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NEBRASKAland Articles

Panhandle Passages: Christmastime at Fort Robinson

It usually takes some prodding to get me into the holiday spirit. I’m much more inclined to get excited about the arrival of ice for fishing this time of year than the coming of Santa Claus and his reindeer. Thanks to one event this season, though, I moved the needle a little closer to the “St. Nicked” side of the holiday excitement meter from its position at “Scrooged.” My wife and I attended Fort Robinson State Park’s annual Christmas dinner …

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A Western Nebraska Hunt for a Westerner

CRAWFORD – In order to find success, one hunter this week made the 430-mile journey from Western, Nebraska, to Western Nebraska. Yes, you read that right. Johnny Barta, a big game hunter from Western, Nebraska (the village near Fairbury, not the region), visited the butte country of western Nebraska (the region, not the village) to fill the state’s lone bighorn sheep tag. His hunt ended successfully at noon Tuesday, Dec. 9, when he bagged a trophy ram at Fort Robinson …

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Fall into Winter Fishing

Here we are in December, and there’s no reason for the weird Nebraska weather of 2014 to stop now. In typical fashion, we were just freezing cold a few weeks ago around Thanksgiving. Now, we’re back to above normal temps, and I hope some of you have been out taking advantage of it, like we have been. We made it to Harlan Friday for a day on the water, and managed to have a little bit of fun. We found …

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Christmas Bird Count at Ponca State Park

Join Ponca State Park for the Annual Christmas Bird Count on Sunday, December 14. Experienced and novice birders, nature enthusiasts, and families are invited to participate in this 115-year-old tradition sponsored by the National Audubon Society. Guests are advised to dress accordingly and to bring their binoculars and bird books. The event will begin at 7:30 a.m. in the Missouri National Recreational River Resource and Education Center. A chili feed will be offered at noon amid counting. This event is …

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Snowy Owls Moving Into Nebraska?

Nebraska’s second Snowy Owl report of the season occurred today (3 December) east of Kearney.  The first report involved a bird recovered by Fontenelle Forest’s Raptor Recovery a couple weeks ago in Saunders County.  Today’s Snowy Owl was first reported by Kent Skaggs on NEbirds.  Late this afternoon, I received  an independent report, apparently of the same bird, that included photos provided by Diana Merryman.  One of her photos is provided, below. Today’s report in Nebraska prompted me to check eBird to …

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Landscape Notes: Cold Weather Projects

To start with, the calendar says it is still officially fall until December 21st  but it seems to me that winter has been here for several weeks now! The sudden mid-November intrusion of arctic air into our area may have been a bit early for some plants. We will have to wait until spring to see if any damage was done to buds and twigs not hardened off yet. I thought I would mention a couple of things that can …

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Panhandle Passages: Check Station Miscellany

This was my second year of being assigned to two days of deer check station duty at Rushville during the firearm season. The 12-hour shifts can seem long at times, but I really enjoy having conversations with the hunters and hearing from them what’s happening in the field. As was the case last year, I saw some nice mule deer and whitetails. The most prominent memories I carry away from the experience, however, have little to do with antler mass …

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The Love of the Hunt

There is nothing like hunting season; when brisk air bites at bare skin and the challenge of the hunt begins. Every hunt has its challenges, which evens the score for the quarry and keeps the hunter in pursuit. Hunting isn’t about the kill or bag limits, or it shouldn’t be, but is a personal quest, a way to touch nature, view it and be a part of it. While walking fields of bluestem and stubble during the Pheasants Forever Rooster …

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A Dry Idea: The Sticky Business of Wader Repair

In the December issue of NEBRASKAland Magazine, I have a lighthearted article on page 44 about my failed attempt to repair my beloved waders given to me as an anniversary gift by my wife years ago. As stated in the article, patching waders can be a futile effort. If you want to just make it through the season it can often be accomplished with some success, however. As a fisheries biologist with the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, Joe Rydell …

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