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Afield and Afloat

From the West: A Walk on the Wild Side – Photography in a Zoo

Visiting the Sonora Desert Museum south of Tucson last week I was surprised at the variety of photo opportunities, especially a morning presentation by a group from Raptor Free Flight. Beautiful birds in flight and with careful planning and a few camera and lens tweaks, the presentation really worked for bird flight photography and the spectators enjoyed a great time as well. Raptor Free Flight team member Wally Hestermann shown here with a great performing red-tailed hawk. Released from a remote location, …

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Great Plains Connections: Bald Eagles are Winter Wonders

Bald eagles are one of my favorite birds to view during the winter months – when ice covers the rivers and reservoirs eagles will search out any open areas of water to fish or they find places where an easy meal is available. Living near reservoirs that have inlets or spillways is an advantage for eagle viewers as those areas will attract these gorgeous big birds of prey. Finding areas to fish from is a must in the winter for …

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From the West: Great Lenses, Great Cameras

When I mention “great lenses, great cameras” I’m talking about the tremendous and continuing progress in camera and lens design and even the lower prices that make owning the new technologies possible. My son in Omaha is a devoted photographer and my source for the latest information, especially on the so-called “four thirds” and “micro four thirds” sensor size cameras and the trainloads of new lenses that will fit on most of the cameras. He even loaned a lens, a …

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Great Plains Connections: Chasing Sunsets

Every chance I get I’m out chasing the sunset – I’m hooked on chasing the setting sun. There is a little homework that must be done before the sun goes down to get the perfect image of a good sunset. I check the sky late in the afternoon to see if there is good cloud cover that will hopefully make a gorgeous reflection of the sun’s setting colors or clouds with interesting shapes in them – but not too many …

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Panhandle Passages: Tracking Cats

A new year and a new season. As you’ve probably heard by now, Nebraska’s first two permit holders for mountain lion season in the Pine Ridge were successful Thursday. The season has garnered a lot of attention, being Nebraska’s first. With photography equipment in hand, I accompanied Holden Bruce, the 16-year-old hunter from Franklin, one of the two permit holders. He came to northwest Nebraska with his father, Jeremy, and older brother, Tristan. We set out early New Year’s Day …

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Panhandle Passages: Scanning for Deer

I remember when a large retail chain opened a store near my hometown and brought with it something amazing. To a child such as me, bar code scanner technology seemed magical. No longer did we have to wait for the cashier to hand input each item – all that was required was a simple beep. The same technology received positive feedback last week at a place far from the express lane– a northwestern district public deer meeting at Chadron. The …

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Great Plains Connections: Deer Season

I love deer season to the point that it’s really all I can think about – I even dream about deer hunting, when I’m working I wish I was out deer hunting; every spare minute is spent in the field. Opening weekend our son, grandson and son-in-law and two granddaughters head to the family farm for a weekend of white tailed deer hunting. This typically means that my opening weekend consists of spending time with the grand kids – they …

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Meat for the Freezer

I don’t get nearly as excited as I used to about deer season. Once upon a time, I hunted all day, every day, though the 9 days of rifle season, hoping to find a trophy buck. In recent seasons, my hunts have lasted a few days. The main goal now is to put a little meat in the freezer. It’s not that I’m too old to hunt that hard, although some will grin as they tell me I am. Life …

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Norfolk Deer Check On Opening Day

Since I was unsuccessful at finding any hunting grounds this weekend, I spent opening day helping out at the deer check station at the Norfolk Game and Parks Office. It was a fantastic learning experience. And I also got to meet some really nice people with some really nice deer. The best ones were the kids and the ladies who came in, especially when it was their first deer. All animals we saw were young, all 3 1/2 years and …

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