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Grassland tribute

Supermoon over Sugarloaf Butte

In the May issue of NEBRASKAland Magazine, you will find a story and photos about one of my favorite places in the Panhandle – an area that might sometimes be overshadowed by its neighbor. The Oglala Grassland is a region in northern Dawes and Sioux counties that borders Nebraska’s stunning Pine Ridge and the South Dakota border. The region is designated one of the Panhandle’s 11 designated biologically unique landscapes in the Natural Legacy Project – the state’s wildlife action …

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Time To Stalk Nebraska’s Wild Asparagus

Shrubs are flowering. Apple blossoms have emerged. Reliable indicators that tell me I now will find one of my most valued vegetables in Nebraska’s rural landscape — wild asparagus. Sure enough, I was right! Wild asparagus has many varieties and is a popular spring wild edible in Nebraska. To me, wild asparagus is one of the earliest signs of winter’s final end and the beginning of a new growing season. Asparagus growing rogue and freely in the countryside is no different from the cultivated kind, except that it has a fresher, …

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Wild Foods In Your Backyard

As the trees bud, the lawns green and the flowers bloom, did you know that may have food growing in your yard, lot, garden or field? I bet you do! Now that spring has finally sprung, some of the more prolific, more accessible wild edible foods make their initial appearances. It’s when edible wild plants are at their most tender, tastiest stage. And your own backyard, garden, vacant lot, alleyway or patch of woods or prairie, could very well be the closest and most productive place you’ll find to forage this time of …

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Spring Turkey Hunters: Why Not Take A Jake!

You have a current Nebraska spring wild turkey hunting permit and habitat stamp. You go hunting. You set up along a field edge bordering old-growth, open woodland habitat. You strike your slate call: “Yelp, yelp, yelp.” You pause for a moment. A gobble echoes nearby. It sounds like a jake, a nearly one-year old  male wild turkey born the previous spring. A few minutes pass. All of the sudden, here it comes running right toward the decoys, with its bright blue, red and white head, small, …

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Bad Weather Birds

We’ve been dreaming about this weekend for sometime.  But none of our visions contained weather like what’s being forecasted for Nebraska’s opening weekend of shotgun spring turkey season.  Being a hardy lot we Nebraskans still have intentions of heading out to fill a tag or two.  Here’s how… Snow Unless it comes in blizzard proportions, or is mixed with the conditions listed below, a little snow barely registers for turkeys who are focused on love right now.  Strategies need to …

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Being too Good

With Saturday being the opening of Nebraska’s spring turkey season – shotgun edition –  I ask this one simple question.  “What happens when you are just too good at calling turkeys?” This video answers that very question.  It shows the struggle of some turkey hunting greats who are at the top of their game. Have a great, safe turkey hunting weekend. hershy

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The dance of the sharptail

Sharp-tailed grouse

If you travel far at all on many of our dirt roads, you have a good chance of a seeing one or more sharp-tailed grouse – that is, if you can pick them out with their brown, black and buff camouflaged bodies. Sharptails, popular game birds in Nebraska, are at home on much our landscape, enjoying a mix of open grassland with some trees and shrubs. This is certainly the time of year that grouse are most fun to watch. …

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Anxiously Awaiting The First Morels Of The Season

Tersh Kepler of Omaha, NE is closely monitoring his yard for the appearance of dandelions. Why? Because, that will be his sign that morel mushrooms have popped up in his river bottom woods. Many folks in Nebraska are getting antsy to head to their morel mushroom picking spots along river and creek woodlands. But, when will the morels emerge? Kepler says the sprouting of dandelions in his Omaha yard will be the indicator, however,  he knows there is more to it. Whether vigilant for dandelion flowers, tree buds, blooming lilacs or flowering woodland …

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Slate – Gobbler Callin’ Refined

We still call them ‘slate-calls’ though the surface of many of these turkey calls nowadays are glass, aluminum or some other material.  And again this spring, thousands of gobblers in Nebraska will give testament to their effectiveness – when in the right hands. The beauty of the slate-call is first and foremost that they produce some of the truest turkey talk a hunter can make. Sometimes sounding even better than the real deal. Secondly, they are the model of versatility.  …

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The Rise Of The Modern Crossbow

Nebraska’s popular archery spring wild turkey hunting season is in full swing, and seemingly a growing number of hunters have added another piece of legal archery equipment to their repertoire  — the modern crossbow. The word — crossbow — can stir up a very heated debate in conventional bow hunting circles. Consider that a similar debate also took place when the compound bow was first introduced into the hunting scene many years ago. Some folks will be quick to let you know that a crossbow or arbalest is …

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