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From the pages of NEBRASKAland Magazine.

Wild Turkey Fried Tacos

This recipe is an homage to all the cheap Burger King and Jack-in-the-Box fried tacos I ate as a teenager, except my version will actually taste good. You’ll get all the crunchy, greasy goodness your heart desires, along with a spicy, real-meat turkey filling hunted by you – nothing like the gray “meat” paste the King and Jack used in theirs. These tacos will be so tasty your family and friends will gobble them up as fast as you can …

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Sod Houses on Glass Plates

Solomon Butcher came to Nebraska in a covered wagon, but quickly found himself poorly suited to the hard life of a pioneer. He failed at homesteading, taught school, briefly attended medical school, served as a rural postmaster, and opened – and closed – the first photography studio in Custer County. Desperate to avoid going back to farm work, Butcher had a bold idea. He would produce a photographic history of Custer County. Starting in 1886, he hitched up a wagon …

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Saddling Up Out West

For exploring the rugged and spacious public lands of the Panhandle, it is tough to beat a mode of transportation that has been around a while. The Panhandle of western Nebraska’s rugged buttes, sweeping grasslands, rolling hills and ponderosa pine forests spur an urge of exploration for countless visitors each year. For many a seasoned cowpoke on down to the greenest of greenhorns, their most memorable experiences while visiting this region have been atop a mode of transportation that has …

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Retiring Lures

Whether they be worn-out, abused, busted, or simply evoke fond memories, some of your favorite fishing lures sit on a desk, a shelf, or a fireplace mantle – a place of honor for retired lures. A Mangled Fly – Ryan Sparks Who you are fishing with is often more important than what you catch. From channel catfish in the Platte River to panfishing from a dock, some of my fondest memories are of fishing with my grandfather, or as I …

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That’s Water-clover

Not a lucky four-leaf clover. Every now and then, I get a familiar call: “I found a huge patch of four-leaf clovers in a wetland. What’s going on?” I respond: “Those are water-clover leaves, not those of the lucky four-leaf clover. So cancel the trip to Vegas.” Once, a perplexed biologist studying waterfowl food habits in playa wetlands called: “I found this big, dark brown seed in a duck’s crop and can’t figure out what plant it is from.” To …

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Do-It-Yourself Dried Arrangements

Native flowers and plants aren’t just great gardening choices; they also make stunning dried arrangements that are both fun and easy to create. Mary Jane Frogge, a horticulture expert with Nebraska Extension, sat down with me to share the process. The following are her words, edited for length and clarity. – Renae Blum The Process It’s good to collect flowers when they’re at their peak of bloom, so you have nice color. With grasses, the main thing is to pick …

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The RV Lady

If you’ve ever contacted the Reservation Call Center for Nebraska State Parks, you know who CJ Zajicek is. She’s the one who’s always nice to you – the one whose positive, personable attitude and interest in you makes you feel like you were her only phone call of the day – just the way great customer service should be. CJ has been working for the call center since it opened in 2004, taking calls for the 26 Nebraska state parks …

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Mentoring Is Not Just For Kids

It was 2018 and this was my first year truly pursuing a spring turkey. I had bought a used blind in 2017, was using someone else’s gun, bought an inexpensive call from our local Wal-Mart, and was using two decoys that somebody gave to me.  The only education I had on turkey hunting was what I had watched on YouTube and the Calling Clinic I had attended by the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. On opening day, I headed to …

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Dance Party

Prairie grouse dancing begins in mid-March and will last into May at a prairie near you. Read on for viewing locations. There are some things you just have to see to believe, and others you have to hear. Few provide a treat to both of those senses like watching prairie grouse perform their courtship dances in the spring. Sitting in a blind before first light, you will hear the birds fly into the lek before you can see them. When …

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Turkey Trifecta

Ryan Sparks devised his own turkey hunting challenge: to fill Nebraska’s three-bird limit with a bow, muzzleloading shotgun and conventional shotgun. Dedicated turkey hunters dream of completing a “grand slam,” or killing a bird from each of the four subspecies of the North American turkey. To complete a grand slam, a hunter might travel from Alabama to Texas to South Dakota to Florida. As a teenager, while enjoying the developing turkey hunting in Nebraska, I dreamed about this turkey hunting …

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