Found! Two Great Deer Hunts in The Sandhills


Published: June - 1999

Winning football programs isn't the only long-standing tradition of excellence in the state of Nebraska. Through the years, the Cornhusker State has produced some of the nation's most impressive whitetail bucks. For instance, the reigning world-record non-typical archery kill of 279 7/8 came from the state in 1962. A decade or so later an impressive set of typical sheds was found that has been scored at 218 net typical points. So, why don't you hear more about Nebraska's whitetail hunting? Because, good genetics and nutrition aside, many parts of the state suffer too much hunting pressure.

Fortunately, that is not so in the Sandhills of north-central Nebraska, where the combination of low human population and good management is resulting in lots of bucks reaching their trophy-class potential. This region features sprawling pastures of native prairie grass that are bisected with tree-shrouded river and creek bottoms. Here and there are deep canyons dotted with jungles of cedars. The region is wonderfully under-populated with people, too. Some large counties actually hold just a few hundred people.

In the midst of all this, in the tiny town of Brewster (population 22), a fourth-generation Sandhills rancher/sportsman by the name of Delten Rhoades has started an outfitting business. His company, Sandhills Adventures, is best known for its upland game and waterfowl hunting, but it has a lot to offer those seeking a trophy-class whitetail. This newsletter had a report on Rhoades earlier this year (see January 1999 issue, pages 3-6), but he deserves another mention. Why? For starters, Rhoades has over 200,000 acres under exclusive lease, more than half of which is good whitetail habitat. Importantly, despite having this much hunting territory, Rhoades takes a very limited number of archery, muzzleloader and firearms hunters every fall. He likes for his deer to have plenty of room to roam, and he is working hard to improve his trophy quality. Boone & Crockett-class bucks have been taken in the area in recent years, such as a 190-class typical taken recently by a local hunter. Rhoades' hunters have seen such bucks, but to date no one........(continued)

 
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