For people who hunt and
fish, Nebraska is a land of many opportunities, and a few challenges.
The diverse landscape of Nebraska includes large unbroken tracts of
native prairie in the Sandhills, the rugged Pine Ridge, and wooded streams
and river bottoms in the east. Some of the Nation’s most critical
waterfowl habitat is in the Rainwater Basin wetlands and along the Platte
River. That diverse landscape supports one of the Nation's most diverse collection of huntable
Nebraska’s prairie rivers,
natural lakes and constructed reservoirs support catfish, bullhead,
bass, perch, walleye, panfish, and northern pike. Trout, an introduced
survive in some Nebraska coldwater streams. Snag-fishing of paddlefish in the
Missouri River in northeast Nebraska is a one-of-a-kind experience.
Whether working to expand
Farm Bill conservation programs, protect the Platte and other Nebraska
rivers, expand Nebraska’s network of publicly accessible lands and
waters, or protect Nebraska wetlands, the Nebraska Wildlife Federation
is working in Nebraska for people who hunt, fish, and enjoy wildlife
here in our state.
Click on the link below for more information on hunting and fishing in
Nebraska. And, please join us
in our work to make sure that The Good Life means
Wildlife, for current and future generations!
The hunting tradition goes back
thousands of years in Nebraska. The "First Nebraskans," the
Native American tribes who settled in Nebraska's river valleys
thousands of years ago, made their living hunting.
Massive herds of bison, deer, and elk
were their primary food source, supplemented by the fruits, berries,
and roots gathered from the area.
Later, tribes like the Pawnee and Omaha
added cultivated crops to their diet, but hunting remained a
critical part of the tribe's ability to feed its people.
Today, a small percentage of Americans
are vegetarian. We respect and honor their choice, and recognize
that it takes far less water, energy, and land to produce a pound of
plant protein, than to produce a pound of animal protein.
Yet for most Americans, meat remains an
important part of their diet. For those of us who remain 'omnivores'
like our ancestors, hunting provides a way to put meat on the table
-- as well as an intimate, respectful connection with the
food we eat.
In harvesting a duck, which gets most of
its food from wetlands unusable for agriculture, we are making more
efficient use of our resources. By catching and eating fish, we
harvest a resource in a self-sustaining system.
Hunters also serve a valuable role as
top predator in the food chain, a role that wolves, bears, and
Native American Tribes historically provided in our state. For
example, hunters help reduce deer/car collisions by keeping deer
populations at sustainable levels.
The next best thing to fresh game is
grass-raised bison and beef and range-fed poultry and pork, produced
by our friends in sustainable farming systems. Those systems mimic
the natural systems that support wildlife.
Contrast that with factory-scale
production of beef, pork, and chicken in huge feedlots and barns,
feeding animals food their body wasn't designed for. The system
consumes massive amounts of energy and water to produce a
single pound of meat, and the 'by-products' in terms of pollution
and anti-biotic resistance are frightening. Ask yourself: which
system makes more sense?
Finally, if you aren't yet convinced,
ask yourself this: which would you rather be, a deer or elk living
its life roaming free, eating food that nature intended, brought
down by hunters to feed their family? Or a castrated feedlot steer, living
its life packed alongside tens of thousands of other cattle,
knee-deep in its own feces, pumped full of antibiotics to fight off disease,
and slaughtered to feed that same family?
And....which meat would you rather feed
to your family?