I recently had the opportunity to again attend the Governor’s Pine Ridge Turkey Hunt in Chadron. It is a great opportunity to show my legislative colleagues and others from Eastern Nebraska some of the charms of the Nebraska Panhandle. Visitors cannot help but notice the natural beauty of the place when they visit. This trip, I was reminded that is the people that make this part of Nebraska so special.
I brought along Tony Baker and Dick Clark from my legislative office. Tony has been on this turkey hunt before, but it was Dick’s first time, and Dick had never shot a turkey before. We got an early start from Lincoln on Wednesday, and were able to beat the bad weather. We got to meet the generous landowners who host all the participants.
Besides myself, Governor Ricketts and Senators Lowe, Arch, and Erdman made the trip. The weather forecast predicted sub-zero wind chills and heavy snow. The threat of a little Nebraska weather scared off a lot of folks who had signed up, so the event organizers were not even sure how the event was going to go.
Wednesday night, after the meet-and-greet, I noticed I had a low tire on my truck. While filling the low tire, the valve stem broke off in my hand. To make matters worse, I did not have the right tool on-hand to remove the locking lug and pull the wheel off the truck. You would think that in a rural town after ten o’clock at night I would be out of luck. But another customer at the gas station turned out to be the operator of a local auto parts business. He opened up his shop at 10:30pm, got me the tool I needed, and got me back on the road.
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We had breakfast on Thursday morning at Prairie Pines Lodge, an assisted living facility in Chadron. Then we linked up with the host landowners and headed out to see about some turkeys. Dick and I were paired up with Cody Brinton, operator of the Quarter Circle Lazy Y Ranch. He put us on some birds pretty quick, and Dick got his first ever turkeys. I filled a tag with my own turkey, and then Cody took us back to his ranch house where we dressed the turkeys and drank some of the best coffee I have had.
After the hunt was done, I met up with some of the other participants and we took a tour of Chadron State College. My daughter and her husband are both CSC alumni, but the campus has been improved tremendously even since they graduated a few years ago. Talking to college president Randy Rhine about these projects, I was blown away by how far they are able to stretch a dollar. And their programs largely focus on things we need in the ag economy. I would like to see our other state schools take a page from Chadron State on being careful stewards of public resources. A little Western Nebraska horse sense would do Lincoln a lot of good.
Please contact my office with any comments, questions, or concerns. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, mail a letter to Sen. Tom Brewer, Room #1423, P.O. Box 94604, Lincoln, NE 68509, or call us at (402) 471-2628.