New and past hunters were welcomed to the 45th annual Dads, Lads and Lassies Upland Game Hunt despite COVID-19 restrictions.
“Thank you to everyone who continues doing what they can to help make this happen year after year,” said Mike Beck, Dads, Lads and Lassie Upland Game Hunt President.
The social distancing that was encouraged and the hand sanitizer that was made available to participants of the annual youth hunt were minimal additions to the event that draws in a sizable crowd of area hunting enthusiasts year after year. Last weekend’s temperature enabled five teams from in and around Litchfield’s community to enjoy opening weekend of Nebraska Game and Park’s Pheasant Season.
Prior to the event hunters requested access to Nebraska’s publicly accessible lands and acres of prime habitat within the core pheasant range during the hunt. While Nebraska’s regular pheasant season runs from Oct. 31, 2020 to Jan. 31, 2021 the youth season began on Oct. 24.
Past and new hunters were encouraged to start the event by meeting at Beanies Sports Bar and Café from 7 to 9 p.m. on Oct. 29. On Friday, Oct. 30 hunters began registering their teams at the Dads, Lads and Lassies Trap House. Once registered they gathered inside for a Hunter Safety Review that was led by Nebraska Game and Parks Hunter Education Instructor, of 26 years, Bryce Luth.
During the brief tutorial, the firearm and bow hunter instructor candidly spoke about things to remember during the hunt. This was done before the Trap Shoot led by Board of Directors: Mike Beck, Bronson Goodner, Kendra Johnson, Trevor Kohls, Rastus Snow, Cole Lewandowski, and Shane Slocum along with Loup City residents Cathie and Dean Kieborz began.
On Friday evening, teams met for a Potluck Dinner at Zoerb Farms. At the meal, new teams were introduced before drawing for Guides and Dog Handlers. Members of the hunt also hosted a Calcutta and a Past Shooter Meeting that same evening. Saturday, Oct. 31 hunters began gathering in Beanies Sports Bar and Café before starting their hunt 30 minutes before sunrise. Birds, from new teams and past shooters, began being checked in at 5 p.m. with a Victory Banquet at Zoerb Farms that began at 7 p.m.
During the banquet, Litchfield FFA Advisor Brian Johnson and four FFA members he advises Faith Heapy, Sydnee Sweley, Brandi Slocum, and Rebecca Mostek served a prime rib meal to those in attendance. Afterward Kim Woodward, of Broken Bow, led an Auction, Gun Raffle and announced the Calcutta Winner that kept everyone entertained until nearly midnight.
First Place Trap and Hunt was awarded to Jim Janda, Shannon Mackey, Mason Janda, Cole Mackey of the “Centura Slayers.” Their Dog Handler was Matt Lance and their Guide was Barry Sweley.
Second Place Trap and Fourth Place Hunt was awarded to Matthew Putnam, Lester Putnam, Casey Sheets and Miles Putnam of “The Wolf Pack.” Their Dog Handler was Scott Skrdla and their Guide was Rastus Snow.
Third Place Trap and Hunt was awarded to Brad Rasmussen, Joey Schirmer, Grady Rasmussen and Keaton Schirmer of “Rasmussen Construction.” Their Dog Handler was Matt Ritchie and their Guide was Simon Ritchie.
Fourth Place Trap and Second Place Hunt was awarded to Kim Woodward, Taylor Woodward, Drake Doss and Carter Wood of the “Rooster Busters.” Their Dog Handler was Tyler Varney and their Guide was Scott Kuehl.
Fifth Place Trap was awarded to Kevin Racicky, Riley Racicky, Kylee Racicky and Cyrus Wells. Their Dog Handler was Jeff Varney and their Guide was Chad Slocum.
Top Dog was awarded to Scott Skrdla while the Manitoba (Past Shooter Award) and Dead Eye were awarded to Mason Janda. Founders Team Award was given to the “Centura Slayers” and the Hall of Fame was provided to Kendra Johnson. While five $800 scholarships were handed out Parker LeFever was recognized as the Past Scholarship Recipient.