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NEBRASKAland Magazine

Published by the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission since 1926, NEBRASKAland Magazine is dedicated to an engaging mix of outstanding photography and informative writing, highlighting Nebraska’s outdoor activities, parks, wildlife, history and people.

150 Nebraska State Fairs

Nebraskans will celebrate the 150th Nebraska State Fair Aug. 23-Sept. 2. Can you name the fair’s five host cities, and the two years the fair was canceled? Nebraska City hosted a three-day territorial fair in 1859, and the first two state fairs were there in 1868 and 1869. Brownville hosted for a few years, then Omaha and Lincoln switched back and forth until Lincoln became the fair’s longtime home from 1901 to 2009. Grand Island has been the host city …

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When the Carnival Came to Town

Years ago, the peak of Nebraska summer entertainment came with the Walter Savidge Amusement Company as it pulled into the depot aboard its 20-car, red-and-yellow Pullman train. The Wayne-based traveling show and carnival toured Nebraska and surrounding states from 1906 to 1941. Walter Savidge was born in Holt County in 1886. He began dreaming of show business at age 12 after attending a Ringling Brothers circus in Humphrey. He practiced tightrope walking on a rope tied between his family’s barn …

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Tying Fishing Knots

Do you want to keep that big fish on the line? These three knots will help. Practice before you go so you are familiar with them. By Larry Pape, Fisheries Education Specialist The Improved Cinch Knot This is the most commonly taught fishing knot and can be used on monofilament line to attach a hook, lure, or swivel. The knot is simple to remember and the line retains nearly all of its strength. 1. Thread the loose end of the …

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Bowfishing 101

Nebraska’s public waters have enthralled me for more than 30 years. I first picked up a bow in 1988, and very quickly, bowfishing became a lifelong passion. Stalking a fish, unleashing an arrow and hoping for the best – the thrill is similar to hunting. I will always choose fishing with a bow over a rod and reel. Another reason why I love bowfishing so much – bowfishers still account for a small percentage of anglers in Nebraska, which means …

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Sod Houses on Glass Plates

Solomon Butcher came to Nebraska in a covered wagon, but quickly found himself poorly suited to the hard life of a pioneer. He failed at homesteading, taught school, briefly attended medical school, served as a rural postmaster, and opened – and closed – the first photography studio in Custer County. Desperate to avoid going back to farm work, Butcher had a bold idea. He would produce a photographic history of Custer County. Starting in 1886, he hitched up a wagon …

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Retiring Lures

Whether they be worn-out, abused, busted, or simply evoke fond memories, some of your favorite fishing lures sit on a desk, a shelf, or a fireplace mantle – a place of honor for retired lures. A Mangled Fly – Ryan Sparks Who you are fishing with is often more important than what you catch. From channel catfish in the Platte River to panfishing from a dock, some of my fondest memories are of fishing with my grandfather, or as I …

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The RV Lady

If you’ve ever contacted the Reservation Call Center for Nebraska State Parks, you know who CJ Zajicek is. She’s the one who’s always nice to you – the one whose positive, personable attitude and interest in you makes you feel like you were her only phone call of the day – just the way great customer service should be. CJ has been working for the call center since it opened in 2004, taking calls for the 26 Nebraska state parks …

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Turkey Trifecta

Ryan Sparks devised his own turkey hunting challenge: to fill Nebraska’s three-bird limit with a bow, muzzleloading shotgun and conventional shotgun. Dedicated turkey hunters dream of completing a “grand slam,” or killing a bird from each of the four subspecies of the North American turkey. To complete a grand slam, a hunter might travel from Alabama to Texas to South Dakota to Florida. As a teenager, while enjoying the developing turkey hunting in Nebraska, I dreamed about this turkey hunting …

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Walleye Trolling 101

Trolling crankbaits for walleye is the ultimate team sport. Jake Jadlowski shares his tips. Like most of us, I’ve fished for all kinds of fish in a whole bunch of different places. But regardless of species and location, most of the fishing I’ve done has been centered around my rod, my lure and me. Whether I’m flipping jigs for largemouth bass or bottom bouncing for walleye, most of my success or my failure is mine alone. Like golf, there is …

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Nebraska Airmail in the 1920s

Early airmail pilots flew open-cockpit biplanes, navigated by landmarks and simple maps, and landed in grassy airfields. By 1930 their facilities and technology had changed dramatically. What seems quaint in hindsight was in fact a time of rapid change. Airmail service began in 1918. The first route was between Washington, D.C., and New York City. Regular coast-to-coast airmail flights began in 1920. Nebraska’s first airfields along the coast-to-coast route were in North Platte and Omaha. Airmail pilots used Omaha’s Ak-Sar-Ben …

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