Ducking out of Saturday’s high wind gusts behind an old building at Bunker Hill Hunting Resort east of Hastings, Lyle VonSpreckelsen started his stop watch.
In a field around the corner, his son Eric was taking a chocolate Labrador out into the tall grass for the team’s first-ever round of “top gun” Partridge hunting.
After a brief beat of silence, a shotgun fired.
“That’s a good bird, 30 seconds in,” Lyle said with a nod.
A resident of Clay Center, the longtime wild bird hunter has followed organized hunting competitions for years and finally got himself in the arena last winter.
The Nebraska State Partridge Championship Saturday and Sunday at Bunker Hill was a chance for him, his son and more than 30 other hunters from across the region to engage in what VonSpreckelsen describes as “good people, good dogs and good fun,” with a side of “friendly rivalry.”