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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.

Nebraska History: Bikes, Farmers, and “Good Roads”

It was an unlikely alliance: farmers and bicycle enthusiasts. Both were dissatisfied with the muddy, unimproved roads of the late 1800s. But it would take a lot of tax dollars to build a modern road system, and not everyone wanted to spend the money. And then came a new, noisy, four-wheeled invention … Nebraska’s early roads were unmarked trails across the countryside. Railroads received large government subsidies, but the dirt roads linking farms and towns were seen only as a …

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The Value of Controlled Hunts

Controlled shooting areas are a mystery to many hunters. Defined as a private location leased or owned by an individual or group to hunt upland birds like ring-necked pheasants, quail, chukars, Hungarian partridge, and even mallards, during an extended season – they are often viewed as hunting spots for the inexperienced. When I started at Nebraskaland in 2006, I didn’t see what a controlled shooting area offered to an experienced, able-bodied hunter like myself. After visiting some – and talking …

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Photographing East Ash Road

A photographer captures the Pine Ridge’s East Ash Road through the seasons. The first time I laid eyes on this corkscrew turn nestled in the Pine Ridge of the Panhandle, I couldn’t help but question if I had stepped outside the borders of Nebraska. Such a far cry from the familiar geography of the Plains, the Pine Ridge is an area that has continually captivated me and keeps me coming back to discover more. As the seasons pass, the rugged …

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The Nebraska Table: Winter Recipes

Story and photos by Ryan Sparks Winter is a time for reflection, and if you’ve been following along with the Nebraska Table you have a lot to reflect on. You’ve foraged morel mushrooms and stinging nettles. You’ve watched the sunset from a deer stand. You’ve felt the rush of a covey of quail as they burst from a fencerow. The best meals capture these moments. They contain the essence of a place, and each bite is made sweeter from the …

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February Rabbits

Rabbit hunting is a cure for cabin fever. With upland bird seasons closing Jan. 31, there’s not much to hunt in February besides rabbits. February is actually my favorite month to hunt rabbits. I typically discourage my dog, Phantom, from pursuing rabbits, often ignoring her rabbit points so she remains focused on birds. But once February rolls around, we have some fun. Look for cottontails near brush piles or thick shelterbelts. With a pointing dog, be prepared to kick some …

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Tips: Keep Me Warm

Tips from Nebraskaland photographers on how to keep warm. Each year, the contributors to Nebraskaland Magazine spend hundreds of hours outside in frigid temperatures. There is no way to consistently battle this type of climate without a game plan. For me, I eat multiple servings of protein – including peanut butter and yogurt, before and during my trips to increase my metabolism which, in turn, increases body heat. Here are some thoughts from our staff. Jenny Wheatley – “I use Hot …

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Wild What’s Up

Send your wildlife questions to our environmental educators. As an environmental educator, I am asked countless questions about wildlife, habitats, and plants. Occasionally I know the answer, but now and then I have to do some research. Nebraska Game and Parks now has an email address (wildwhatsup@nebraska.gov) where people can send their wildlife questions and get a response. Here are some questions we have recently received. Do fish freeze in the winter? Fish are cold-blooded, which means that as the …

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Threatened and Endangered

The Scaleshell Mussel If you spend time along Nebraska’s lakes and rivers, you are likely to come across the occasional large “clam” shell. These are examples of our state’s native freshwater mussels. It can be quite interesting to observe the unique shapes, sizes and colors of the 29 species found in our state, although a few of those are considered relicts, meaning only their shells, and not the living mollusk that would normally reside within, are detected. They have descriptive …

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Ice Fishing: Search for the Heydey

Ice fisherman Don Cox reflects on 25 years of fishing through the ice Don Cox of Mullen clearly remembers 28 years ago. He was at Pelican Lake on the Valentine National Wildlife Refuge ice-fishing with his brother-in-law, Dave Fehlhafer, near an angler they nicknamed Red Man. While Red Man was catching some of the largest bluegill Don has ever seen, Don and Dave weren’t doing so well, spending most of the time second-guessing their tackle and technique. Nowadays, Don doesn’t …

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Flying Squirrel

Nebraska’s Threatened and Endangered Species In spring 2004, I was attending a National Association of Interpretation certification and training program as a naturalist. The daily workshops were interesting, but as is often the case, the most memorable part of my trip took place during the meeting off-hours. I was spending the night in a cabin in the woods. I was also tired and very pregnant at the time, only a few weeks shy of my due date. As I was …

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