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How To

Sharpening Hooks

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I have fished for a few years now; long enough to realize that oftentimes little things make a huge difference!  The learning never stops, even in a lifetime of fishing, and the best anglers know and do so many of the little things that they do not even think about them–“Why do you do this or that?”  “I don’t know, because I always have.”  The best have forgotten more things than most anglers will ever know. Sharp hooks are one …

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Wild Game Cooking: The Heart of the Matter

I have eaten deer heart for as long as I can remember. I like it a lot. It is among my favorite wild game entrees and a tradition in our family to cook and eat during the Nebraska firearm deer hunting season. Since my initial blog about deer heart a year ago, I have received many requests to share it, once again. So, with that in mind, here it is. Deer hunters, save the heart from the deer you harvest this season! No, no, don’t just toss it in the gut pile …

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Life Lessons – Through Hunting

Now that we’re deep into deer season we’ve been seeing more and more harvest photographs taken by archery mentors involved in our youth mentor hunt program.  These aren’t typical trophy buck harvest photographs but they capture something just as valuable: a hunter’s first harvest.  After learning the basics, observing experienced hunters and lots of practice…they did it and the look on their faces as they pose next to their deer says it all. This Kodak moment is only one small …

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What Are They?

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Once in awhile I still get to play a part as a fisheries biologist when folks ask me to assist in the identification of “mystery” fish they have caught.  On rarer occasions I am asked to help identify even more obscure aquatic critters.  One of those occasions happened a few weeks ago when I took a phone call from a gentleman.  I had met this gentleman recently in person when he brought in a state record fish for certification.  I …

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How to take respectful deer harvest photos

You are a deer hunter, and you have just harvested a very nice white-tailed buck, or perhaps a gorgeous doe. Now, you have the opportunity to capture the moment for all of your friends and family to see. With due diligence, you can ensure the special moment is highlighted in a quality harvest photo. The photo likely will be taken with your smartphone, iPhone, iPad or similar device to immediately share with everyone on social media. How much care will …

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Great News!

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This news release went out last week; I have not heard much “chatter” about it: Niobrara River instream flows approved for NRDs and Game and Parks LINCOLN, Neb. – Jeff Fassett, director of the Nebraska Department of Natural Resources, on Oct. 19 signed an order granting application A-19406 to appropriate water for the purpose of instream flows on the Niobrara River to maintain habitat for the fish community. The instream flow permit was granted to the Nebraska Game and Parks …

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The Sandhills Call To Me

Anyone can appreciate the mountains but it takes a true outdoors person to appreciate the Sandhills.    They are as beautiful as they are rugged.   Inviting yet unforgiving.    Gentle to the eye yet harsh to all who inhabit this rugged and scenic landscape.  Filled with incredible flora and fauna along with some of the coolest people Nebraska has to offer.   Each year I have the good fortune of heading out into the Sandhills, shotgun in hand, to chase sharp-tailed grouse and …

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Skunked

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A few of us were talking a week or so ago about “scary” outdoor experiences we have had, you know, Halloween-type stuff.  I spend a lot of time fishing after dark, and usually try to use lights as little as possible (do not want to spook the fish), but honestly, I can recall very few incidents in the dark that had me spooked.  Oh sure, there have been bats fluttering right over my head, spiders, hooting owls, howling coyotes, and …

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Pay Attention To Nature’s Sounds When Deer Hunting

Picture yourself harnessed in a tree stand for deer hunting. You are losing light. It’s nearing sunset. The prime time for deer movement. Suddenly, you hear a squirrel bark and chatter. Then even closer to you, from the same direction, you hear curiosity putts from some wild turkeys. Within a few minutes you hear another squirrel bark and chatter by your location. Then, you hear the guttural grunt of a buck. Out of nowhere appears an adult white-tailed deer doe with pair of fawns being followed by an …

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Master Angler Awards

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Let me say a few things about our Master Angler Award program in my blog today. . . . First of all, yes, we are running a little behind in getting Master Angler certificates mailed out.  If you sent in a Master Angler application since late summer and are wondering what happened to it, please be patient.  We are working a body short here in the office right now, and had to re-order the pins we send out for catch …

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