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Afield and Afloat

Tree Stand Safety

As you hit the field this deer season, be sure to keep tree stand safety in mind. Every year hunters have accidents, some fatal, when hunting out of a tree stand. Before the season starts, here are some tips to consider: • Always check old tree stands for safety. Look at welds, nuts and bolts to make sure they are secure. • Check all tree stand straps and replace any that are weathered or frayed. • Always use a safety …

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Finding History in the Sandhills

Long ago on grassy hills, a hunter stalks a deer. Wearing skins of the same animal, he loads a thin-shafted spear onto a wooden spear thrower. Rising from cover, he whips the spear into a silent, shallow arch. The stone spear point strikes a mortal wound, but the still-mobile deer bounds away never to be found. Frustrated about the loss of good meat and his prized speckled brown point, the dejected hunter heads home, belly growling. Two thousand years later, …

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Stream bank surprise

Photographing Nebraska’s wild animals is always rewarding, but capturing imagery of those that reside only in specific parts of the state is especially gratifying. I was wading up the middle fork of Soldier Creek to capture trout video with Nebraskaland intern Emily Burch last week when this little character, not much bigger than a nightcrawler, caught my eye from its perch below a small overhang. The terrestrial garter snake (Thamnophis elegans) is one of four garter snake species in Nebraska. …

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A Thank You to Landowners

Dear Landowner, I’m reaching out to say thank you. But before I do, I’d like to explain myself. I think a lot of hunters who share my passion would agree. I love to hunt. Like many of us, my garage is full of decoys, blinds, generators, camouflage and tools. Whatever doesn’t fit in the garage stays in the storage unit. But sometimes it’s hard to find a place to put all that gear to use. I don’t own any land. …

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Summer beauty at Gilbert-Baker WMA

Harrison bills itself as “Nebraska’s Top Town,” which is mostly a play on the village’s elevation of 4,876 feet — the highest of all Nebraska communities. Also tops, though, is the scenery and natural beauty of the surrounding landscape, certainly not the least of which is Gilbert-Baker Wildlife Management Area about 6 miles north of town. Here are some images from a recent visit to this remarkable public land. Perhaps one of the best examples of the serenity of Gilbert-Baker …

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From Hi-fi to Hunt Guide

Aaron Schroder lives in Lyons, Nebraska, with his wife, four dogs and two horses. He drives a truck, appreciates cheap beer, and enjoys spending time in his “man cave” – though he probably doesn’t like to call it that. Hunting gear takes up nearly all the extra space on the Schroder property, and when the season is in full swing, his wife, April Goettle, rarely sees him. You may think you know an Aaron – or two or several – …

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Lewis & Clark

Paradise in the North There aren’t many places you can pull your boat up on the bank at Lewis and Clark Lake. Water has eroded away hillsides ringing much of the lake, leaving cliffs that reveal colorful layers of Niobrara chalk and Carlisle shale, part of the geology of the area. Below those cliffs, more than 100 feet high in places, the shoreline is just too rocky. Still, boaters make the most of it, anchoring in the shadow of those …

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Project Healing Waters

When a roadside bomb exploded next to the vehicle David Landon and his fellow soldiers were riding in on a road in Iraq in 2009, Landon was thrown clear and the others killed instantly. When a firefight ensued, others in the patrol had orders to pull back and nearly left him for dead. But one soldier thought he saw Landon move, ran into the gunfire and dragged him back to safety. That was only one of the horrors Landon experienced. …

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Tool-sharpening Dam Builders

Anyone who has watched a North American beaver (Castor canadensis) gnaw through a tree trunk has surely been in awe of its proficiency. Using teeth to whittle on wood, after all, is a task neither appealing to humans nor something the American Dental Association advises us to do. Those four orange incisors that protrude as much as one inch from the top and bottom of a beaver’s mouth comprise just one remarkable feature of North America’s largest rodent, and perhaps …

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A magical time in northwestern Nebraska

Spring and early summer is a magical time of year that leaves us too quickly. It seems I never get out with the cameras as much as I want to during this period, but usually end up with a few keeper images, anyway. Here is a collection of random photos from recent weeks. I am often amused when any given chamber of commerce or tourism bureau brags on its sunrises and sunsets being the best. (Since we are all watching …

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