Landen Nowak of North Platte won the Cornhusker Cup on May 4 at the 54th Cornhusker Trap Shoot in Doniphan, Nebraska.

Nowak broke 74 of 75 targets at 16 yards May 3, then broke 71 handicap targets at 25 yards the next day at the home grounds of the Nebraska Trapshooting Association. The combined 145 left Nowak and Bellevue West’s Michael Day tied with the top score, which Nowak broke in a shoot-off.

Day was one of seven shooters to record a perfect 75 at 16 yards, including Norris’ Zach Hennecke, the defending Cornhusker Cup champion. He finished third overall this year.

Jaelynn Kliment of Raymond Central was the ladies’ champion.

5 Clovers Wilber 1 was the winning 4-H team, with members Kahne Packer, Kaden Togstad, Cooper Hayek, Kohen Burda and Collin Kohout.

Two Norris teams won overall titles. Norris Senior One earned the high school team championship, with members Hennecke, George Lee, Jude Reifert, Andrew Wobig, and J. Mason Sobotka. The Norris Senior Ladies of Ava Schmutte, Grace Douglas, Lilly Ballard, Emily Creps and Olivia Zoubek won the ladies’ championship.

Jaxon Muirhead, Cedar Hollow, hit 98 of 100 targets May 2 to win the junior high competition of the shoot. Carly Uffelman of York was the ladies’ winner, and the team champions were Norris 1 (junior high), 5 Clovers 1 (ladies) and Southside 1 (4-H).

The trap shoot saw 892 junior high and 1,538 senior high shooters compete. The Cornhusker Trap Shoot is open nationwide to all shooters in grades 6-12 who have completed a hunter education course.

Senior High


Top 10 Individuals – 1. Landen Nowak, North Platte, 145 of 150 (won shoot-off); 2. Michael Day, Bellevue West, 145; 3. Zach Hennecke, Norris, 144; 4. Wyatt Debrie, Gibbon, 140; 5. Dane Newman, Lincoln Southeast, 140; 6. Wyatt Happle, Beatrice, 140; 7. Cohen Harre, Exeter-Milligan, 139; 8. Bodie Kumm, Platte Valley Claybusters, 139; 9. Kahne Packer, 5 Clovers 4-H, 139; 10. Kalvin Kies, Blair, 138

Top Three Ladies – 1. Jaelynn Kliment, Raymond Central Trap, 133 of 150; 2. Grace Nigro, Omaha Duchesne, 132; 3. Reilly Forsyth, Papillion-La Vista, 132

Top Three 4-H Teams – 1. 5 Clovers 4-H Wilber 1 (Kahne Packer, Kaden Togstad, Cooper Hayek, Kohen Burda, Collin Kohout), 665 of 750; 2. Raymond Central Trap, 656; 3. Platte Valley Claybusters A, 648

Top High School Teams – 1. Norris Senior One (George Lee, Zach Hennecke, Jude Reifert, Andrew Wobig, J. Mason Sobotka), 673 of 750; 2. Omaha Creighton Prep Blue, 664; 3. Omaha Skutt Black, 653; 4. Beatrice Senior 1, 652; 5. Grand Island Northwest 1, 650; 6. Lincoln Northeast Black, 648

Top Three Ladies Teams – 1. Norris Senior Ladies (Ava Schmutte, Grace Douglas, Lilly Ballard, Emily Creps, Olivia Zoubek), 609 of 750; 2. Ashland 4-H Syren, 596; 3. Omaha Duchesne Dash 1, 589


Top Three Ladies – 1. Mia Malcom, Minden 68 of 75; 2. Carly Chase, Cougar 4-H, 67; 3. Addison Lueder, Louisville 4-H, 66

Top Three Individuals – 1. Dane Newman, Lincoln Southeast, 72 of 75; 2. Landen Nowak, North Platte, 71; 3. Lane Allen, Raymond Central Trap, 70

Top Three 4-H Teams – 1. Raymond Central Trap 4-H RC Shooting Sports (Lane Allen, Brayden Korth, Jaelynn Kliment, Hunter Isabell, Sam Smith), 313 of 375; 2. 5 Clovers 4-H, 311; 3. Young Guns 4-H, 307

Top Three Ladies Teams – 1. Omaha Skutt Pink (Elizabeth Janecek, Mary Grace Krohn, Bethany Taylor, Addison Scott, Charlotte Culjat), 291 of 375; 2. Norris Senior Ladies, 286; 3. Omaha Duchesne Dash 1, 284

Top Six High School Teams – 1. Omaha Creighton Prep Blue (Gus Neary, Alex Bernier, John Cannella, Nate Feldman, Jack Plambeck), 325 of 375; 2. Norris Senior One, 316; 3. Omaha Skutt Black, 311; 4. Blair Terminators, 311; 5. Norris Senior Two, 306; 6. Papillion-La Vista South Titan 1, 302

Yardage Winners

18-19 Yards – 1. Hudson Bedlan, Ashland 4-H, 69 of 75; 2. Jack Gladden, Young Guns 4-H, 68; 3. Payton Grotrian, Spring Creek, 66; 4. Joleigh Mooney, Phelps/Gosper, 65; 5. Kaela Hinze, Republican River Shooting Club, 65; 6. Jedrick Warner, Brady, 65; 7. Connor Evans, South Platte 4-H, 65; 8. Aiden Jones, Millard West, 64; 9. Callie Beeck, Southside 4-H, 64; 10. Tucker Thatcher, Beatrice, 63

20-21 Yards – 1. Logan Schneider, Norris, 69 of 75; 2. Alex Neth, Lincoln Southwest, 68; 3. Jacob Mickels, Omaha Skutt, 67; 4. Johnathan Sevick, Bellevue West, 65; 5. Harold Kies, Blair, 65; 6. Liam McCormick, LHNE, 65; 7. Trevan Srajhans, Fillmore County Trap, 65; 8. James Mentele, Papillion-La Vista South, 64; 9. Wyatt Branson, Papillion-La Vista, 64; 10. Jake Sorensen, Ashland 4-H, 64

22-23 Yards – 1. Zane Gerrish, Arlington, 70 of 75; 2. Nathanael Taylor, Lincoln Southwest, 69; 3. John Cannella Omaha Creighton Prep, 68; 4. Jaret Wood, Fairbury, 67; 5. Landon Kruse, Homeschool, 67; 6. William Snyder, Elkhorn Mount Michael, 67; 7. Wyatt Suchy, Oak Creek 4-H, 67; 8. Davis Davenport, Norris, 67

24-25 Yards – 1. Michael Day, Bellevue West, 70 of 75; 2. Zach Hennecke, Norris, 69; 3. Kahne Packer, 5 Clovers 4-H, 68; 4. Wyatt Debrie, Gibbon, 67; 5. Kalvin Kies, Blair, 67; 6. Bodie Kumm, Platte Valley Claybusters 4-H, 67; 7. Wyatt Happle, Beatrice, 67; 8. Gus Neary, Omaha Creighton Prep, 67

16 Yards

Top 20 Individuals – 1. Michael Day, Bellevue West, 75 of 75 (won shoot-off); 2. Zach Hennecke, Norris, 75; 3. Carter Lytle, 5 Clovers 4-H, 75; 4. George Lee, Norris, 75; 5. Ryan Wyskowski, Papillion-La Vista South, 75; 6. Colton Charboneau, Platte Valley Claybusters, 75; 7. Samuel Huck, Southside 4-H, 75; 8. Carden Packett, Waverly, 74; 9. Hunter Reiff, Beatrice, 74; 10. Wyatt Knapp, Grand Island Northwest, 74; 11. Wyatt Loos, Mead, Colo., 74; 12. Cohen Harre, Exeter-Milligan, 74; 13. Clint Mumm, Ashland 4-H, 74; 14. Landen Nowak, North Platte, 74; 15. Zach Hinze, Republican River Shooting Club, 74; 16. Kale Larsen, LHNE, 74; 17. Jayce Namuth, Sidney Sharpshooters, 74; 18. Ryker Vance, Grand Island Northwest, 74; 19. Jadon Sila, Papillion-La Vista South, 73; 20. Levi Kleffman, Papillion-La Vista, 73

Top Six Ladies – 1. Brooklyn Ridley, Blue River 4-H, 74; 2. Reilly Forsyth, Papillion-La Vista, 73; 3. Sydney Gallaway, Maxwell, 73; 4. Ava Schmutte, Norris, 73; 5. Sara Malcom, Norris 160, 72; 6. Carlie Beaman, Springfield Platteview, 72

Top Three 4-H Teams – 1. Platte Valley Claybusters 4-H A (Jacob Mark, Jackson Schwartz, Bodie Kumm, Creighton Nemnich, Colton Charboneau), 360 of 375; 2. 5 Clovers 4-H Wilber 1, 354; 3. Blue River 4-H Red, 350

Top Three Ladies Teams – 1. Norris Senior Ladies (Ava Schmutte, Grace Douglas, Lilly Ballard, Emily Creps, Olivia Zoubek), 323 of 375; 2. Ashland 4-H Syren, 322; 3. Fillmore County Trap, 317

Top Six High School Teams – 1. Beatrice 1 (Wyatt Happle, Hunter Reiff, Conner McCubbin, Isaac Enns, Alex Busboom), 360 of 375; 2. Norris Senior One, 357; 3. Grand Island Northwest 1, 355; 4. Exeter-Milligan 1, 350; 5. Papillion-La Vista South Titan 2, 349; 6. Papillion-La Vista Monarch 1, 348

Jim Carlisle Memorial Second Generation Individual (traveling trophy) – Landen Nowak, North Platte, 74

Junior High

Top 20 Individuals – 1. Jaxon Muirhead, Cedar Hollow, 98 of 100; 2.  Britton Petersen, Norris, 98; 3. Finn Brannen, Southside 4-H, 97; 4. Brecken Niemeyer, 5 Clovers 4-H, 97; 5. Enzo Trujillo, Fillmore County 4-H, 95; 6. Dexter Gunyan, North Platte MS, 95; 7. Sean Buller, Norris, 95; 8. Buck Rawles, Hershey, 94; 9. Aaron Nielsen, C.L. Jones MS, 94; 10. Jayce Balfour, Republican Valley 4-H, 94; 11. Bruin Fuxa, Louisville 4-H, 93; 12. Evan Petersen, Norris, 93; 13. Blake Cerny, Blue River 4-H, 93; 14. Jackson White, Beatrice, 93; 15. Logan Allen, Raymond Central 4-H, 93; 16. Ty Nunnenkamp, Heartland, 93; 17. Spencer Vanderberg, Oak Creek 4-H, 93; 18. Nate Frame, Hershey, 93; 19. Charlie Tasich, Ashland 4-H, 92; 20. Paxton Behrens, Blue River 4-H, 92

Top Six Ladies – 1. Carly Uffelman, York, 93 of 100; 2. Jillian Muntz, Louisville 4-H, 89; 3. Bella Mueller, Ashland 4-H, 89; 4. Jaycee Schwisow, 5 Clovers 4-H, 89; 5. Cayla Peterson, Paxton, 88; 6. Hannah Kohout, 5 Clovers 4-H, 88

Top Three 4-H Teams – 1. Southside 4-H 1 (Tommy Benes, Zach Scholtes, Finn Brannen, William Hegemann, John Donner), 450 of 500; 2. Blue River 4-H Black, 448; 3. 5 Clovers 4-H 2, 446

Top Ladies Team – 1. 5 Clovers 4-H 1 (Hannah Kohout, Jaycee Schwisow, Brynlee Burns, Katherine Krivohlavek, Allyssa Kotas), 379 of 500; 2. Ashland 4-H Syren, 356; 3. La Vista MS Lady Monarch, 313

Top Six Junior High Teams – 1. Norris 1 (Evan Petersen, Britton Petersen, Max Bowman, Sean Buller, Aubrey Zoubek), 454 of 500; 2. Logan View Blue, 430; 3. Hershey Cow 1, 426; 4. Sutherland Cow 2, 425; 5. Doniphan Trumbull Red, 421; 6. Centura 2, 418

9 state parks with beautiful skies, good camping

By Renae Blum

Camping offers the best type of relaxation made better by brilliant starry skies or with awe-inspiring sunsets. So plan your next trip beneath Nebraska skies at one of these nine Nebraska state parks known for amazing views and good camping opportunities.

Niobrara State Park

It’s hard to beat the scenic views at Niobrara State Park in northeastern Nebraska. Filled with curving hills, the park offers stunning overlooks of the Missouri River, beautiful sunsets and sunrises, and amazing views of the Milky Way. In addition, the park offers both tent and RV camping, as well as equestrian camping. Not a camper? Book a cabin along the bluffs for a view of the Missouri River outside your cabin windows.

During your stay, enjoy watching wildlife like birds, deer and turkeys, as well as hiking, fishing, geocaching, and horseback rides and swimming in the park pool during the summer months.

Merritt Reservoir State Recreation Area

If you’re seeking some stargazing during your camping trip, this is the park to visit. Located in north-central Nebraska, Merritt Reservoir State Recreation Area is the first Nebraska site certified by DarkSky International, the recognized authority on light pollution, after a rigorous, years-long application process. Merritt Reservoir’s remote Sandhills location provides spectacular astronomical views and is home to the Nebraska Star Party each summer.

Campers will find Electric Plus and Basic campsites with numerous camping options over several campgrounds. When you visit, make sure to take advantage of the great fishing – walleye, crappie and white bass have long been favorites with anglers here. Boating, hunting and picnicking are other fun options.

Rock Creek Station State Recreation Area

A great choice for history buffs, Rock Creek Station State Recreation Area combines open prairie with Nebraska history and modern camping amenities. Its rural location near Fairbury in southeastern Nebraska creates dark night skies, and the prairie setting offers nice views of sunsets and sunrises. It’s adjacent to Rock Creek Station State Historical Park, a former Pony Express station and stop along the Oregon and California trails where pioneer wagon ruts still are visible.

The recreation area offers Electric, Basic and Basic Equestrian campsites, as well as plenty of picnicking sites. Visitors can also explore 6 miles of trails between the two parks, which wind through beautiful native grasses and wooded areas.

Fort Robinson State Park

Fort Robinson State Park in western Nebraska offers exquisite Pine Ridge scenery, compelling Old West history and scenic camping. Campers can enjoy dark skies at night, as well as scenic overlooks highlighting majestic views from the regions’ famous buttes.

When you’re not gazing at the beautiful skies, there’s plenty to see and do. You’ll find excellent fishing as well as 60 miles of hiking trails and 20 miles of equestrian trails. In the summer, visitors can enjoy Jeep tours, a restaurant, golf, live theater, swimming, and stagecoach and wagon rides.

Camping options include Full Hookup, Electric Plus and Basic campsites within a scenic and historic backdrop – with equestrian camping options for those who bring their horses, too.

Medicine Creek State Recreation Area

This hidden outdoor getaway located in peaceful southwestern Nebraska has many delights for a smaller park. At Medicine Creek State Recreation Area, visitors will find dark night skies, good fishing and modern campgrounds. Disc golf, picnicking, and boating and swimming on the 1,768-acre lake are just a few attractions.

Campers have a variety of options at Medicine Creek, including Electric Plus, Electric, Basic and Primitive camping, with access to modern restrooms and showers. Those not wanting to camp can take advantage of four two-bedroom fully furnished modern cabins with a stunning lakefront view.

Wildcat Hills State Recreation Area

If primitive tent camping is what you prefer, visit Wildcat Hills State Recreation Area in western Nebraska. Situated high on a rocky escarpment in the gorgeous Wildcat Hills region, this park offers campers 12 Basic sites. You can make reservations for half; the rest are first-come, first-served.

During your stay, make sure to go hiking and explore more than 3 miles of trails through the canyons and rocky bluffs. The park also offers great birdwatching, dark skies, picnicking at three historical stone shelters and an array of wildlife. A visit to Wildcat Hills State Recreation Area isn’t complete without stopping by the park’s nature center and shooting sports complex.

Sherman Reservoir State Recreation Area

Campers who like to fish will want to check out Sherman Reservoir State Recreation Area, located in central Nebraska. With new camping opportunities, excellent fishing, dark skies, pretty sunsets and a 2,845-acre lake, visitors will find much to appreciate here.

Camping includes more than 300 primitive non-pad sites and 61 pad electrical sites. Other activities include boating and water sports, hunting, picnicking, hiking and fishing for walleye, crappie, catfish, white bass and northern pike.

Victoria Springs State Recreation Area

Those seeking a quieter experience will enjoy Victoria Springs State Recreation Area. The third oldest area in Nebraska’s state park system, Victoria Springs has a quaint charm, described as an oasis in the Sandhills. Its rural location means dark skies for campers, and its connections to Nebraska history make it an interesting place to camp.

The 60-acre area draws its name from the mineral springs located here, from which water was once bottled and sold across the country during the heyday of the spas. Still on the site are the log cabins built by an early pioneer.

The park features Electric Plus, Electric and Basic camping, as well as two modern cabins. Visitors can boat or fish in the 5-acre lake, and the wooded picnic area offers plenty of beautiful spots for a meal outdoors.

Memphis State Recreation Area

If you’re looking for dark skies at a park in the Lincoln-Omaha area, Memphis State Recreation Area may be your best bet, as it’s more rural than other parks. It features a large campground with dozens of mature shade trees and plenty of campsites scattered along the water’s edge. The area offers 18 Electric Plus campsites and numerous Basic and Primitive campsites.

Other attractions include a recently renovated lake stocked with largemouth bass, bluegill and channel catfish; boating on the 48-acre lake; hiking on a scenic 1-mile trail; and picnicking.

To learn more about the parks mentioned here or to make a reservation, visit A park entry permit is required.

Family fun returns with 2024 Community Fishing Events

Join the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission for another spring and summer of fun with Community Fishing Events.

Community Fishing Events provide opportunities for people of all ages who have never fished or have not fished in years to learn and enjoy the activity. Rods and reels, as well as bait and fishing instruction, will be available for free.

“Join us at one or several of our events to learn how to fish or to bring a friend and spend time fishing,” said Larry Pape, Game and Parks’ fisheries education specialist. “Fishing is a fun, convenient activity that can provide quality time for everyone, and we are here to help you have great outdoor experiences.”

Look for the Community Fishing Events Trailer at each site. Appropriate fishing and park permits are required. All fishing regulations apply.

The Discover Fly-Fishing program returns in 2024. Discover Fly-Fishing events, which are in conjunction with Community Fishing Events, are free and open to anyone interested in a basic introduction to fly-fishing. Learn about the equipment and how to use it, then watch a fly-tying demonstration. Loaner fly rods will be available.

Community Fishing Nights are from 6-8 p.m., unless otherwise noted. The schedule through June is:

May 28 – Lincoln, Holmes Lake; May 30 – Grand Island, Mormon Island State Recreation Area, Lake No. 1; May 30 – Omaha, Fontenelle Park Pond; June 5 – Papillion, Lake Halleck; June 11 – Omaha, Towl Park Pond; June 12 – Lincoln, Holmes Lake; June 18 – Lincoln, Bowling Lake; June 20 – Bellevue, Kramer Park Lake; June 20 – Norfolk, Skyview Lake; June 25 – Lincoln, Holmes Lake; June 27 – Omaha, Fontenelle Park Pond

The July schedule is: July 5 – Broken Bow, Melham Lake; July 9 – Papillion, Lake Halleck; July 10 – Lincoln, Bowling Lake; July 11 – Norfolk, Skyview Lake; July 17 – Papillion, Prairie Queen Lake; July 18 – Gibbon, Windmill SRA, Lake No. 2; July 23 – Bellevue, Kramer Park Lake; July 25 – Grand Island, Mormon Island SRA, Lake No. 1; July 25 – Schuyler, City Park Pond; July 30 – Papillion, Lake Halleck; July 31 – Lincoln, Holmes Lake

The August schedule is: Aug. 2 – Kearney, Fort Kearny SRA, Lake No. 6; Aug. 6 – Lincoln, Bowling Lake; Aug. 10 – North Platte, Iron Horse Lake; Aug. 13 – Lincoln, Holmes Lake; Aug. 14 – Omaha, Fontenelle Park Pond

The schedule of Discover Fly-Fishing events, which run from 6-8 p.m., is: May 28 – Lincoln, Holmes Lake; May 30 – Omaha, Fontenelle Park Pond; June 20 – Bellevue, Kramer Park Lake; July 10 – Lincoln, Bowling Lake; July 25 – Grand Island, Mormon Island SRA, Lake No. 1

The schedule of other events is: May 18 – Statewide, Free Fishing and Park Entry Day; May 18 – Kearney, Fort Kearny SRA, Lake No. 6, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.; June 1 – Kearney, Yanney Lake, Heritage Day, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.; June 29 – Lincoln, Branched Oak Lake, White Perch Tournament, 8 a.m.-1 p.m.; July 23 – Bellevue, Kramer Park Lake, Discover Bow Fishing, 6-8 p.m.; July 27 – North Platte, Lake Maloney (east boat ramp), Carp-O-Rama, 8 a.m.-1 p.m.; Oct. 19 – Omaha, Fontenelle Park Pond, Fontenelle Family Fishing Frenzie, 10 a.m.-noon

Visit for more information on Community Fishing Events or to purchase fishing or park permits.

2024 Big Game Guide online now

Application, drawing and sales dates for Nebraska big game hunting permits have been adjusted for 2024. That’s just one of the changes in the 2024 Big Game Guide posted on the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission’s website

The guide is a summary of Nebraska’s regulations, orders and statutes pertaining to hunting deer, antelope, elk and bighorn sheep.

Some of the changes this year simplify the application and purchasing process for deer, elk and antelope permits by collapsing eight purchasing periods to four. Notably, general applications will begin a week earlier than in past years, starting June 3 in 2024.

A summary of the changes is on page 4 of the guide.

Among the other changes:

  • More nonresident deer permits are included in the draw, including archery and muzzleloader permits.
  • Hunters will have the option to Telecheck their deer during the November Firearm season. Hunters must check their deer at either a check station or via Telecheck. Elk and antelope harvest reporting must be done via Telecheck.
  • There are significant changes to deer quotas and bag limits. With reduced quotas, it is likely permits will sell out faster.
  • A Private Land Only deer permit was created for the Sandhills and Pine Ridge units to address the high demand from nonresidents and moderate demand for residents for hunting there. Permits were left over in those units in 2023. The new permit allows additional nonresident opportunity while not increasing pressure on public lands.
  • Individuals are allowed one unit permit that allows the harvest of a mule deer buck in each of the following units: Buffalo, Calamus West, Frenchman, Loup West, Pine Ridge, Plains, Platte, Republican, Sandhills, Upper Platte. While they may not have two permits in any one of these units, they may have permits in different units and/or statewide permits.
  • Statewide Buck and Restricted Statewide Buck now are a Season Choice format and valid for the entire season and the method of take of the current open season. This follows the Whitetail Statewide Buck format.
  • Landowner applications for antelope and elk are synced in one period, May 20-31.

The 2024 November Firearm season is Nov. 16-24. According to Commission Orders, the season is nine consecutive days beginning the Saturday closest to Nov. 13.

To download a copy of the guide, visit