“Midstream Duckstop ”
Location! Location! Location! That’s what you always hear about real estate. In that case, check out “Midstream Duckstop.” It’s where the ducks stop about midstream in America’s Great West! And they do so on a stretch of Nebraska’s North Platte River that along with other landowners, has one after another, each owning their stake in God’s Country specifically for the purpose of waterfowl hunting… and they vigorously nurture them so! With miles of river that are exclusive, protected, and managed, the entire area holds a ton of birds, both mallard ducks and Canada geese! And helpful to each other, this community does it right. Yes, Midstream Duckstop sits amid a 10 mile or more, succession of private hunting properties, most of which handsomely paid for by individuals with the single mission of creating their own personal waterfowl paradise – doing all they can to maintain the large amounts of wintering ducks and geese that continually use them! Furthermore, Ducks Unlimited, has amassed a large complex of habitat, including projects on many properties in the area, and is scheduled to complete another on “Duckstop”. Conclusively, this “neighborhood” of hunting lands will roost thousands and thousands of wintering waterfowl! And when it does, the trading between them is like clockwork… set your watch to it! Add to that, Duckstop is next to a feedlot, and surrounded by a valley of corn and other agricultural food sources – elements that keep birds around! Lastly, the various utility ponds and barrow pits of the nearby towns hold exceptional amounts geese and some ducks… and not very far away! (See where this is going?) Yep, whoever buys Midstream Duckstop, will be sitting in a catbird seat; mutually benefitting from like-minded hunters, committed conservationists, well-kept properties, and a lay of the land, ideal for wintering hungry greenheads and large Canadas. They will be able to participate in a much bigger complex than a single landowner could create, and by proximity alone, will immediately share in the rewards of ongoing individual efforts, the funding of WAT (Wetlands America Trust), and migratory bird traditions, all years in the making. And if the new owner is a good steward too, doing his or her part to contribute… then everybody continues to win! With Duckstop, location is its key, the first thing you need to know, and I believe what tells it all!
Formerly leased by a reputable outfitter, this little hotspot was a “go to” property for duck and goose limits… both at water sites located along 2 river channels and a shallow pond, or the open cut grass of a large hay meadow. In addition, plentiful turkey and large whitetail deer have been other favorites of this property’s menu!
And one thing about Western Nebraska Canada goose and mallard duck hunting; you can’t beat the backdrop of buttes and bluffs! So, while chasing greenheads or honkers near the small hub of Scottsbluff, it’s good to kill em, but so much better to do it in a magical place… and Midstream Duckstop, would provide just that! Defined by ½ mile of the increasingly sought-after North Platte River, it is so perfectly sandwiched amongst other significant holding tanks for Central Flyway waterfowl, that you’d almost forget it also comes with a nice house… a new, very nice, and very large, heated garage with TV and surround sound providing ambiance for a stainless steel bird cleaning station (wow)… a beautiful mudroom… 7 waterfowl blinds… decoys by the dozens… and is immediately ready to go! But you’ll never have trouble remembering that it is part of one of America’s truly great riparian ecosystems… one for hunting game of multiple species! Yes, if you end up owning Midstream Duckstop, that much you’ll never forget! In fact, if you’re looking for a very productive spot, but perhaps not as large as some, or quite the outlay of cash that other tracts can demand… with Midstream Duckstop, you may have just found it!
River: The heart and soul of Midstream Duckstop is its portion of the incredible North Platte River with one larger “main” channel to the south, and a much smaller one to the north. In fact the north channel winds across the property serpentine through various protection and windbreaks, it feels more like a little slough or stream than a river channel. However, it is not “warm water”, like sloughs of a such overused title. Still, its flow is good and tends to stay somewhat open during cold spells. Also, as far west as Midstream Duckstop is located, the river itself is narrower than its at eastern hotspots, tends to run faster, is more down cut, and seldom freezes either… slush ice at times, but rarely solid. At Midstream Duckstop, the river is quite hardy, can usually be hunted throughout the season, and roosts birds long after the thermometer drops.
Woodland Area (the Island) It may not feel like it, but technically the ground separating the 2 channels is an island. And on it, are 2 manmade ponds that have reputations for being great fishing holes. Clearly that waterfowl like them also… seen it in good numbers multiple times! But on this island is the best overall deer and turkey habitat – the majority of the property’s “upperstory” trees and “understory” brush. It is the most wooded, and the obvious place regarding cover and safety due to cottonwoods, ash, willows, and Russian olives. And say what you want about Russian olives, but when being honest, they are a fantastic wildlife tree… native or not! Escape corridors, windbreaks, and the food provided by their berries, these large shrubs are incredibly attractive to deer, turkey, pheasants, grouse, and even songbirds! (That’s why they plant them on pheasant plantations in the Dakotas!) So, argue amongst yourselves. But with these components, the island holds the majority of deer, along with the turkey activity… told it roosts 100+! And if hunting deer and turkey are priorities, this area could easily be improved with minimal habitat work, possible addition of a food plots, or even a simple decision to let grass grow and stay tall, creating reliable bedding cover. It wouldn’t take much and you might end up with a real “honey hole”!
Wetlands Improvements – (Ducks Unlimited… plus Farris Hunting Development): On the north side of the smaller channel, lies some upland area with a few trees that too, that could be improved fairly easily. But just to the north of that, is a really interesting riparian meadow, that screams of wetland restoration! It has multiple meandering depressions left from river channels “gone by”. In fact to those who love to witness improvements happen, it might be the most intriguing part of the property! And there is also a real caveat to anyone buying Midstream Duckstop. It is the fact that famed leader in wetlands conservation, Ducks Unlimited, is already 3 years into, has acquired funding for, and now scheduled, a substantial project on Midstream Duckstop! Furthermore, in an effort only to complement their science and outstanding habitat expertise, Farris Hunting Development will bring a little “street” knowledge… helping with some basic decisions as to where to emphasize and what to enhance… fine-tuning some details that will very specifically play to hunting issues. This collaboration should be exciting! The project is to be completed by November of 2020. The result should give this property a real cherry on top adding one of the only things it doesn’t yet have – very “ducky” wetland habitat. And… habitat that will hunt!
Hay Meadow: North of the “wetlands-to-be” area, is a large open hay meadow. It is ditch-irrigated, quite flat, and perfect for haying – classic! It brings in income yes, but also the geese! I don’t know all the hunts carried out on that field of course, but by coincidence, I do know of one specifically. It involved an annual DU donor’s hunt, in which 6 guys shot their limit of geese in a January morning of 2019. That’s 30 Canadas! Knowing 2 of the hunters personally, and trusting their opinions, I was told that it was not only the best of the DU event that year, but that it was simply an awesome hunt! And I believe it!
South of the River…
Duck Ponds (Shallow): Previous owners built 5 ponds; the 2 on the center island, but also 3 in the southeast section of the property’s river-bottom. They are shallow and were created with puddle ducks and geese in mind. The middle of these three, has a half-buried semi-pit blind located on its south bank. And trenched to it, is electricity for lighting, but more importantly, it powers 2 ice-eaters, which help keep a very large hole of open water in front of the blind after freeze ups. And the geese and ducks can load up on this pond because of it! Even in the short time I’ve had to study the property, I have witnessed very concentrated usage multiple times!
Fish Ponds: The 2 island ponds are reported to offer good fishing! No recent accounts, but historically they’ve had Largemouth Bass, Bluegill, some Perch, and was told; very large Crappie!… over 1 1/2 pounds… (am told anyway). As said previously, the geese and ducks use them regularly as well. The west end of the western most pond, tends to keep from freezing, offering yet more open water for wintering waterfowl.
Tiny Slough: Running along the south side of the Duck Ponds, is a tiny warm-water (yes, warm water) slough. Ducks use it some and if desired, it could possibly be made into something productive.
Corn: A gravity-irrigated cornfield makes up the property’s very southeast corner. And though only 26+ acres, it actually earns fairly good rent. So obviously this provides some income, but more importantly to a hunter, it is also a reliable food source for the game… every species!
Livestock Improvements: Like everywhere up and down the river, this ground was at one time only, but now continues to some extent, a cattle operation … grazing etc. So included on this property are loafing sheds, working corrals, and a loadout chute… all in very good shape.
House/Lodge: And lastly, one of the things that will be truly attractive to a duck hunter looking for land, especially if coming from far away, is that Midstream Duckstop, comes with a very nice house! It is clean and fully furnished with all the framed paintings and photos of hunting scenes on its walls. Created from a simple mobile home, double in width, it is raised up and has several great additions that were very well executed! The first is a good mudroom with slate floors, knotty pine, a work bench, and hanging space enough for the clothing and gear of many hunters! Connected to that, is the very large 4-door, 4-vehicle garage/shop complete with a stainless steel cleaning station, TV, surround sound (that’s right), and is heated. Third, is a wrap-around porch encompassing 3 sides of the living area, kitchen, and master bedroom. Forth, is an indoor/outdoor dog kennel attached to the garage. And lastly, a wooden privacy fence around the bulk of the back yard. Already possessing a “lodge” of sorts, Midstream Duckstop, could be used as a hunting retreat, a weekend get-away for family, or an entertaining destination for business clients. It could even be a headquarters of sorts to simply experience other attractions and activities of the great west.
Ducks: Mostly Mallards and plenty! The entire North Platte River in the panhandle of Nebraska is known for them. And on this greater stretch, they winter by the thousands! Feeding daily in the plentiful corn of the valley, they return to the river, sloughs, and other wetlands for water, invertebrates, other vegetative food, gravel, and of course; safety. Flight activity through Midstream Duckstop is strong!
Geese: Canada geese are a species that instead of showing decline due to man’s development and civilization, they have flourished. And there are so many of them in the North Platte River Valley, it is no longer something you’d get your picture in the newspaper if you bagged one. They are thick! And on Midstream Duckstop, they are readily available for those you like to see a larger splash, or hear the thump of the bigger birds hitting the ground!
Turkeys: As well, Midstream Duckstop’s turkey usage is known to be substantial. A quote by a someone I know and trust, who grew up locally, “That place is FULL of turkeys too!” Also said to me by a Louisianan who hunted it in the spring of 2019, “I’ve never seen so many turkeys on one place in my life!” Mind you, he might have said the same about a number of places along the “turkey-rich” North Platte, this being his first trip to the region. But the point is, even if celebrated more for waterfowl, Midstream Duckstop has plenty of Merriam’s and Rio Grande gobblers to hunt!
Deer: Whitetails too! But by itself, Duckstop would not be particularly large in a deer equation. However, it only takes one large buck happening to be on your land while you’re in the stand. And everybody around here knows that this river corridor travels bucks up and down it, especially during the rut! So, with the existing cover and brush, a little change in land management perhaps, and maybe some TLC directed towards deer specifically, Midstream Duckstop could become a small but mighty hotspot! The potential is there and it’s been done before.
Personal and Other Property
Blinds: The previous leasing outfitter was a savvy hunter and did a very good job of identifying locations, and constructing multiple blinds, aboveground, semi pit, and pit style. 3 are located on the banks of the larger river channel, 2 are located on the banks of its small northern channel, and 1 is on the pond. In the meadow is lastly a 7th, which is the pit blind buried absolutely flat with no detectable profile… and would absolutely disappear with any goose decoys surrounding it! I’m sure it’s deadly!
Decoys: Not sure the count, but there are a lot of brand new… still in the box… and dozens more, rigged up and used only a year… all fully-flocked… premium mallard decoys! And they, along with whatever other decoys are there, go with the property!
Miscellaneous: Furthermore, virtually everything goes with the property!!! Gear, to tools, to furniture! The current owner is not someone who wants to take much with him.
Midstream Duckstop is a truly turnkey deal! Not much to it, other than blind preparation next season, or the one after. That being said, you can always chose to add habitat and hunting improvements. The DU project will result in locations for additional blind/s and even more decoy purchases because of it. But isn’t that the fun of it?
If you want one that’s ready to go, and one that is not far from restaurants, an airport (commercial and private), a little civilization… and also not 1,000 acres or more of cost and upkeep, Midstream Duckstop is probably your perfect choice!
The Facts & Figures
Total Acres: 390+ acres more or less.
Nearest Town: Melbeta, Nebraska. (Of any size): Scottsbluff, Nebraska
River Control: 1/2 mile of North Platte River, two channels, both sides.
Ponds: Man-made, 3 are shallow for waterfowl, and 2 are deeper, and very good fishing holes, but also hold ducks and geese.
Island: 78+acres – Mostly Woodland and Brush Cover, with Great Potential for Habitat or Food Improvements!
Wetland Improvement Project): Together with the science and excellent habitat work and renown expertise of Ducks Unlimited, Farris Hunting Development will help to complete a wetlands and hunting improvement project in 2020!
House/Lodge: Nice and well kept, 1,568 sq. ft., 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom, Central Air and Heat… Sleeps 8 hunters!
Wrap-Around Deck: Provides views of Abundant Wildlife, Duck and Goose Parades, Western Buttes, Bluffs, and Sunsets!
Mudroom: Attractive with Slate Floors and Knotty Pine, a Good Workbench, and plenty of Storage and Hanging for Gear.
Garage: None better!! – Very Large! Very Nice! Heated, Insulated, with Concrete Floor, Commercial Stainless Steel Game Cleaning Station, Big Screen TV, Surround Sound System, and Electric Overhead Doors with Key Pad Entry System!
Indoor/Outdoor Dog Kennels. Nice and connected to the garage.
Hay Meadow: 110+ acres that have produced 2-3 tons of hay per acre.
Water Rights: Hay meadow and cornfield have water rights with Castle Rock & Minatare Irrigation Districts.
Grazing: Capable of Running 50+ pairs from May to November.
Corn ground: 26+ acres tillable.
Improvements for livestock: Included are loafing sheds, working corrals, and a loadout chute.
Waterfowl Blinds: Each accommodates approximately 6 hunters, and have dog boxes also.
- 5 Aboveground River Blinds: All are effectively designed and well-constructed of wood and/or metal – well-concealed, located on river banks, 3 on South Channel and 2 on North.
- 1 Semi-Aboveground Pond Blind: This one is half buried along the largest of 3 ponds and has electricity trenched in for lighting in the blind, but also runs 2 ice-eaters to keep water open in the coldest conditions!
- 1 Pit Blind: Proven effective, its undetectable profile is constructed of wood and located in a large hay meadow.
Deer Blinds: One of the “Cadillacs” – a Redneck Shooting Tower is in place at the center of the large Island area.
Agricultural Income (for 2019): $20,000 total
- Grazing Rent – (through Manager total: $16,000. Landowner portion -$10,000)
- Hay (Share Crop): $6,000
- Corn (Cash Rent): $4,000
Airport: “Western Nebraska Regional Airport” – located 3 miles east of Scottsbluff, Nebraska, 7 miles from Midstream Duckstop, is serviced by United (Skywest Airlines) or private aircraft.
Taxes (2019): $3,316.23
Address: Melbeta, Nebraska 69355
County: Scotts Bluff
Buyers and Sellers acknowledge all represented acres are based on the County Assessor’s records. Buyers acknowledge that they are purchasing a legal description, and acknowledge that fences may or may not be on the property lines.