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The Nebraska Table: Autumn Recipes

Story and photos by Ryan Sparks The first cool days of autumn bring a nagging urge to be outdoors – a primal upwelling to hear the crunch of leaves underfoot, stare up at migrating flocks and breathe the sweet smell of harvest. Every fall I look forward to days spent hunting deer and quail, Cornhusker football games, trips to the pumpkin patch and rich meals of wild game. Like many Nebraskans who also love wild game, I often look for …

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Updates

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I am going to put a combination of updates in my blog post today.  These are going to include news items for waterbodies from one corner of Nebraska to the other, so if you fish in Nebraska, something in this blog post is going to include a waterbody you fish. Box Butte Reservoir New boat launch opening at Box Butte Reservoir HEMINGFORD, Neb. — Construction is wrapping up for the upgraded boat launch facility at Box Butte State Recreation Area …

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DIY Fishing Rod Cases

Slamming car doors, shifting cargo, stumbling feet. Each has been unkind to my fishing rods more times than I care to admit. After a fly rod somehow broke while riding freely in my truck bed this spring, it was time to take action to keep it from happening again. Of course, many excellent rod cases are available from retailers. After some research, though, I found a simple design created from a favorite inexpensive building material – PVC pipe. Not only …

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How Many?

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Got a chuckle out of this new Hank Patterson video this week: Now I will be the first to admit that since I was a grade school kid I have kept a log of all of my fishing trips, species, numbers, sizes, etc., etc.  So yes, I have an idea of how many fish I and my partners have caught.  If you want data, well, I have a pointy-head and I’ve got data! But, you know it really is not …

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Pelican Renovation

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I was outta the office a week or so ago to help do some field work.  I got to help with some work on one of my favorite waters in one of my favorite parts of the state–Pelican Lake on the Valentine National Wildlife Refuge (NWR). I am not going to rehearse the details, or the merits, of the large Aquatic Habitat Rehabilitation project that is ongoing on the Valentine NWR.  If you have been living under a soapweed and …

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Fighting the Fear Factor of Foraging for Fall Fungi

Tell someone you hunt mushrooms in the fall, and they’ll utter phrases like: “Are you crazy, do you really know what you’re picking?” “Why do you want to do that, aren’t you scared that you might pick and eat a poisonous one?” “You don’t eat those (fall mushrooms) surely, do you?” Statistics related to the frequency of mushroom poisonings are hard to come by, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia. While the federal agency says the poisoning …

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Nebraska Fishing

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Many years ago when I was going to school training to be a pointy-headed fish biologist, I never dreamed I would be doing what I am doing now.  Yes, I am referring to blogging, communicating, writing and speaking, informing and educating; that is pretty much what I do all of the time.  A big reason I am doing that now, and something we never dreamed of years ago, is this interwebby thing.  Simply put, the internet is an extremely valuable …

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Need Some Craft Eyes

I originally heard this story on a radio station, then found it making the rounds on the inter-webs: Market Shut Down for Putting Googly Eyes on Fish To Make It Look “Fresher” Apparently, after sitting around on a table in some stinky fish market, adding some “googly eyes” improves sales! See how much better it looks! Now why didn’t eye think of that? My latest walleye photo after dark was a little blurry, if I had added a googly eye …

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Grouse and Chickens – First Leg of My Upland Slam

Upland game hunting and Nebraska are words that go together like a campfire and good friends.  The upland slam is on the minds of many hunters this year as they start making plans for the field and is within reach of most if they just do a little planning for the fall.  The Upland Slam is a challenge to all hunters to pursue ring-necked pheasant, northern bobwhite quail,  greater prairie chickens and sharp-tailed grouse.  This is a no-brainer for a state like Nebraska.  We …

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September Cast and Blast

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If you have followed my blog for awhile, you know that I believe the best open-water fishing of the year is upon us right now.  I love fall fishing.  I have touted the many reasons I love fishing in the fall, and one of those is there is a lot less activity on our waters in the fall.  There are a lot of other outdoor pursuits that occupy people’s time in the fall; once the fall hunting seasons start to …

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