A 9-year-old novice shooter from Broken Bow is the first youth to complete a Nebraska Duck Slam.
“The best part was having my dad and friends with me,’’ Cooper Loughran said.
The fourth-grader has been hanging out in the blind with his dad, Matt, since he was an infant. Matt Loughran says he loves guiding his son through his hunting career.
“He’s asking lots of questions, learning, and we get to hang out outdoors,” he said.
The Nebraska Duck Slam challenges hunters to harvest a teal (blue-winged or green-winged) 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 at OutdoorNebraska.org/DuckSlam.
Cooper completed his Duck Slam on Oct. 12. All he needed was the wigeon. He got the male pintail and blue-winged teal on his first hunt and the male drake mallard on the second.
“I have never actually seen one in real life,’’ Cooper said of the wigeon. “We had a group come in and I just picked out one duck and that was it. Everyone was really excited.’’
Matt Loughran said Cooper is proud of his harvests but knows there is more to hunting than just shooting.
“We have eaten everything he has harvested; he understands the importance of that,’’ Matt Loughran said.
Hunters who complete the Slam will receive a certificate and a Nebraska Duck Slam pin. All hunters who complete the Slam during the 2019-20 season will be registered to win one of several prizes donated by Ducks Unlimited. A drawing for the grand prize, a Benelli Super Black Eagle 3, will take place at the Ducks Unlimited State Banquet on Feb. 22.