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Outdoors notes: 15-year-old hunter completes Nebraska Duck Slam
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OUTDOORS

Outdoors notes: 15-year-old hunter completes Nebraska Duck Slam

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As he often does, 15-year-old Jacob Uphoff of Lincoln used a day off from school last fall to go hunting with his dad. That October day, he completed the Nebraska Duck Slam, making him the first youth to do so this season.

Jacob was excited and surprised to hear the news, his father, Blane, said. His accomplishment comes after years of waterfowl hunting.

“He’s been going to duck blinds with us since he was 2,” Blane Uphoff said. “We’re always planning for the next hunt.”

The Nebraska Duck Slam challenges hunters to harvest a teal of either sex, as well as drakes of three other species: an American wigeon, a mallard and a northern pintail. All ducks must be harvested in Nebraska, and hunters must upload a photo of each harvest at OutdoorNebraska.org/DuckSlam.

To date, 314 hunters — including nine youth — have participated in the challenge. So far, 127 hunters have completed the Duck Slam — 117 Nebraskans and 10 nonresidents.

Jacob persevered despite an “extremely difficult” year for waterfowl hunting, his father said, one in which conditions were often very dry. “One morning he carried our gear in about three-quarters of a mile to the marsh, only to find that the marsh was completely dry,” he said. “But we hunted it.”

Jacob harvested all his birds using a 20-gauge shotgun.

Make park reservations

Beginning Feb. 1, guests can make camping reservations up to 180 days in advance of arrival for stays at Nebraska state park and recreation areas.

Guests will be able to book stays for a maximum of 14 days, and will have the ability to make multiple reservations for eligible sites and dates.

There is no change to the cabin and lodge room reservation booking window. It remains at a year to date.

In addition to reservable campsites, first-come, first-served campsites are available year-round at all park locations.

The 180-day booking window was determined based on current public health conditions and takes into account statewide and nationwide reservation trends and public input. This new reservation window will be evaluated throughout 2021 and may be adjusted.

Adjustments due to COVID-19 previously had limited the reservation booking window in an effort to increase camping opportunity and satisfy the increased demand for outdoor recreation.

“We appreciate the public’s understanding of that action, and we feel rewarded in knowing that the parks are recognized as important and favored destinations,” said parks division administrator Jim Swenson.

Reservations are accepted online at nebraskastateparks.reserveamerica.com and by phone at 402-471-1414, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Park entry permits are required and can be purchased online.

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