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Twelve 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 is beginning. Buck rubs on trees and scrapes on the ground are apparent. Deer movement is picking up and the bowhunter’s excitement is intensifying. The timeless tradition of waking up well before dawn compiling gear and walking to deer stands and blinds in the …

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Nebraska’s Varied and Vibrant Colors of October

It’s the month for pumpkin-spiced everything in coffee shops. It’s the month for Halloween supplies to fly off the shelves at stores. It’s the month when campfires in rings are prevalent in the campgrounds of state parks and recreation areas. It’s the month for the crop harvest to be underway. And, it’s the month when leaves turn color. Eastern cottonwood tree leaves beginning to turn their pretty yellow color along the Platte River in southern Sarpy County, NE. Photo by …

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These Fall Mushrooms Aren’t Just For A Witch’s Brew

It’s October. It’s the Halloween season. And, a witch’s brew is not complete without a moist, edible fall mushroom or two, right? Just kidding. But, guess what? We have an array of fall fungi in Nebraska perfect for your dinner plate. The cool weather and rain deluges of autumn bring forth a flush of different wild mushrooms in various parts of Nebraska. However, which ones are fairly common? Which ones are simplest to identify? Which ones are best to eat? …

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Thoughts on Waterfowl

It’s just my humble opinion, but I believe those of us involved in fish and wildlife conservation on a professional level are “wired” a bit differently than the rest of society. There’s some innate draw or attraction to wild and natural things and places that is difficult to explain, let alone understand. That attraction has led us down a path of life that isn’t just a job or a career, but a vocation that is inexplicably intertwined with our lives, …

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Breakfast in the Blind

When you’ve been up and dragging decoys since 4 a.m., you’re ready for some grub by the time the ducks have flown and the midmorning lull begins. Whether you’re hunting from a heated pit blind, camouflaged among the reeds or lying in a small layout blind, there’s never a reason to go hungry. Read on for ideas beyond energy bars and good old raisins and peanuts. Kitchen-ready Blind Hunting from a heated blind can be like staying in a 5-star …

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BB Gun Beginning

Henry Matulka of Gretna went on his first hunting trip when he was 5 years old. Without a driver’s license to operate a vehicle, or his own money to purchase gear, he was reliant upon someone taking him. That person was his dad, Tim. With BB gun in hand, Henry continued to accompany his dad on dove, waterfowl, deer, and turkey hunting trips, waiting for the day he could pull the trigger on something besides his Red Ryder lever action. …

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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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National Hunting and Fishing Day: A Personal Perspective

National Hunting and Fishing Day is this Saturday, Sept. 28. Our Governor Pete Ricketts, an avid sportsman, has proclaimed Sept. 28 as National Hunting and Fishing Day in Nebraska. This is a significant day. No, this is not just another one of those celebratory days, not by a long shot. This day is deeply personal to me and many others as we are devoted hunters, anglers, trappers and landowners. We take our roles as stewards of the land and wildlife …

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Hunters: Now, what are those reasons why you don’t want to fall turkey hunt?

It never ceases to amaze me that more avid hunters don’t buy a turkey permit in the fall. Hunters say a lot of things about why they don’t hunt North America’s and Nebraska’s largest upland game bird during autumn. They say there are too many other game birds and animals to hunt in the fall and they may not even see turkeys. They say the fall hunt for turkeys is merely an ambush and not as challenging as the spring …

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