Home » justin haag (page 4)

justin haag

Justin Haag serves the Panhandle as a public information officer for the Commission, also 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 enjoy introducing their two children to the many outdoor recreational opportunities of the Pine Ridge region.

Panhandle parks celebrating Free Entry Day

CHADRON – Three Nebraska Game and Parks Commission attractions in the Panhandle are planning special activities for Free Park Entry and Fishing Day on Saturday, May 20. Free Park Entry and Fishing Day is an annual event in which the Commission provides an opportunity for people to experience the state’s diverse park areas and fishing resources free of charge. Following is a list of special activities. Chadron State Park near Chadron — The Bird Conservancy of the Rockies and the …

Read More »

This one’s for the birds

Black-crowned night heron

I probably owe my job to birds as much as anything. Prior to my NEBRASKAland days, just after getting my student loans paid off, I bought a 100-500mm telephoto zoom lens and set out on the back roads of the Pine Ridge region in search of animals to photograph. Loving both the outdoors and camerawork, wildlife photography just seemed natural, so to speak. As I launched my new pastime, I was excited to get images of the charismatic mammals of …

Read More »

Photographing wildlife … from millions of years ago

Saber-toothed cats, by Jan Vriesen

When out and about capturing photos and stories for NEBRASKAland and other Commission materials, my mind frequently wanders to what the region we now know as Nebraska’s Panhandle looked like long ago. While at Fort Robinson State Park, I cannot help but think about how it must have appeared as an active military post in the 1800s — lively with U.S. Cavalry soldiers instead of today’s tourists. A drive through the ghost town of Orella on the serene and scenic …

Read More »

Required boating safety courses offered across Nebraska

LINCOLN, Neb. — With spring fishing ramping up and summer approaching, the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission is reminding water lovers to be mindful of the state’s education requirements for boating. Nebraska law requires any motorboat operator, including drivers of personal watercraft such as Jet Skis, born after Dec. 31, 1985, to complete one of the two types of boating safety courses and be in possession of a course certificate. Operators must be at least 14 years old to drive …

Read More »

Wildcat Weekends beginning in newly renovated, expanded facility

GERING, Neb. – The newly expanded and renovated Wildcat Hills Nature Center at Wildcat Hills State Recreation Area is set to kick off its annual series of Wildcat Weekends events this weekend. The first event, which will pay tribute to Nebraska’s sesquicentennial, will be Saturday, April 8, at 9 a.m. Titled “Happy Birthday, Nebraska,” the event will feature a variety of activities, information and snacks to honor 150 years of statehood. “We can’t wait to offer these programs in our …

Read More »

Road opens to Blue Lake

ALLIANCE, Neb. — The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission has opened the access road to Blue Lake in the Sandhills of Garden County. The 2.7-mile two-track trail through private property was closed late this winter because it became muddy and susceptible to damage during thawing. Blue Lake is a popular fishing destination 22 miles north of Oshkosh near the Crescent Lake Wildlife Management Area and Crescent Lake National Wildlife Refuge. Because access to the lake is allowed only through a …

Read More »

Bighorn sheep tracking effort sets sights on future lambs

Releasing bighorn ewe

CHADRON, Neb. — The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission got up-close and personal with 20 bighorn sheep ewes this week in an effort to track their future offspring. The goal is to get a handle on the species’ population struggles in the Pine Ridge area of northwestern Nebraska. With the help of a helicopter wildlife capturing crew and others, Commission staff on Tuesday through Thursday, Feb. 14-16, equipped 20 pregnant female sheep with a device to immediately detect when lambs …

Read More »

Hudson Lake, Blue Lake closed to fishing

ALLIANCE, Neb. — Warmer temperatures have caused muddy road conditions and consequently the closure of the two-track pasture trails leading to two Sandhills lakes, according to the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. They are Blue Lake in Garden County and Hudson Lake in Cherry County. The closure likely marks the season’s end at Hudson Lake, a 160-acre private body of water 27 miles southeast of Valentine near Big Alkali Lake Wildlife Management Area. It is open to the public only …

Read More »

Nebraska’s Other Pheasant Capital

As I wrote a while back, I have roots in a region long considered one of the nation’s premier pheasant-hunting destinations – southwestern Nebraska. Not only did my first hunting experiences involve pursuits of Rowdy Rooster, one of my first jobs was a part-time position at a McCook motel where I witnessed the influence the pheasant season can have on a local economy. Each November, it seemed every bird hunter and his dog from outside the area converged on that …

Read More »

Time Change for Landowner Meeting about Pheasants

ALLIANCE — The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission has made a slight change regarding an upcoming meeting for landowners in the northern Panhandle to discuss their roles and opportunities for pheasant management. The public meeting, which is Monday, Jan. 23, at Newberry’s in Alliance, has been moved up to 6:30 p.m., and dinner will be served. Those planning to attend may ensure they receive dinner by contacting the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission’s Northwest District regional office at 308-763-2940 or …

Read More »