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From the pages of NEBRASKAland Magazine.

One Trail

Many species use a well-worn path between two waters If you’ve ever “blazed a trail” through the woods, or gone “bushwhacking” as some might say, you know it can often be an unpleasant experience pushing your way through branches, brush and tall grass. Life is much easier on a trail. And wildlife agree. That’s why a hike through any woodland or prairie will reveal a series of what we often call game trails. These trails, to put it simply, are …

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Fort Robinson: Exceptional Horses and Fine Fish

The ponds that attract anglers to Fort Robinson State Park played part in a rich history. Historians often tell of Fort Robinson’s period of producing the trusty steeds of the cavalry as a remount depot for the U.S. Army in 1919-1945. The fort’s role in rearing aquatic species that bolstered the region’s fishing heritage during that era gets less attention. During the 20th century, Crawford and Fort Robinson became an integral location for producing the fish that found their way …

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Nebraska’s Fishing State Park?

When discussing Fort Robinson State Park, fishing may not be the first thing that comes to mind. Perhaps it should be. Tall buttes rising over pine forests and sweeping grasslands. Herds of bison, pronghorn, bighorn sheep and other megafauna. Historical architecture. Theatrical performances, weekly rodeos, two museums, cookouts and an indoor swimming pool. More than 120 miles of trails suited for horse hooves and hiking shoes. With so much to see and do at Fort Robinson State Park, it is …

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Start Them Young

When you take children hunting, you better have a checklist. Warm clothes? Check. Warm boots? Check. Snacks? Check. Diaper bag? Excuse me? Baby food? Beg your pardon? Pacifier? Are you nuts? Jesse and Casey Campbell of Grand Island aren’t nuts, but that’s what their packing list has included since they took their son, Harris, hunting for the first time — when he was 2 months old. By the time Harris went on that goose hunt in February 2020, Harris already …

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Restoring the Blowout Penstemon

On Turner Enterprises’ Spikebox Ranch “Blowouts are sort of like anchovies — you either love them or hate them,” wrote the late Nebraskaland writer Jon Farrar. Among the blowout lovers are “ranch children who for generations have slid down a blowout’s steep sandy slope [and] artifact hunters who currycomb them hoping to find an 11,000-year-old Clovis projectile point exposed by the wind.” Among the blowout haters are “Most ranchers [who] wage war on their blowouts. To some, they are seen …

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A Second Chance

A Retired Wildlife Ecologist Gives Back At first sight, a plains pocket mouse makes a lasting impression. There’s only one word for it: cute. It’s tiny and delicate-looking, with small ears and fur-lined cheek pouches. Retired wildlife ecologist Mike Schrad can identify one in seconds, as he does on this cool October morning, striding through a restored prairie near Wood River, Nebraska. He lifts one from a live trap baited with oatmeal and birdseed, and hands it me to warm …

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The Lazy European

While I’m quite fond of traditional white-tailed deer shoulder mounts, European mounts — showing just the skull and antlers — are a spectacular alternative. For my first European mount, I removed the head and as much hair as possible, boiled the “stuff” attached to the skull on the stovetop, picked the rest of the fat, sinew and meat away with a pair of pliers, then prepared to fill out my divorce papers because of the odor in the house. There …

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Ash Hollow State Historic Park presents “Pioneer Song,” a performance by The Great Bear Folk Theater

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NORTH PLATTE, Neb. – Join Ash Hollow State Historic Park as they present “Pioneer Song” performance by The Great Bear Folk Theater on Aug. 29 from 4 – 5 p.m. MT. The theater group, consisting of a husband, wife and daughter trio, will be presenting an hour-long production, adapted from the play “Pioneer Song.” The play recounts the perilous journey many emigrants faced while traveling the Overland Trail in the mid 1800’s. The Great Bear Folk Theater, based out of …

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Wing Commander

Commission biologist Randy Stutheit’s experience evaluating duck wings over the years has helped formulate waterfowl regulations across central U.S. Quickly studying a duck’s wing, Randy Stutheit plays a role in determining waterfowl regulations and seasons in states throughout the central portion of the country. But he’s been doing it awhile — 35 years — and that experience means a lot in the Central Flyway, which stretches from Canada to Mexico. Stutheit, a longtime wildlife biologist with the Nebraska Game and …

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Beyond BOW Hunting

Where Skills Are Learned in the Field Women are the fastest growing group of outdoor enthusiasts, and the Becoming an Outdoors-Woman program is a great contributor to this trend. In Nebraska, this program has taken hundreds of women into the field during its 30-year run, and, personally provided some of my most memorable hunting experiences. Many occurred during BOW’s annual training event the first full weekend in October. This event is packed with three days of learning about outdoor-related topics …

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