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eric fowler

NEBRASKAland Regional Editor Eric Fowler was born in Hastings, graduated from Ogallala High School in 1988 and earned his Bachelor’s degree from Chadron State College in 1993. After six years as a writer and photographer with newspapers in Chadron and Scottsbluff, he joined the Commission in 1998 as Publications Editor and has been a member of the NEBRASKAland staff since 2001. He has won numerous awards from the Association for Conservation Information for writing and photography featured in the magazine. Fowler enjoys spending time outdoors with friends and family, including his son. His passions include hunting waterfowl, upland and big game, fishing, especially in the Sandhills, hiking, camping and watching the sun rise or set anywhere in Nebraska.

Dance Party

Prairie grouse dancing begins in mid-March and will last into May at a prairie near you. Read on for viewing locations. There are some things you just have to see to believe, and others you have to hear. Few provide a treat to both of those senses like watching prairie grouse perform their courtship dances in the spring. Sitting in a blind before first light, you will hear the birds fly into the lek before you can see them. When …

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Crane Moves

Sandhill Cranes Arriving Earlier, Shifting East on Platte Thousands of sandhill cranes will have arrived on the Platte River in central Nebraska by the time you read this. In the weeks to come, there may be 600,000 or more on the river on a given night, with some yet to arrive from their wintering grounds to the south and others having already continued their northward migration. This gathering of more than 80 percent of the mid-continent population of cranes is …

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Fish Habitat Update 2016

Much to the delight of boat anglers who haven’t been on the water there since 2011, Burchard Lake, one of southeastern Nebraska’s top fisheries, is again open for business following a drawdown for an Aquatic Habitat Program project that was extended by drought. The 8-foot drawdown of the 26-foot deep, 150-acre reservoir in Pawnee County began in 2012 to replace the 60-plus-year-old, leaking outlet structure. While the lake was down, the Game and Parks Commission built a sediment dam across …

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Photographing the Other Fall Color

Fall can be a magical time for photography. But when the last of the golden leaves fall from the trees, some photographers find themselves wishing for a white Christmas … or Thanksgiving, or any day for that matter … and waiting impatiently for spring and the return of green to the forest. But wonderful fall color can be found long after the leaves fall. In fact, the trees aren’t even the first vegetation to put on an autumnal display. Native …

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Why I Hunt

I like to hunt. I really like to hunt. A lot. You could say it’s who I am. Why? The normal clichéd answers might be that I enjoy the recreation, exercise, spending time with friends and family, the taste of game meat, or even that I’m satisfying primordial urges. All of these are important, but what I enjoy most is that hunting melts the stress of everyday life from my body. When I hunt, whether I’m sitting in the whitetail …

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Goose and Duck Kabobs

There’s something special about cooking over an open flame. Which is why I don’t understand the ads that start in the spring telling me it’s grilling season. I’ll fire mine up and melt snow off the top if I have to in the winter. But being cheap/frugal, I guess it does make more sense to grill in the summer, when you don’t want to heat up the house with the stove. There is also something special about grilled food wrapped …

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Big Mac Pike

Northern pike have been swimming in Lake McConaughy since biologists stocked them around the time the reservoir on the North Platte River began filling in 1941. But judging by fish sampling data, angler reports and the 10 pike that topped 36 inches in length or 10 pounds to qualify for Master Angler there in 2013, the current population may be the best since. That doesn’t mean there are a lot of the toothy critters in the lake. “[The pike population] …

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Boiled Omelets

For no good reason, I hate doing dishes when I’m camping. Well, to be honest, I hate doing them when I’m home, too. But since I go camping to relax, it’s usually cereal or rolls or something else cold to start the day. That all changed at a Cub Scout campout a few years ago, when I learned how to cook an omelet with no cleanup required: Just boil it in a Ziploc bag. Yes, I know, I was late …

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Turkey Vultures: Nature’s Cleanup Crew

There are many beautiful bird species that soar through Nebraska’s skies. And then there’s the turkey vulture, with a face only a mother could love. To be fair, the turkey vulture’s plumage, while drab, is not unattractive – it’s the bird’s beady eyes and bald, red head (which resembles that of a wild turkey, hence its name) that are hard to like. Add in its seemingly disproportionally smallness compared to the rest of the body and it’s easy to see …

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Goose (or duck) Kabobs

Ingredients: Skinless, boneless duck or goose, bacon, bell peppers, onions, and tomatoes. You know, kabob stuff. Marinate: 1 can beer (the cheap stuff is fine), ½ cup soy sauce, 1 teaspoon ginger Directions: Cut duck or goose breasts and thighs into 1-inch cubes and marinate in the refrigerator overnight. Drain meat, wrap in bacon and thread onto bamboo or metal skewers with cubed vegetables between each chunk. Grill until medium or medium-rare (don’t overcook), turning often and dousing fire started …

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