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Afield and Afloat

Nebraska’s 20th Bighorn Likely a Record-setter

Terry Bogle with ram

Not only will a bighorn sheep harvested near Crawford in Nebraska’s Pine Ridge region on Wednesday have the special distinction of being the state’s 20th but also will likely go down as the state’s largest on record. Terry Bogle of Lincoln harvested the big ram at about 10:15 a.m. Wednesday on private property in the shadow of a steep cliff near a pair of northwestern Nebraska’s most prominent landmarks, Crow Butte and Little Crow Butte. The sheep unofficially scored 189 …

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Wildcat Hills Hunt Helps New Yorker, Commission Meet Goals

The Sackmans with ram

One more for the books. Barbara Sackman of Long Island, New York, added to a long string of hunting accomplishments with a trip to the Nebraska Panhandle this week. As one of just two bighorn sheep permit holders in the state, she harvested a big ram Wednesday, Dec. 2, at the Cedar Canyon Wildlife Management Area in the Wildcat Hills seven miles southwest of Gering. The ram, which was among a group of about 20 sheep at the base of …

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NGPC Rooster Roundup: Davis Creek WMA

Nebraska Game and Parks Commissioners and staff are in the midst of the Rooster Roundup — a quest to hunt pheasants on public land throughout Nebraska. The third stop on their journey is described below. The third day of hunting for the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission (NGPC) Rooster Roundup was located at Davis Creek Wildlife Management Area (WMA) south of North Loup. Davis Creek has 2,450 acres of walk-in public access available. The first of this hunt series was …

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NGPC Rooster Roundup: Aurora

Nebraska Game and Parks Commissioners and staff are in the midst of the Rooster Roundup — a quest to hunt pheasants on public land throughout Nebraska. The second stop on their journey is described below. Continuing the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission Rooster Roundup, which left off at Sherman Reservoir Wildlife Management Area on Monday, Commissioners Lynn Berggren, Bob Allen, Dick Bell and friend Sam Sampson headed out to the rainwater basin wetlands south of Aurora Thursday morning. An Aurora resident …

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Rooster Roundup Nebraska Game and Parks Style

Nebraska Game and Parks Commissioners and staff are in the midst of the Rooster Roundup — a quest to hunt pheasants on public land throughout Nebraska. The first stop on their journey is described below. The morning was a typical fall Nebraska morning as hunters hit the field at Sherman Reservoir Wildlife Management Area (WMA) for pheasant hunting. Pheasant and quail numbers are up this year providing upland game hunters with plenty of opportunities to get out and walk many …

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Sowbelly on the Rise

Sowbelly Creek

My NEBRASKAland magazine duties are a little different than other types of journalism I’ve experienced during my career. With the bulk of the content for our magazine’s print edition being created a year in advance and stories going to press far ahead of each edition’s designated month, it doesn’t leave much room for “last-minute” changes. We all know conditions in Nebraska are susceptible to the whims of Mother Nature. For instance, a photo spread I produced titled “A Short Fall,” …

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The Fall Before the Ice

Sawyer Haag with largemouth bass.

My ice-scraper went to work this week for the first time in months. Some may lament this annual milestone and the coming of winter, but each scrape gets me more excited for ice-fishing and the soon-to-come season of fun on the hardwater – even if I am just a few days removed from a more summer-like scene of comparable enjoyment. With abundant sunshine and near perfect temperatures Sunday, Smith Lake Wildlife Management Area in Sheridan County reeled in my son …

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Growing perfect pumpkins a year-long task for patch owners

Pumpkin patch goers and Goldilocks have one thing in common: everything has to be just right. Because of this, choosing the right pumpkin can be quite a task. Story and photos by Sarah Kocher Imagine, then, trying to grow enough perfect pumpkins for hundreds of patch guests. As a strictly October squash, commercial pumpkins are 10 months of work for two months of payoff. As soon as one Halloween is over, the next is already on the radar. According to …

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Hunting for Business

It’s long been known by businesses that hunting can be a stimulator for the economy. When the big summer tourism season winds down, motel owners, restaurants and retailers look forward to the influx of people dressed in camouflage and orange to keep those dollars flowing. A study by Southwick Associates estimates the annual economic impact of hunting to be $848 million in Nebraska, with $562 million in retail sales and 8,856 jobs supported. Those are big numbers and, considering what …

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Crossing the Goal Line with Online Hunter Education

Anyone who has kids knows things can get a little hectic in the fall. My son Sawyer was eligible for hunter education last year, but the limited offerings in the Chadron area didn’t fit into his schedule. Right or wrong, his obligation to his youth football team took precedence to devoting two Saturdays to hunter education – yes, at least in our Nebraska family, the football schedule is on a short list of things that can trump hunting and fishing. …

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