With 200,000 acres of public-access habitat and little pressure, the sand hills around Valentine have become known for their populations of numerous game species — be it on the ground, in the air, or underwater.
Many of the hundreds of spring-fed lakes spread throughout the sand hills region in Nebraska are teeming with bass, panfish, walleye, and other game fish. You could spend a whole summer exploring the ‘refuge lakes’ on the Valentine National Wildlife Refuge, where the fishing is good throughout the year. You can also head over to the Merritt Reservoir, where over 26 different trophy class species of gamefish have been caught.
The expansive hills of native grasses around Valentine are one of the few places where hunters can seek out both sharp-tailed grouse and prairie chickens in the vastness of over 100 square miles of native prairie. Hunters can also enjoy waterfowl hunting, and pheasants can be found around the many lakes and marshes. Rifle, archery, and muzzle loader hunters come to hunt both mule and white-tailed deer. And the prairie dog hunting around here is well known to be some of the best in the region.