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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (March 14, 1975)
Pheasant bill ruffles feathers;
senator criticizes game officers
By Jim Zalewski
LB133, which would limit Nebraska's
pheasant hunting season to 10 days, met
opposition at a Constitutional Revision and
Recreation Committee hearing Thursday.
No one testified in favor of the bill; 14
people, representing differing interests, opposed
Sen. Dennis Rasmussen, of Scotia, who
introduced the bill, said the current method of
setting seasonal limits is not working. Pheasant
population is declining, he said, mostly because
of the lack of cover. Hens are producing only
two chicks per year instead of the three they
were producing in the early 1970s, Rasmussen
Rasmussen praised the South Dakota system,
where the season now is set at 50 days. Birds can
be hunted between noon and sunset, he said,
which makes the season virtually 25 days long.
Pheasant population grows
The pheasant population in South Dakota has
risen considerably in the past 10 years because of
such protective measures by the game
commission, Rasmussen said.
"Nebraska has 33 game biologists," he said.
"South Dakota has only 12, yet they are doing a
more effective job."
Rasmussen said the 58 conservation officers in
Nebraska made 56 pheasant hunting arrests last
year, which he said indicates illegal acts are going
"The hunter-landowner situation in Nebraska
is very bad, especially concerning trespassing," he
Committee, chairman George Syas of Omaha
criticized Rasmussen for not first presenting his
findings to the state
Discrimination . W
Charles Wilcox, representing the Izaak Walton
League, a group which promotes wildlife and
outdoor recreation, opposed the bill because he
said it would discriminate against the average
"If this is passed, only those who are retired
and the idle rich could hunt," Wilcox said. "The
average man could no longer get his recreation
Lincoln attorney Doug Marloff said he has
hunted in Lancaster County for 25 years and has
seen the pheasant population increase in the past
Approximately 70 per cent of all pheasants
die from exposure, he said.
"What is wrong with legal hunting and the
taking of game in the beautiful outdoors of
Nebraska?" Marloff asked.
Reducing the season in certain areas might be
advisable if the population was near extinction,
but a blanket limit for the whole state is not the
answer, he said.
Restricts resources and recreation
Dean Rosenthal, representing the UNL
Wildlife Club, said the club opposes the bill
because it restricts use of resources and
recreation opportunities in the state.
Wayne Ziebarth, former state senator from
Wilcox, said the bill would not enhance the
current good relations between hunters and
landowners in his area.
"We have hunters come in from Texas and
other parts of the South," he said. "Opening day
there is kind of a big extravaganza. The bill
would limit the commerce and the good times we
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friday, march 14, 1975
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