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NGPC Rooster Roundup: Aurora

Sam Sampson receiving a rooster from his black Labrador retriever Bella.

Nebraska Game and Parks Commissioners and staff are in the midst of the Rooster Roundup — a quest to hunt pheasants on public land throughout Nebraska. The second stop on their journey is described below.   Continuing the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission Rooster Roundup, which left off at Sherman Reservoir Wildlife Management Area on Monday, Commissioners Lynn Berggren, Bob Allen, Dick Bell and friend Sam Sampson headed out to the rainwater basin wetlands south of Aurora Thursday morning. An Aurora …

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Rooster Roundup Nebraska Game and Parks Style


Nebraska Game and Parks Commissioners and staff are in the midst of the Rooster Roundup — a quest to hunt pheasants on public land throughout Nebraska. The first stop on their journey is described below. The morning was a typical fall Nebraska morning as hunters hit the field at Sherman Reservoir Wildlife Management Area (WMA) for pheasant hunting. Pheasant and quail numbers are up this year providing upland game hunters with plenty of opportunities to get out and walk many …

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Sowbelly on the Rise

Sowbelly Creek

My NEBRASKAland magazine duties are a little different than other types of journalism I’ve experienced during my career. With the bulk of the content for our magazine’s print edition being created a year in advance and stories going to press far ahead of each edition’s designated month, it doesn’t leave much room for “last-minute” changes. We all know conditions in Nebraska are susceptible to the whims of Mother Nature. For instance, a photo spread I produced titled “A Short Fall,” …

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The Fall Before the Ice

Sawyer Haag with largemouth bass.

My ice-scraper went to work this week for the first time in months. Some may lament this annual milestone and the coming of winter, but each scrape gets me more excited for ice-fishing and the soon-to-come season of fun on the hardwater – even if I am just a few days removed from a more summer-like scene of comparable enjoyment. With abundant sunshine and near perfect temperatures Sunday, Smith Lake Wildlife Management Area in Sheridan County reeled in my son …

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Hunting for Business


It’s long been known by businesses that hunting can be a stimulator for the economy. When the big summer tourism season winds down, motel owners, restaurants and retailers look forward to the influx of people dressed in camouflage and orange to keep those dollars flowing. A study by Southwick Associates estimates the annual economic impact of hunting to be $848 million in Nebraska, with $562 million in retail sales and 8,856 jobs supported. Those are big numbers and, considering what …

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New Cowboy Trail Section Celebrated in Rushville


Kris Ferguson had a lot to celebrate Saturday. It was her birthday, but that milestone came secondary to the party for one of her greatest labors of love. Ferguson is the Gordon cyclist who turned tragedy to triumph after being struck by a motor vehicle while riding along Nebraska Highway 27 south of the Sheridan County city. While recuperating from the 2011 accident, which required her to be flown to Scottsbluff for emergency care, she launched an effort to develop …

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Crossing the Goal Line with Online Hunter Education


Anyone who has kids knows things can get a little hectic in the fall. My son Sawyer was eligible for hunter education last year, but the limited offerings in the Chadron area didn’t fit into his schedule. Right or wrong, his obligation to his youth football team took precedence to devoting two Saturdays to hunter education – yes, at least in our Nebraska family, the football schedule is on a short list of things that can trump hunting and fishing. …

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Behind the scenes: invasives testing


Story and Photos by Sarah Kocher Simply put, JoLeisa Cramer’s job has one focus: how things spread. Cramer is a technician for the Nebraska Invasive Species Program, and half of her job is about spreading awareness of the destruction invasive species almost always leave in their wake. The other half involves testing lakes for aquatic invasive species to prevent their introduction or growth. She spreads one to stop the other. “Prevention is the best tool we have for invasive species,” …

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The Queen Hunt


By Sarah Kocher I don’t know if you could really call it a treasure hunt, but the prize glistens in the sun nonetheless. I’m out with amateur beekeeper Scott Flynn on a search for his queen bee; she’s been MIA for days now, and hives without queens are like zombies: scary, with little direction and less staying power. Needless to say, she’s a queen for a reason. I’m out with my uncle researching beekeeping, and I have conveniently forgotten that …

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Becoming an Outdoors Woman Empowers Women


The Becoming an Outdoors Woman (BOW) program in Nebraska continues to grow and empower women. Nebraska was the second state to embrace this outdoor program started by Dr. Christine Thomas from Wisconsin in 1991. Thomas had a mission to give women the knowledge to be active in the outdoors and through the BOW program women gain the confidence needed to engage in all types of outdoor activities. The BOW program has grown not only in Nebraska and Wisconsin but is …

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