Home » NEBRASKAland Articles

NEBRASKAland Articles

Common Scents

A No-nonsense Approach to Scent Control Besides Nebraska farmers, no group in the state frets over the weather more than deer hunters. They study barometric pressure, moon phase, temperature and daylight hours, trying to figure out when deer will move and where. Of all these factors, they pay the most attention to the wind, and for good reason. While we experience the world through our eyes, deer live in a world of smell, and the wind is what delivers that …

Read More »

In Pursuit of the Blue Dart

Nebraskaland cover story on teal hunting

As a youngster, I cut my teeth duck hunting on small marshes in northwestern Iowa. Before the days of fancy decoys, acrylic calls, robo ducks and all the rest of modern-day technology, I would not sleep just so I could get to my favorite duck “hole.” It was there that I experienced my first encounter with this majestic bird that I would later term the “blue dart.” Although it’s been over 40 years since I harvested, or at least tried …

Read More »

Dove Banding

A nationwide mourning dove banding program has been helping biologists monitor population trends of the species while also providing interesting stories of the movement and longevity of this migratory game bird. The banding program began in 2003. The information it provides, combined with more obtained from the examination of wings of harvested doves, is used to estimate the number of doves in the nation and the age structure and productivity of the population. That information, as well as hunter and …

Read More »

Large Milkweed Bugs

If you pay attention to milkweed plants during the summer, you’ll notice a wide variety of insect species feeding on the nectar produced by milkweed flowers. That nectar is sweet, nutritious and free of the toxic latex found throughout most of the rest of the plant. A much smaller group of insects can be found feeding on the leaves, stems or seeds of those milkweed plants, both dealing with and taking advantage of the toxicity. Those insects include monarch caterpillars, …

Read More »

Squirrel Hunting Questions

Ask yourself these questions before squirrel hunting this season. What’s Cutting? This is a squirrel hunter’s most effective knowledge base. If a hunter knows what a squirrel is eating and at what time, then their success increases exponentially. In Nebraska, squirrels eat a variety of nuts, including acorns and walnuts. A quick midday scout through the woods will reveal what nuts squirrels are cutting at a particular time, as remnants will be scattered on the ground. Partner or Alone? There’s …

Read More »

Japanese-style Grouse Katsu Recipe

“Katsu” means cutlet in Japanese, and it is equivalent to German schnitzel. Meat — typically pork or chicken — is breaded in Panko, deep fried and served in bento box lunches. Sharp-tailed grouse worked surprisingly well as katsu, as long as you don’t overcook it. Serve sharpies pink in the center; this bird turns gray easily, and its flavor goes downhill with it. I kept the meat cold until the last minute, and as the breaded pieces hit the hot …

Read More »

Cicada killer wasps

Cicada killer wasps will start emerging from the ground anytime, but these docile wasps only have one thing on their minds: Seeking out cicadas. Found across the U.S., these native wasps start to appear in mid-to-late July through August in Nebraska. Cicada killer wasps are approximately 2 inches long with black and yellow on their abdomens and amber-colored wings. When you hear male cicadas begin singing to attract their mates, the adult cicada killer wasps will start to emerge from …

Read More »

Lake McConaughy State Recreation Area

Big Changes at the Big Lake Nearly everything about Lake McConaughy is big. At 30,000 surface acres, it is Nebraska’s largest reservoir, its dam is among the largest of its kind in the world, and its fish grow to trophy proportions, accounting for several state records. Even its nickname, “Big Mac,” reflects its size. Located 8 miles northeast of Ogallala, Lake McConaughy State Recreation Area is known to most Nebraskans and residents of neighboring states as a great place for …

Read More »

Platte River State Park Bike Trails

Mountain bikers have been riding the trails carved into the bluffs at Platte River State Park for decades, its hills and rocks providing a challenge many yearn for, with the scenery providing the icing on the cake. Now they have a new set of singletrack trails loaded with unique features all for themselves as part of an addition to the park that could become a mountain bike destination for riders from across the country. Along with 4.4 miles of new …

Read More »

Practice Makes Better

I’m 5 feet 2 inches, female, right-handed and left-eye dominant. Out-of-the-box firearms typically don’t fit me, and youth models have made poor substitutes. As if learning to shoot at a flying target, left handed, wasn’t difficult enough – throw in an ill-fitting gun and it becomes a recipe for frustration. I took up shooting and hunting in my early 20s. My husband, Rick, introduced me to it, and since then, my journey has been like a roller coaster, one that …

Read More »