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Latest Features

Bear With Me a Moment

By Roger Welsch Maybe it’s just a habit of old romantics like me, but I like to think that sooner or later, even the most unimaginative Nebraskan must wonder — maybe while watching an old movie or cruising along on Interstate 80 — what these Plains must have been like before the white man came. We know that many things have changed. The herds of bison that stopped trains for hours and the clouds of passenger pigeons that darkened the …

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Ernie’s Snapping Turtle

Recipe by Kim Rutten, Edited by Jenny Nguyen-Wheatley Ernie was Kim and Ben Rutten’s mother, who prepared the family’s favorite meal of fried and steamed snapping turtle before her passing in 2018. Below, Kim shares her mother’s recipe the way it was taught to her. To read Jenny’s story on the Rutten family’s tradition of hunting turtles, visit: https://magazine.outdoornebraska.gov/2022/06/the-turtle-family/ The season for snapping turtles is year-round, with a bag limit of five turtles and possession limit of 10. Ben Rutten …

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All-Season Dog Training

By Todd Mills Keeping your hunting dog in shape during the summer can be challenging, to say the least. With nothing to hunt, and kids and family activities getting in the way, it’s easy to neglect your hunting companion. Unfortunately, that can lead to frustration when fall rolls around. An out-of-shape dog can lead to handling issues as well as physical problems — all can result in anxiety, and in some cases, disaster. Although keeping your dog in hunting form …

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Six of Nebraska’s Family Friendly Fishing Lakes

By Renae Blum Looking for a place to go fishing with the family? Nebraska Game and Parks has identified dozens of public fishing waters across the state that are perfect for families – known as Family Friendly Lakes. These sites are safe, comfortable and have great fish-catching potential. They also have a combination of barrier-free fishing piers, fishing trails, groomed park areas, concessions, playgrounds, picnic areas and highly maintained fish populations. Here are several Family Friendly Lakes to put on …

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A Researcher’s Field Season — Part III

By Allison Barg, University of Nebraska-Lincoln Research Graduate Assistant Read Part I: https://magazine.outdoornebraska.gov/2022/04/a-researchers-field-season-part-i/ Read Part II: https://magazine.outdoornebraska.gov/2022/05/a-researchers-field-season-part-ii/ One of the hardest and most interesting aspects of research is that answering one question generally leads to at least three new ones. For example: What is the best way to count pheasants? Answer: Males crow regularly during the breeding season, so we can listen for those calls and count how many we hear. Easy, right? But to make those counts useful, we …

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Nebraska’s Crayfish

By Grace Gaard, Outdoor Educator Crayfish – also known as crawdad, crawfish and mudbug – is no fish. It’s an arthropod and more specifically, a freshwater crustacean. With their jointed legs and protective exoskeleton, crayfish are a unique part of Nebraska’s aquatic ecosystems. A crayfish’s body is comprised of three main parts: head, thorax and abdomen – similar to their distant insect relatives. Where crayfish begin to differ from insects, however, is that they have five pairs of legs, giving …

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Gumweed Bonanza!

Story and photos by Chris Helzer, Nature Conservancy As a short-lived plant, gumweed lives the life of a scrappy and unfairly maligned opportunist. When grasses are heavily grazed, a streambank erodes, or repeated travel creates a trail of bare ground, curlycup gumweed jumps up and says, “Hold my beer!” It can’t fight toe-to-toe with perennial grasses, but if those grasses are temporarily sidelined, gumweed can ably fill the space until the regulars can return. As a reward for its service, …

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Southwest Nebraska’s 1884 UFO

By David L. Bristow, History Nebraska The story went like this: A “blazing aerolite” crashed near Benkelman in the southwestern corner of Nebraska. Local cowboys found metal machinery scattered over the prairie, but the intense heat kept them from getting too close. Returning the next day, they found the remains of an object “about 50 or 60 feet long, cylindrical, and about 10 or 12 feet in diameter.” That was how the Lincoln-based Nebraska State Journal broke the news on …

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Get Your Buzz On

By Monica Macoubrie, Wildlife Education Specialist I grew up believing that the western honey bee (Apis mellifera), also called European honey bee, was the god of all bees. Now as an adult, I see things differently. Sure, the species is crucial to the production of honey and a central money maker in agriculture, but let’s face it: The western honey bee is essentially cows with wings. And because they are a domesticated species, almost all of their genes have been …

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Patterns from Above

I fell in love with flying in small planes when I was a little twerp, riding in the back seat of one my dad was piloting. My first foray into aerial photography came during an internship at Chadron State College. That assignment was a big one: Photograph the entirety of the Oregon and California trails from Missouri to the West Coast. Wow. So when I joined the staff at Nebraskaland Magazine 21 years ago, I quickly raised my hand when …

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