow for remote monitoring via satellite and provide valuable data on movements and habitat use while still allowing researchers to locate the deer on the ground to investigate possible mortalities and other important events.

The study is being conducted by UNL professor Dr. John Benson and his team including crew leader Emma Kring. Data from this study will help determine survival rates and factors influencing mortality, habitat use, home range size and movements of adult female and fawn mule deer.

“Our research in southwest and northwest Nebraska is an amazing opportunity to obtain intensive data on mule deer in areas in close proximity at different densities and experiencing different environmental conditions,” said Benson. “This information will allow us to understand the population dynamics and habitat relationships that result in these different densities, which will have important implications for management of mule deer in Nebraska and should contribute broadly to understanding factors that limit mule deer populations across their range.”

Once captured, the mule deer does underwent DNA sampling, blood draws, weighing and other measurements; an ultrasound was used to determine body condition and whether the does were pregnant. The does will be closely monitored this spring and early summer so newborn fawns can be captured and collared soon after they are born.

Lance Hastings, southwest district manager-wildlife division with the Commission said the capture project and other research could not happen without the support of landowners who provide access for the captures and monitoring.