Outdoor notes: Liquidated damages; Cornhusker Trapshoot; May is Bird Month

Increased liquidated damages for game law violations

LINCOLN, Neb. – Gov. Pete Ricketts has signed into law a measure that increases liquidated damages levied against persons who violate certain Nebraska game laws by killing, possessing or selling wildlife illegally.

Liquidated damages are assessed by the courts that are in addition to fines imposed for violating the game law. These monies from liquidated damages then are returned to the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission and credited to the Game Fund.

LB 1008, which was introduced by Sen. Bruce Bostelman, amended Section 37-613 in statute, increasing liquidated damages as follows:

— $25,000 for each bighorn sheep;

— $10,000 for each bull elk with 12 points or more and $3,000 for any other elk;

— $10,000 for each white-tailed deer of eight points or more with an inside spread between beams of 16 inches or more, $2,000 for any other antlered white-tailed deer, and $500 for any antlerless white-tailed deer;

— $10,000 for each mule deer of eight points or more with an inside spread between beams of 22 inches or more, and $2,000 for any other mule deer;

— $5,000 for each mountain lion, lynx, bobcat or river otter;

— $500 for each wild turkey;

“We are very pleased that the voices of Nebraska sportsmen and sportswomen were heard with the passing of LB 1008,” said Scott Smathers, executive director of the Nebraska Sportsmen’s Foundation. “This adds a meaningful tool and substantial punishment to the toolbox – in conjunction with the efforts of conservation officers and Wildlife Crimestoppers – that sends the message to prosecutors and judges that Nebraska sportsmen and sportswomen will not tolerate poaching on any level.”

Call Nebraska Wildlife Crimestoppers at 1-800-742-7627 to report game law violations.

Papillion-La Vista going for three straight at 49th Annual Cornhusker Trapshoot

LINCOLN, Neb. – Papillion-La Vista will be going for its third straight ladies team title this week at the 49th Annual Cornhusker Trapshoot on May 3-5 on the home grounds of the Nebraska Trapshooting Association (NTA) in Doniphan.

Four of the five shooters from last year’s team return. Madeline Wilson, Zoe Timberlake and Nikayla Lambert were on the past two winning teams for Papillion-La Vista. Coco White also returns from last year’s squad.

The Cornhusker Trapshoot is open nationwide to all school students in grades 6-12 who have completed a hunter education course. Approximately 2,570 shooters are projected to participate in this year’s event – 1,695 senior high and 875 junior high students.

Competition will take place in individual and team divisions. Junior high students (grades 6-8) will shoot 100 16-yard targets on May 3. High school competitors (grades 9-12) will shoot 75 16-yard targets on May 4, then 75 handicap targets on May 5. The high school shooter with the highest combined score will earn the Cornhusker Cup. Competition begins at 8 a.m. each day.

The NTA home grounds are located 3 miles south of Interstate 80 exit 312 on U.S. 281. The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission and the NTA are hosts.

Visit Cornhusker-trap.com for more information.

Nebraskans encouraged to celebrate birds throughout May

LINCOLN, Neb. – This year marks the 100th anniversary of the International Migratory Bird Treaty Act. This legislation protects migrating birds such as hawks, shorebirds and songbirds, to name a few.

This historic Act has allowed for once dwindling populations of numerous bird species birds to rebound through sound land management, hunting regulations and conservation measures.

“Today, we know Nebraska plays a critical role on an international scale for migratory birds that have no borders, and it is our responsibility, as a part of the global community, to make certain birds have the habitats they require,” said Lindsay Rogers, outdoor education specialist with the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. “We also recognize the economic benefits birding ecotourism in Nebraska provides to communities and the overall economy.”

Throughout May, Nebraskans are encouraged to celebrate birds by participating in one of numerous events across the state focusing on birds. Event details can be found on the Nebraska Bird Month website – nebraskabirdmonth.org. Individuals seeking events can search by date or location.

For more information, contact Rogers at lindsay.rogers@nebraska.gov.