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Turkey Down!

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As promised, I have been trying to spend as little time in the office as possible.  Slipped out west for some family celebrations a while back, and while I was out there managed to sneak away for some quiet time with the turkeys. I grew up in North Platte and in those younger days spent a lot of time roaming the loess canyons southeast of town.  I am old enough to tell you that back then there were no turkeys …

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Commission approves deer, antelope and elk hunting recommendations

LINCOLN, Neb. – The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission approved recommendations for 2019 deer, antelope and elk hunting seasons at its meeting April 24 at Ponca State Park. The most significant approved changes to Commission orders for big game include: — Addition of a second antlerless whitetail bonus tag in the Loup East and Loup East Season Choice Area units to increase antlerless whitetail harvest due to high densities. — Split of the Niobrara River elk unit in to East …

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Morels Aren’t the Only Edible Fungus in Spring

Along with finding and picking morel mushrooms, there is another edible wild fungus growing in your moist woodlands that you should know and consider harvesting and making for dinner — the dryad’s saddle. Dryad’s saddle? Say, what? The dryad’s saddle (Polyporus squamosus) , a.k.a., pheasant back’s mushroom, or hawks wing, is a widespread edible wild fungi that is easy to spot beginning in late April and continuing into May. Found east of the Rockies and potentially throughout Nebraska, it is a common basidiomycete bracket fungus …

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Turkey hunting conditions improve; volunteers aid parks’ cleanup effort

LINCOLN, Neb. – Nebraska’s shotgun turkey season appears to be off to a good start one month after a catastrophic flood and severe winter storm hit the state. The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission continues to assess damage on its properties as cleanup and repairs have begun. For hunters, turkeys that likely had been displaced from traditional spring habitats, such as riparian areas, likely will begin returning to those areas soon. Hunters should find turkeys breaking up and spreading out. …

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Private landowners may enroll in Open Fields and Waters

LINCOLN, Neb. – Nebraska Game and Parks Commission biologists are seeking private landowners interested in enrolling in the Open Fields and Waters (OFW) Program this spring. Through the program, landowners can earn additional income for allowing walk-in hunting, trapping and/or fishing access on their properties. With over 97 percent of Nebraska’s land-base in private ownership, obtaining access to private lands continues to be one of the biggest challenges facing hunters and anglers. In 2018, over 700 private landowners participated in …

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New process in place for awarding big game draw permits

LINCOLN, Neb. – Hunters should be aware of a new process for awarding big game draw permits starting this year, according to the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. Applicants for deer, antelope and elk draw permits who supply valid email addresses will be notified when the draw is complete. Applicants not providing valid email addresses will be responsible for monitoring their status online at OutdoorNebraska.org. Awarded but unpaid permits will result in applicants losing preference points and forfeiting the permit. …

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About Morel Mushrooms This Spring

There is no doubt that your morel mushroom hunting grounds along river bottoms and their tributaries in eastern and central Nebraska were greatly impacted by recent catastrophic flooding. This is the most widespread damage the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission has experienced due to a natural disaster. In my 40 years with the agency and growing up near the Platte River, I have never witnessed any natural catastrophe to this magnitude. So, as an outdoor enthusiast, maybe you’ve been thinking: …

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Officials say Nebraska still tops for turkey, but advise preparedness

Turkeys

LINCOLN, Neb. – Nebraska Game and Parks Commission officials say recent extreme weather events have not changed the state’s status as the best turkey hunting destination in the nation, but the conditions may have made the birds harder to access in many areas. Because of closed roads, washouts and water damage in some areas of the state, the Commission encourages turkey hunters traveling from afar to research conditions to ensure their hunting spots are accessible by vehicle. The Nebraska 511 …

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Mentoring Is Not Just For Kids

It was 2018 and this was my first year truly pursuing a spring turkey. I had bought a used blind in 2017, was using someone else’s gun, bought an inexpensive call from our local Wal-Mart, and was using two decoys that somebody gave to me.  The only education I had on turkey hunting was what I had watched on YouTube and the Calling Clinic I had attended by the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. On opening day, I headed to …

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Commission reminds public of landowner resources for those with wildlife damage

LINCOLN, Neb – The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission is proactively working with landowners who have encountered wildlife damage to their crops and property. “Crop and livestock damage can be a serious issue for many landowners,” said Commission Director Jim Douglas. “We understand this and need to let landowners know what tools we have to help them, and listen to their ideas about other ways to resolve these problems.” This week, the Commission is hosting public meetings in Wauneta, Oxford …

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