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Is It Time To Begin Looking For Shed Deer Antlers?

Is it too early to go out and try to find shed deer antlers on my hunting lands? After all, there is snow cover and snow drifts in places. On the other hand, I am hearing rumors of bucks dropping their antlers earlier than normal on the Great Plains. So, when should someone venture to their deer woods and fields in search of those prized shed antlers? Beginning in late December and continuing through April, white-tailed and mule deer shed their antlers for regrowth purposes …

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More Than Just Jewelry

We absolutely treasure them. We collect them. We investigate their origins. We tell stories of the hunt about them. We give them places of honor on our call lanyards. But, official waterfowl leg bands are more than just coveted collectibles, more than just “priceless jewelry” to hunters. The information the bands possess is vital to the management of these web footed birds. There are even monetary reward bands. Getting a duck or goose with a reward, or “money” band on it is extra special because they …

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Winter Wild Edibles

Foraging for wild foods on a cold, snowy day in Nebraska’s wintry landscape is an interesting and enjoyable outdoor activity. After all, foraging doesn’t have to be a fair-weather activity, right? But, let’s get this straight: Foraging for wild plant foods in winter is not easy. It’s tough, it’s rough, it’s cold, it’s hard work. Frigid temperatures, snow cover and low-light add to the difficulty. Winter foraging can sometimes be about slim-pickings, too. However, if you have basic knowledge of specific plants, bundle up and put forth the effort …

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No Ice Needed For This Winter Fishing!

If sitting on a five-gallon bucket and then staring at a hole drilled in the ice doesn’t meet your criterion for winter fishing, then take note! There is an open-water fishing option in Nebraska during the coldest part of the year and it involves trout. So, grab the neoprene waders and gloves, layer your clothing and rig the spinning rod, because we are going winter trout stream fishing! Schlagel Creek near Valentine, NE gives up a brown trout on a crankbait during a winter …

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7 New Year’s Resolutions for Hunters

The tradition of making New Year’s resolutions — a promise to do good on acts of self-improvement — has been around for thousands of years on both the eastern and western hemispheres. While many individuals vow to eat better, exercise more, stop smoking and build up their finances, it is far easier to make and fulfill New Year’s resolutions for an activity of which you are passionate, like hunting in Nebraska. So, here are seven suggested hunting-oriented New Year’s resolutions …

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Panhandle’s natural beauty abundant in 2017

Concealed beneath a grass blind as the sun rises. Camping beneath a star-filled sky on a rocky ridge. Trekking with snowshoes into a forest blanketed by white. Soaring above the buttes while riding shotgun in a Cessna. Stirring up dust with a four-wheel drive on winding backroads. Those are just some of the many ways I witnessed beauty of the western Nebraska with camera in hand during 2017. A look back at the nature images I post to Facebook, Instagram …

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A partridge for the holidays

Gray partridge

As the “12 Days of Christmas” nears, it seems fitting to pay tribute to the gift most often mentioned in the familiar tune of that same name. That, of course, would be the partridge that “my true love sent to me” over and over again. While traveling a dirt road in northern Sheridan County in early December, I encountered the first partridge I have ever seen in the wild. I had heard of the gray partridge (Perdix perdix) residing in …

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Christmas Musings

DSCN1278

I have a warped sense of humor, it is in the blood, comes from both sides of my family.  Found this Christmas commercial on the inter-webs, kinda like it: The deer’s name is “Steve”! Wonder where I could get that sweater? Now let me switch from the warped to the sentimental. . . . I have at least a couple of Patrick F. McManus books on my shelves at home (By the way, if any of you are still looking …

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It’s Not Too Late (Tips For Late Season Hunting)

Unfortunately, it’s the time of year when many hunters start hanging up their gear for the season. Maybe they have already harvested game or are tired of trying to do so. Perhaps they are just not interested in being afield during bitterly cold weather, gale force winds and deep snow. Whatever the case may be, that hunting gear should not be put away! It’s time to bundle up and take advantage of little to no hunting pressure, colder weather, a completed crop harvest, concentrated and …

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No Water Needed for Hunting Canada Geese

Do  you really need water, pumps, pit blinds, lots of expensive decoys and to be part of a high-priced hunting lease to successfully hunt Canada geese in Nebraska? No, not necessarily. Field hunting for Canada geese is a ton of fun and can be very effective! It’s also much cheaper, easier and quicker than trying to establish a goose hunting spread with a boat blind on a pond, lake, reservoir or river. Waterfowl hunters establish a field spread for Canada goose hunting in a harvested corn field in …

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