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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.

American Burying Beetle Reintroduction

Nebraska Game and Parks assists in collecting American burying beetles for Ohio reintroductions By Shaun Dunn, Zoologist This summer, the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission and partner biologists led and participated in several trapping efforts for the federally threatened American burying beetle (Nicrophorus americanus) in the Loess Canyons and Sandhills regions of the state. The populations in these two areas are among the largest concentrations of American burying beetles in the world. Efforts to monitor their numbers and distribution have …

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She Goes Outdoors Podcast: Outward Bound

By Julia Plugge, Tanna Fanshier and Rachel Alliss She Goes Outdoors Podcast · Outward Bound: Changing lives through challenge and discovery Outward Bound: Changing lives through challenge and discovery Elizabeth Thacker reminiscences her 7 years as an Outward Bound instructor, unplugged from society, living weeks at a time in the rugged wilderness. She relives her experience leading youth on back-country expeditions, living out of a hiking bag, boosting with Oreos and scoring #2! Hear about Elizabeth’s adventures and learn about …

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WMA Habitat Fuels Songbird Migration

By Stephen Brenner and Joel Jorgensen, Nongame Bird Program managers Migration is a critically important event in the lives of many avian species. This period accounts for over a quarter of the annual cycle for some birds and is extremely risky as individual birds travel long distances through unfamiliar areas. Consequently, many species experience higher rates of mortality compared to the breeding or wintering periods. Some of the smallest migratory species in North America also can travel the longest distances, …

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Targeted Conservation for Pheasants

Targeted conservation for ring-necked pheasants in agriculturally dominated landscapes By John Laux, NGPC Upland Game and Access Program Manager Similar to many surrounding states, Nebraska’s ring-necked pheasant populations have experienced long-term declines – a trend driven largely by continued habitat loss. Over time, changes in agricultural land-use (i.e. grassland conversion to cropland, “cleaner” farming techniques, less diverse crop rotations, etc.) have drastically reduced the amount of suitable pheasant habitat on much of Nebraska’s landscape. In recent decades, pheasants have responded …

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Tales and Tips From the Hardwater

Many of us hunt and fish because of the people we get to hunt and fish with. Some of the best conversations I’ve had on the ice, in a duck blind or while walking through tallgrass prairie have featured topics like family, politics and religion. While stories of greenheads and big bucks fill the air, they often are replaced by more serious topics. This is when true hunting and fishing partnerships — friendships —are formed. When reminiscing through a set …

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A Puppy for the Holidays

Who doesn’t want a puppy for Christmas? A hunting companion for the next several years sounds really enticing to most hunters. But finding that right puppy is not only challenging, it’s also downright confusing. The first Lab I ever owned cost me $50 and came as a referral from a friend who offered to help me train her. I had no idea what I was getting into, but I was certain that this was the dog for me. Call it …

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How the Republican River Got Its Name

Have you ever wondered how the Republican River got its name? Gov. Frank Morrison, a Democrat, used to tease his Republican friends by asking, “Is it because it’s so shallow or so crooked?” Jokes aside, the connection to the party seems obvious, doesn’t it? With few exceptions, Nebraska has been majority Republican since the Civil War. But look at the center of this 1839 map detail from Mitchell’s School and Family Geography. The Republican Fork had its name long before …

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Honoring a Conservation Legend

After 47 years of service, including nine years serving as director of the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, Jim Douglas is retiring. He has celebrated a lifetime of conservation accomplishments. “Ask yourself what kind of world you want to live in and leave for your kids,” said Director Jim Douglas, a statement that says so much about what he has accomplished during his 47 years in conservation. For the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, he has served in a variety …

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The Lazy European

While I’m quite fond of traditional white-tailed deer shoulder mounts, European mounts — showing just the skull and antlers — are a spectacular alternative. For my first European mount, I removed the head and as much hair as possible, boiled the “stuff” attached to the skull on the stovetop, picked the rest of the fat, sinew and meat away with a pair of pliers, then prepared to fill out my divorce papers because of the odor in the house. There …

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Sketching Ash Hollow in 1851

Imagine sitting in a darkened theater watching a giant canvas on stage. The canvas is spooled at either end and advances like a giant scroll. Painted on the canvas are scenes of the Oregon Trail. A narrator describes the great journey that thousands of your fellow citizens are making. The giant scroll was called the Pantoscope, and it was big hit in Eastern theaters in the 1850s. Designed and promoted by entrepreneur J. Wesley Jones, it was based on sketches …

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