As part of an occasional Hunting Small Town America Series on my radio show, Hovey’s Outdoor Adventures, I went on a Spring snow goose hunt in Seward County, Nebraska, working out of the town of Seward. Quaintly, but logically, Nebraskans feel that the county and its county seat ought to have the same name. This is not true in my home state of Georgia where few, if any, of the state’s 159 counties and their courthouse towns share the same name. For example, Washington, Georgia, is not located in Washington County; as most people might suppose.
I grew up and live in Sandersville, Georgia, and Seward shares a lot of features typical of American small towns. It has a courthouse square with businesses around it, The Corner Cafe, the usual public buildings, a new library and a surviving movie theater. Unusual for a town of 6,000, it also has a college, Concordia University, which started as a teachers college in the 1880, but has expanded its offerings into the fine arts and sciences. If you are a rock and mineral person, they have an excellent exhibit on the ground floor of the library as well as a planetarium.
A stranger thinking about hunting in a new area needs some local contacts, and among the best places to start are with the local Chamber of Commerce. Pat Coldiron, the Executive Director, can tell you about the county, its facilities and where to find things like the local Wal-Mart, the motels (Hill Crest and Super Eight) as well as where you would likely meet local hunters at the local feed and seed store. She can also tell you about a local sandwich, the Runza, that is an interesting baked-in-bread ground beef-cabbage mix that originated in Russia and Central Europe and came to the U.S. with early settlers.
If you are interested in wines, the James Arthur Vineyards is located in the small town of Raymond about 10 miles north of Lincoln in adjoining Lancaster County. They make a complete selection of white and red wines from hybrid grapes that are cold-weather resistant and offer tastings in a very nice setting.
Seward County is unusual in that it is flat prairie corn fields to the south and west, but has the end of the Nebraskan moraines to the east and north. These two topographic areas offer varied habitats for deer, pheasants, quail, dove, turkeys, waterfowl and rabbits. A 220-class whitetail which is the state’s 8th largest deer was killed in 2010 just outside of Seward. An even larger one was bagged in an adjacent county. The pheasant population took something of a hit last year, but is reasonable, the turkey population is very good, snow goose hunting in the Spring (what I am doing now in the second week in March) is good, waterfowl potential is good on the many small ponds and rabbits are common where there is sufficient cover.
Shelter belts, conservation reserve lands, wooded creek valleys, small fields in the glacial hills and the county’s nine state and federal public hunting areas are among the best places to hunt deer, pheasants, turkeys and small game. The flat open corn fields are favored places for Spring snow geese, feeding flocks of migrating waterfowl and dove.
The Nebraska Game and Parks regulations may be accessed at http://www.ngpc.state.ne.us/admin/regulations.asp. The state has both short-term and seasonal non-resident licenses. The cost for an annual non-resident small game license is $81 (2011), and there is also a state waterfowl stamp and game lands stamp if you wish to hunt waterfowl or access public lands.
An hour-long radio show featuring Seward County’s hunting potential will be available on
March 15, 2011, at the Hovey’s Outdoor Adventures show page: http://webtalkradio.net/shows/hoveys-outdoor-adventures/. If this is not the current show, the Seward County show may be accessed by looking under the archived shows’ tab at the top of the page. If you think your community would benefit from having me doing a radio show from your community, you can contact me at www.hoveysmith.com.
To access my books, blogs, products and services go to www.hoveysmith.com. There is a live radio show link at the top of the page just under the banner and at the very bottom a list of my blogs that will provide a full-page view. I also have videos on hunting-related topics (including one on hunting North Carolina snow geese) on YouTube. These may be googled or found on the wmhoveysmith YouTube channel.
If you have any problems viewing “Hunt Destination: Seward County, Nebraska” it is up on YouTube at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fj47aSG39N8.