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Challenge rewarded: Upland, Duck slam grand prizes awarded

Hunters love to go afield hunting in Nebraska when a challenge is involved. A chance to win a shotgun in the experience only sweetens the deal.

Two Nebraska hunters now are owners of new shotguns as the grand prize winners of the latest seasons of the Upland and Duck slams.

Zachary Goodrich of Sidney won a Weatherby Orion 12-gauge shotgun in the Upland Slam, while Josh Schnitzler of Battle Creek won a Franchi Affinity Elite 12-gauge semi-automatic shotgun in the Duck Slam.

The fifth year of the Upland Slam gave 169 hunters and the fourth year of the Duck Slam gave 162 hunters a reason to take advantage of the state’s excellent opportunities and growing availability of publicly accessible land. In both slams, hunters upload photos of their harvests to a website and share information about their hunting experience. The finishers of each of the slams became eligible for the random drawings for the shotguns.

The Upland Slam challenges hunters to harvest a ring-necked pheasant, sharp-tailed grouse, greater prairie-chicken and northern bobwhite quail in Nebraska during the season. The slam is a partnership between the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission and Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever of Nebraska.

“We have thoroughly enjoyed offering this experience with Nebraska Game and Parks and reading hunters’ stories of pursuit over the last five years,” said Kelsi Wehrman, state coordinator for Nebraska Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever.

“The Upland Slam has brought many new faces to the state and created an awareness to hunt a new species, such as grouse, for many Nebraska hunters,” she said. “Congrats to all the finishers and their four-legged friends that helped make it happen.”

This season, 98 hunters completed the Upland Slam. They received an official certificate and pin. All participants who harvested at least one species were entered into monthly drawings for prizes. They included prize winners Mike Raynor of Dakota City, who a won $200 Scheels Gift Card, Nolan Kocian of Dwight, who won at Traeger Wood Pellet Grill, and Tristan Kocian of Dwight, who won a Youth Lifetime Permit.

There were 524 photos submitted to the Upland Slam. Participation included hunters from 10 other states, as well as three youths. Find the names of all hunters who successfully completed the Upland Slam at

The Duck Slam is a partnership with Ducks Unlimited and 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 had to be harvested in Nebraska.

The 70 hunters who completed the 2022-2023 Duck Slam received an official certificate, a pin, Central Flyway bragging rights and were registered to win one of several great prizes donated by Ducks Unlimited. There were 457 photos submitted. Among the participants were six youths – four of whom finished – and hunters from 12 other states. Find a list of hunters who completed the Duck Slam at

About Jerry Kane

Jerry Kane is the news manager with the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. He can be contacted at or 402-471-5008.

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