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Afield and Afloat

Bowfishing Mentor Program at Ponca State Park

Ponca State Park’s first Bowfishing Mentor Program will run from July 9 through August 6 on Wednesday nights, 6 p.m. until dark. The program is open to ages 10 and above; program is free with gear provided. Enrollees are encouraged to attend all sessions, which will cover basic archery, fish identification, water safety and more. Sessions will be conducted by local Bow Hunter Education Instructors. The program is sponsored by the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, Cajun Archery, Muzzy Bowfishing, …

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Great Plains Connections: What Is That White Bird?

  Recently I was out taking photos when I came across a strange looking bird – from a distance I couldn’t tell what the bird was. Walking closer to the bird, snapping photos as I gained ground on it, I realized it was a robin that had partial leucism. Out of curiosity I asked TJ Walker, NGPC District Manager, Wildlife Division and avid birder how common this was, his response was “I have seen leucistic birds in many species – …

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Looking Back on the Cowboy Trail

It’s Tuesday and I think my butt has decided to forgive me. Besides some odd tan lines and bug bites, I’m feeling pretty good. I think my head and body is still in the process of digesting the whole thing, of trying to come up with some grand conclusion of what it meant. I know it’ll mean more to me later, but for right now,  I’ll admire the numbers: 195 miles on two wheels, with only my legs to pedal …

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Update from the Cowboy Trail

To all following the Cowboy Trail cycling tour with Regional Editor Jenny Nguyen, she will post a recap of her biking adventure with Outdoor Educator Jamie Bachmann and fellow cyclists who have joined them as they complete the entire 195 miles of the trail. Sore muscles aside, they are enjoying nice weather, lovely scenery and amazing Dutch oven cooking. They have also found wild asparagus and mushrooms, camped out along the trail and made some new friends on their way. Tomorrow …

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Panhandle Passages: Dreaming of a White … Mother’s Day

My friends, family and other followers know that I try to post one nature photo each weekday to Facebook and Twitter. It’s a fun exercise, and I’m sometimes surprised to discover which photos generate the most reaction among friends on followers on social media. It seems some photos that get the best response take the least amount of work. Others, of which I’ve forged an emotional attachment because of their technical difficulty or the hike and planning involved to get …

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Cowboy Trail Tour Itinerary

Our tour is only 9 days away! For those joining us, we hope your training is going well and that you’re getting things together for this adventure. Jamie and I scouted out the trail on Monday, and we’re so glad we did because we’ve made one change: we are no longer stopping at Plum Creek Valley Wildlife Management Area on May 22. We found Plum Creek to be inadequate for camping, and it’s also difficult to get to by bike. …

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Cowboy Trail Tour 2014

Update (5/7/2013): After scouting out the trail on Monday, Jamie and I are making one change. On May 22, we will not be stopping at Plum Creek WMA. Instead, we will ride on another 10 miles to stay at the town of Wood Lake. We have found Plum Creek WMA to be too far from the trail, inaccessible by bike, and it’s also not suitable for camping. Wood Lake has a nice park for camping, food and water. With that …

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Panhandle Passages: Taking Root

Every little bit helps, and every little bit has a way of turning into a big bit. Such is the case with the Boy Scouts’ annual tree planting event at Fort Robinson State Park, which I enjoyed photographing Saturday. The process of getting hundreds of scouts and volunteers into the field to plant ponderosa pine seedlings in the yearly reforestation effort has been honed to near perfection and is a sight to see. It was a bittersweet day, though, for …

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Great Plains Connections: Much to do in southwest Nebraska

If you live in southwest Nebraska there is no way that you should ever say you are bored. Our glorious state has never-ending outdoor experiences that everyone can take part in. There is so much to do in southwest Nebraska like viewing the vast number of birds migrating through our state at this very moment. Get out and enjoy hiking, biking, tours, chickens on the leks, the return of the cranes and of course fishing on open water and who …

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Panhandle Passages: Soldier Creek Runs Through It

Some of western Nebraska’s most enjoyable fishing can be found at the ponds on the 22,000 acres of Fort Robinson State Park. Count me among the anglers who have long enjoyed dropping a line at the Carter P. Johnson Lake, Ice House Ponds and Grabel Ponds. Whether from the bank, through the ice, or atop kayaks and jon boats, the ponds serve as a great fishing destination. The scenery is great and the whopper largemouth bass and other species are …

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