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Justin Haag

Justin Haag has served the Commission as a public information officer in the Panhandle since 2013. His duties include serving as regional editor for NEBRASKAland Magazine. Haag was raised in southwestern Nebraska, where he developed a love for fishing, hunting and other outdoor pursuits. After earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Chadron State College in 1996, he worked four years as an editor and reporter at newspapers in Chadron and McCook. Prior to joining the Commission in 2013, he worked 12 years as a communicator at Chadron State, serving as the institution’s media and public relations coordinator the last five. He and his wife, Cricket, live in Chadron, and have two children.

Panhandle Passages: Closer to Home

My job with the Game and Parks commission and NEBRASKAland has taken me to some incredible places throughout the Panhandle and beyond in the first six months. With more than 40 Commission properties within 160 miles of my home, there is a lot to see and photograph in this spacious region. That being said, it seems some unbeatable travel opportunities await me right before my nose. While I join others in the desire to set up camp at a location …

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Panhandle Passages: Recording Our Assets

One of Nebraska’s great assets is the variety of animals that can be found when traveling from one end of the state to the other. Just as the landscape changes as one heads westward, so do the set of creatures one is likely to see. Within a short drive from Chadron I have a fair chance of seeing pronghorn, mule deer, elk and the occasional swift fox or golden eagle. And, of course, one of the state’s most prominent media …

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Panhandle Passages: What’s Up at Whitney?

One thing I like is the sight of a fish coming over the side of a boat. That’s just one of the reasons I thoroughly enjoyed a boat ride Thursday with Al Hanson and Joe Rydell, fisheries biologists for the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission’s northwestern district. Hanson, district supervisor, and Rydell were collecting data from the frame nets they had set in Whitney Lake the previous day, a process they use to keep tabs on fish populations at bodies …

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Panhandle Passages: Home of the Eagles

If you’re like me, you probably saw numerous bald eagles in Nebraska this winter and early spring — if not on the wing then in photographs circulating the Internet. The bald eagle’s resurgence is a true conservation success story. Today, though, I find it appropriate to give a little publicity to the bald eagles’ lesser mentioned cousin, the golden eagle. When I told NEBRASKAland associate editor Jeff Kurrus that I planned to photograph golden eagles at a nest in a …

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Panhandle Passages with Justin Haag — It’s a Dream Event

It’s been a day or two, so I certainly don’t remember everything about elementary school. However, one thing I remember, much to my teachers’ chagrin, is that it involved a lot of daydreaming. What about? This time of year, the thoughts surely focused on getting out of the classroom to do some fishing and camping. Of course, those activities usually took a back seat until school dismissed for summer, so forgive me if I harbored some feelings of jealousy as …

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Panhandle Passages with Justin Haag — Grand Slam? We’ll Settle for an At-bat

After reading numerous wild turkey hunting success stories on the Internet, I figure some might find comfort in hearing from someone who hasn’t been able to bag a tom this season. Two weekends in a row my 10-year-old son and I have failed to be within range to fire a shot at a tom. The two of us are far from being the most accomplished turkey hunters in the woods, but it seems the gobblers just aren’t as responsive in …

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Panhandle Passages with Justin Haag – Still Awaiting Cure for Spring Fever

If there’s one thing I can do that will improve the chances of snowfall, it seems to be any notion of betting against it. As soon as I published the headline “Old Man Winter’s Parting Shot?” for my last blog post, the weatherman answered my question and was calling for another shot from him. As I write this post with snow falling outside my window over a blanket of white, Old Man Winter has proven, indeed, that he had a …

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Panhandle Passages with Justin Haag — Old Man Winter’s Parting Gift?

Old Man Winter has been a little slow in delivering this region measurable snowfall this year, but he didn’t mess around when he finally got around to it. I’ve seen varying reports of snowfall in the region this week that range up to 20 inches in Chadron. With the driving winds, the drifts became measured in feet instead of inches. Such a blizzard certainly doesn’t come without hardship by many, but I’d wager it a challenge to find someone who …

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Panhandle Passages with Justin Haag — Touring the Bighorn

When it comes to giving a tour of the Bighorn Wildlife Management Area south of Whitney, I doubt many people are as suited for the job as Greg Schenbeck. Schenbeck, a Nebraska Game and Parks Commission biologist with headquarters at the Ponderosa WMA field office near Crawford, has a leading role in managing the northwest district’s WMAs. Not only that, he was raised in northwest Nebraska and began hunting the area that is now the Bighorn WMA as a child. …

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Panhandle Passages with Justin Haag – Indoors, and out

I’d usually rather be outside than inside, but occasionally I’ve found redeeming qualities in spending time under a roof. It helps improve the chances if the time indoors is spent discussing the outdoors. Last week, for example, I attended the Nebraska chapter of the Wildlife Society’s conference in Chadron. Next week, I’ll be in Fort Collins, Colo., with two of my partners in public information for a week-long wildlife short course. Those of us in attendance at the Wildlife Society …

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