The following blog post was written by Nebraska Game and Parks District 3 Commissioner Mick Jensen.
Serving as a Nebraska Game and Parks Commissioner, I have the great privilege and opportunity to help introduce people to outdoor recreation and the excitement of hunting and fishing.
Last year, Clint Kantor and I became acquainted at the Big Game Society dinner and auction in Lincoln. The Big Game Society auction raises funds for big game habitat in Nebraska. The event brings together sportsmen and sportswomen who care about Nebraska’s outdoor heritage. At the dinner, I joined Clint and his wife at the table in hopes of meeting new friends. I certainly was not disappointed. We covered many outdoor topics, including the hunt at Flying V Ranch, west of Niobrara, which I donated last year.
The Kantors picked my brain until the auction began. I was pleased that they were the winning bidders. When Clint mentioned his stepdaughter, Kourtnie, I was a bit apprehensive because the Flying V is a bit rustic. I was assured Kourtnie was a trooper.
Next, we excitedly began planning our hunt. We settled on a midweek date so we had the Flying V to ourselves. We all arrived that evening with great anticipation for our hunt the next day. Mike and Susie Kelley, owners of Flying V, arrived to welcome Clint and Kourtnie, and plans were laid for the hunting adventure.
Mike, Clint and friend Bill Anderson helped Kourtnie climb aboard a johnboat and they headed north. I was left in camp because of recent back surgery. The anticipation was tough when I heard the shots!
Soon I had a text of Kourtnie with her first-ever duck!
Later, I learned she had positioned herself next to Mike to learn as much as she could about this new adventure. In no time at all, Kourtnie was really getting the hang of this new sport and beating the veterans at shooting. She proved herself and had a great time experiencing a fun hunt in Nebraska’s great outdoors.
The next day was set aside for another hunt, but as luck would have it, the flu bug hit and Clint was in for a long trip back home. Hopefully I can get them back next year for the rest of their hunt.
It is rewarding to watch young become excited about hunting, fishing, camping and shooting sports. Take a kid hunting, and help us continue Nebraska’s outdoor heritage.