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Jenny Nguyen-Wheatley

NEBRASKAland Associate Editor Jenny Nguyen-Wheatley was born in Nha Trang, Vietnam, and moved to the United States with her parents in 1992. She graduated from Bolsa Grande High School in Garden Grove, California, in 2008 and completed her bachelor’s degree at UCLA in 2012. Wheatley was editor-in-chief for her high school newspaper and continued to write in college, freelancing for various publications, the Tiger Woods Foundation and writing for her blog FoodForHunters.com. After graduating college, she moved to Nebraska in early 2013 to join the Commission as Regional Editor at NEBRASKAland Magazine. She then became associate editor in 2015. Wheatley enjoys hiking, camping, horseback riding, hunting, fishing and wild game cooking.

Hallowfest

Celebrate Halloween at Ponca State Park For more than two decades, Ponca State Park’s Hallowfest has thrilled guests of all ages. The park modeled its event after Indian Cave State Park’s festival, starting out with just one weekend of haunted hayrack rides in 1998 and expanding its offerings to two weekends full of Halloween activities. This fall festival has become a tradition for families, many of whom begin booking their cabins and campsites a year in advance. Hallowfest 2020 falls …

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Grilled Curry Quail Recipe

I don’t own a tandoor oven. You probably don’t have a tandoor oven. Good news, your background charcoal or wood pellet grill will work just fine. Inspired by tandoori chicken, a well-known Indian dish, these grilled, curried quail make delicious appetizers or finger food. Thanks to the flavorful yogurt marinade, the birds come off the grill tender and juicy. If you’ve had the Indian dish before, you might wonder about the lack of red coloring on my quail. Tandoori chicken’s …

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Japanese-style Grouse Katsu Recipe

“Katsu” means cutlet in Japanese, and it is equivalent to German schnitzel. Meat — typically pork or chicken — is breaded in Panko, deep fried and served in bento box lunches. Sharp-tailed grouse worked surprisingly well as katsu, as long as you don’t overcook it. Serve sharpies pink in the center; this bird turns gray easily, and its flavor goes downhill with it. I kept the meat cold until the last minute, and as the breaded pieces hit the hot …

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Practice Makes Better

I’m 5 feet 2 inches, female, right-handed and left-eye dominant. Out-of-the-box firearms typically don’t fit me, and youth models have made poor substitutes. As if learning to shoot at a flying target, left handed, wasn’t difficult enough – throw in an ill-fitting gun and it becomes a recipe for frustration. I took up shooting and hunting in my early 20s. My husband, Rick, introduced me to it, and since then, my journey has been like a roller coaster, one that …

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Venison “Dirty” Rice

Servings: 6-8 Prep Time: 2 hours Cooking Time: 30 minutes Ingredients: • 2 cups of uncooked long-grain white rice (and required water) • 3 ounces of deer liver, minced • 1 pound of ground venison • 2 tablespoons of olive oil, separated • Half a red bell pepper, ribs removed and diced • Half a green bell pepper, ribs removed and diced • 2 ribs of celery, chopped • 1 onion, chopped • 1 jalapeno pepper, chopped • 2 cups …

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Instant Pot Walleye Stew

Servings: 4 Prep Time: 10 minutes Cooking Time: 30 minutes Ingredients: • ½ to 1 pound of boneless, skinless walleye fillets • 1 pound of live mussels • Half a medium onion • 1 small fennel bulb, with decent fronds (leaves) intact • 1 shallot • 1 tablespoon of olive oil, plus extra • 4 cloves of garlic, minced • 2 tablespoons of tomato paste • ½ cup of Chardonnay white wine • Dash of red pepper flakes • 16 …

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Vietnamese-style Jalapeno Fish “Poppers”

Servings: about 20 poppers Ingredients: • 1 pound of boneless and skinless white-fleshed fish fillets • 2 cloves of garlic, coarsely chopped • Half a large shallot, coarsely chopped • Freshly cracked pepper, to taste • ½ teaspoon of kosher salt • ½ teaspoon of sugar • 1½ tablespoons of fish sauce • 1 tablespoon of cornstarch, plus extra • 2 heaping teaspoons of freshly chopped dill • 10 medium to large jalapeños • Oil for shallow frying • Mae …

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Rabbit and Dumplings

Servings: 8 Prep Time: 20 minutes Cooking Time: 2 hours and 30 minutes Ingredients: Rabbit Stock – 2 carrots, halved – 2 ribs of celery, halved – 1 bunch of thyme – 1 onion, halved – Cooking oil – 2 pounds of whole rabbit – About 8 cups of water Stew and Dumplings – 1 small onion, chopped – 2 carrots, chopped – 2 ribs of celery, chopped – Cooking oil – 1 bay leaf – 4 sprigs of fresh …

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The Invasion of Garlic Mustard

Morel mushroom hunters will know this plant: Garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata), a biennial, is one of the first signs of green-up in Missouri River woodlands. This low-lying plant prefers moist soils, shade and limited sun, and while its heart-shaped leaves might look inviting during the bareness of early spring, garlic mustard is highly invasive. It outcompetes native plants and threatens the biodiversity of our woodland ecosystems. Distribution The story of how garlic mustard arrived to the New World is similar …

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2019 Flood: $19 million in Damage

Game and Parks Still Working to Recover For many Nebraskans, 2019 was a tough year. Historic flooding in March sent nearly every river in the eastern half of the state out of its banks, washing out highways, bridges, dams, levees, farms and homes, and killing four people and countless livestock. Flooding along the Missouri River in southeastern Nebraska continued throughout the year. More floods hit south-central Nebraska in July and the northeast in September. It is estimated that the flooding …

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