The Saturday morning event will feature at least 16 teams of hunters, including participation in the hunt by Governor Pete Ricketts.
Main Street Beatrice executive director Michael Sothan says it’s the first time a Nebraska governor has taken part in the actual hunt.
“Johanns and Heineman have been involved in the event,” Sothan says. “Heineman wasn’t a big hunter, it wasn’t really his thing so he didn’t participate all that much but he did come down from time to time. We’re excited that Pete Ricketts on his first year is really going to get involved with this year’s event.”
Activities start with a Friday Open Shoot at the Beatrice Gun Club, followed by a reception at Valentino’s Restaurant. After an early morning breakfast on Saturday, hunting teams will head out to area farms.
“We have a couple of different divisions within the Governor’s Hunt and their hunt is scored and also they have some sporting clay shoots as part of their score,” Sothan says. “It’s more of a friendly competition and there is a trophy they get to claim.”
Sothan says hunting teams are expected from across the state and from as far away as Arizona, Texas, Michigan, Tennessee and North Carolina.
“We have a Nebraska football hall of famer, Carl Johnson, coming with his team,” Sothan says. “He was part of Bob Devaney’s national championship seasons in 1970 and ’71. We have folks like that that have always been talking about coming and being a part of the Nebraska Governor’s Pheasant Hunt here in Beatrice.”
The weather should be good as the forecast calls for sunny skies with highs in the mid-50s in the Beatrice area on Saturday.
After the pheasants are counted, measured and photographed on Saturday, hunters will participate in the sporting clay shoot and have lunch. Winners will be announced at a Saturday night reception.
Pheasant and quail seasons in Nebraska began October 31st and run through January 31st.
By Doug Kennedy, KWBE, Beatrice