Platte River Basin Environments, Inc. (PRBE) mentoring programs consist of two parts: (1) a youth component and (2) a disabled veteran.
The mentoring of the youth program is done by Nebraska certified hunter education instructors. We have seven or eight active instructors who act as mentors providing a large enough pool of instructors to draw from so no burden is placed on any one instructor. We provide opportunities for youth to hunt deer, turkey, ducks and geese. Each youth must provide one adult sponsor who will accompany them on the hunt. This person may be a parent or some other relative or adult known to the family. With the hunter education instructor mentor, this provides two adult members to be present at all times.
Opportunity is also available in some years to trap beaver, coons and other fur bearing animals. Youth who help on the work day preparing and camouflaging the waterfowl blinds, placing tree stands, other blinds and work controlling invasive plant species on the property can earn a guided hunt of their choice.
Shortly after acquiring the North Horse Creek property, it was determined that the white tail deer population was out of control. With the necessity to cross two close railroad tracks, which had no crossing arms and the large Farmer’s Irrigation Ditch that had no railings on the bridges, it was necessary to control access to the property because it was unsafe to have large numbers of vehicles crossing onto the property. Yet there was a need for reducing the white tail deer numbers in that location.
We thought we could accomplish this by targeting a deserving group of hunters who could be ushered onto the property safely. Regulations were set to harvest a fairly large number of doe in order to reduce the number of deer on the property. Collisions between cars and deer have been substantially reduced, and the disabled veterans who are now recruited from across the nation and guided by Hero Expeditions, a nonprofit group from Colorado, are quite satisfied with the program.