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Tons of Tips for Hunting Public Lands

Hunting public lands. It can be a real challenge. Why? In a state like Nebraska the overwhelming majority of our total land acreage is privately owned (97%) with only a small percentage of it open to the public (3%). However, Nebraska’s array of public lands offer a wide variety of opportunities for hunting different game species. And there is some good news. John Laux, Upland Habitat and Access Program Manager for the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission’s Wildlife Division, points …

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12 Tips For Archery Deer Hunting During the Rut

It’s a magical time of year, really. As daylight wanes, the temperature begins to drop, frost appears on the pumpkin, leaves turn color and start toppling to the ground, and experienced bowhunters know the deer rut or breeding period is beginning. Buck rubs on trees and scrapes on the ground are apparent. A buck rub on an eastern cedar tree in rural Sarpy County, NE. Photo by Greg Wagner/Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. Deer movement is picking up and the …

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Nebraska’s Varied and Vibrant Colors of October

It’s the month for pumpkin-spiced everything. It’s the month for Halloween decorations and candy galore. It’s the month when campfires are prevalent in the rings of state parks and recreation areas. It’s the month for the crop harvest in Nebraska. And, it’s the month when leaves turn color here in the Cornhusker State. Eastern cottonwood tree leaves beginning to turn their pretty yellow color along the Platte River in southern Sarpy County, NE. Photo by Greg Wagner/Nebraska Game and Parks …

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Deer hunters, buy a fall turkey permit

If you are a white-tailed deer hunter, you are going to see them. Maybe not today or tomorrow, but eventually. I am referring to wild turkeys. Even mule deer hunters will see flocks of wild turkeys in farm or ranch yards, patches of woods, creek bottoms and shelterbelts. The question for you, the Nebraska deer hunter, remains: Have you purchased a fall wild turkey hunting permit? If the answer is no then why have you not bought that permit yet? …

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Hallowfest

Celebrate Halloween at Ponca State Park For more than two decades, Ponca State Park’s Hallowfest has thrilled guests of all ages. The park modeled its event after Indian Cave State Park’s festival, starting out with just one weekend of haunted hayrack rides in 1998 and expanding its offerings to two weekends full of Halloween activities. This fall festival has become a tradition for families, many of whom begin booking their cabins and campsites a year in advance. Hallowfest 2020 falls …

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Jump-shooting the Rainwater Basin

An Adventure Story I had long wanted to jump-shoot ducks in the Rainwater Basin wetlands. Growing up pursuing this midday passion in Tennessee, I wanted to get back to where it all started for me: slowly working through a slough, ready at any second for a flush. With this goal in mind, I started asking questions to folks who had hunted the area. “Do that when it’s windy,” one hunter told me. “The birds will be pressed against the vegetation …

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Barn Owl Rescue

An Act of Devotion Nebraska Game and Parks district offices get many calls about wildlife. The call I received about stranded baby barn owls was no exception. A rural family was getting ready to tear down a dilapidated barn on their property when they noticed a baby owl peering over a ledge near the rafters. True stewards of wildlife, they called their local Nebraska Game and Parks office to find out what they could do. Typically, this type of information …

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Feathers: Nature’s Abstract Art

Nature’s Abstract Art About 20 years ago on a Sandhills hunt, I was arranging a few harvested grouse for a classic “I shot my limit” photo when I noticed something far more enticing — the feathers on the bird’s back accentuated in warm sunlight. After taking the photo, I was immediately hooked and have been photographing feather close-ups whenever the opportunity arises. For bird hunters, feathers to photograph are easy to come by. Gaudy rooster pheasants are decked out in …

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Grilled Curry Quail Recipe

I don’t own a tandoor oven. You probably don’t have a tandoor oven. Good news, your background charcoal or wood pellet grill will work just fine. Inspired by tandoori chicken, a well-known Indian dish, these grilled, curried quail make delicious appetizers or finger food. Thanks to the flavorful yogurt marinade, the birds come off the grill tender and juicy. If you’ve had the Indian dish before, you might wonder about the lack of red coloring on my quail. Tandoori chicken’s …

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Nuts for Nuts in Nebraska

The days are getting shorter. The morning air is becoming crisper. Nature’s color show is just starting. The forest floor is beginning to be saturated with early autumn leaf matter as well as something else — nuts! Freshly fallen black walnuts on the forest floor along a creek bottom in southeastern Nebraska woodlands. Photo by Greg Wagner/Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. One of the reasons to take a long walk in the woods during autumn is to gather some delicious, …

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