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From the pages of NEBRASKAland Magazine.

2020 Photo Contest

Best of Show With more than 2,500 entries, the 2020 Nebraskaland Magazine Photo Contest drew a record number of stunning images from Nebraska photographers in the categories of Wildlife, Flora, Scenic and Recreation. This year’s Best of Show winner, “Young Buck” by Karen Kader of Omaha, was shot at Chalco Hills Recreation Area. She used Lightroom as her post-image software, adding shadow and accessing the program’s color sliders to accentuate the photo. We thank everyone who participated and look forward …

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Sleeping with the Cranes

An Adventure Story I’m often asked about the best place to see the sandhill cranes during their annual spring stopover in Nebraska. My reply: Do you want to see the cranes or experience them? The former requires getting a reservation in a riverside viewing blind, several of which are available in the central Platte River Valley. But if you really want to experience the cranes, I tell them, you need to spend the night with the birds on the river. …

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The Science of Antlers

Antler Basics Horns and antlers, decorative headgear sported by some of Nebraska’s best-known species, are not the same. Horns are keratin, a hair-like sheath, that grows over a bony core throughout an animal’s life. They are found on pronghorn, bison, cattle, goats and sheep. Antlers, however, are bones that grow each spring and summer and are shed, or cast, late the following winter as the animal’s testosterone levels decrease. You’ll find them on deer and elk. Antlers grow up to …

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A Conservation Dream Come True

A man-made prairie-chicken lek finds success. It was a calm March morning when Dan Leuenberger first heard it: the echoing calls of greater prairie-chickens. Climbing a hill on his Johnson County farm, he spotted a flock of about 20 birds gathered for mating season. Each spring, males congregate on leks, or display grounds, to perform mating rituals that have made the species an icon of the prairie. They stomp, leap, spin in circles, inflate orange air sacs on their neck …

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Real-World Bowhunting Practice

Proficiency on a foam block doesn’t always translate to real hunting scenarios during the season. Too many archery hunters practice archery and not bowhunting. Setting a foam target in the yard, walking back to a premeasured distance and flinging arrows all summer is good practice for hitting a foam target, but climbing into a blind for turkeys or a tree stand for deer is completely different. Being an effective bowhunter is about what you do with the shots you are …

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Specialized rods, reels not necessary for ice-fishing beginners

This is the final installment in a four-part series of articles on ice-fishing for beginners. By Daryl Bauer Nebraska Game and Parks Commission LINCOLN, Neb. – Venture to a tackle shop where ice-fishing gear is on display and you will see aisles filled with ice-fishing rods and reels. The first thing you will notice about that equipment is the length. The rods are short. They are short to allow anglers to fish closer to their hole. However, if you are …

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Cutting through options of making holes for ice-fishing

This is the third installment in a four-part series of articles on ice-fishing for beginners. Next week: Rods and reels. By Daryl Bauer Nebraska Game and Parks Commission LINCOLN, Neb. – To be incredibly obvious, one of the unique things about ice-fishing is, well, the ice. An angler stands on the ice, and the fish are literally below your feet. To get to those fish, you have to have some specialized gear to make a hole. I once watched three …

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Buttes of the Breakout

The Cheyenne Buttes provide one of the most scenic vantage points in the Pine Ridge. They also are forever tied to an event from Fort Robinson State Park’s history as a U.S. Cavalry post and got their name from a notorious event. Historians rate the happenings of Jan. 9, 1879, among the most significant events of the Indian Wars. While that day is certainly important, it is just one day among a period of more than three months. The previous …

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Hunting Late-Season Waterfowl

Hunting the late-waterfowl season is not for the faint of heart. Thick ice, biting temperatures and freezing equipment are only a few things that the most die-hard of waterfowl hunters have to contend with in January and February. I talked to four of these hunters, who provided insight on how to best cope with hunting in harsh winter conditions. Julie Geiser is a public information officer and Nebraskaland regional editor for the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. She has spent …

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Controlled Shooting Areas

Controlled shooting areas have been popping up over the landscape for several years now, and hunters are taking advantage of the opportunities available at these places. Wanting to try it, our family made a trip to Camp George just north of Arnold. This trip was a good way to spend some quality time together while doing what we all love: hunting. Having never been to one of these areas, none of us really knew what to expect, but we were …

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