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NEBRASKAland Articles

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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Monowi: The Village of One

People have come from all over the world to drink coffee with Elsie Eiler in Monowi, Nebraska. Not only does she own and operate the only business in the village —working six days a week as a cook and bartender at the local tavern — the great-grandmother also serves as mayor, village board president, librarian and local historian. Why does she do it? As the lone resident in the nation’s smallest incorporated village, she is the only one who can. …

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How to Smoke A Deer Roast

Smoking your own meat, especially when the meat comes from an animal you harvested, is a rewarding and satisfying experience. Here are a few steps to take when smoking a deer roast with a dry rub: Rinse and dry the meat. Always rinse the meat off after it has been thawed and dry it with paper towels. This helps get some excess blood off and out of the meat prior to applying a rub. Adding vegetable oil to the meat is optional …

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Winter Counts

Before Plains Indian tribes developed the complete written form of their languages, oral tradition was used extensively to preserve tribal histories. Pictorial accounts painted on bison hides, also known as a “winter count,” include symbols arranged chronologically. Each image marks a single year and depicts a collective, memorable event of the tribe. For the Lakota people, a year of the winter count measured from first snowfall to first snowfall. Oglala Lakota visionary Nicholas Black Elk referred to his December 1863 …

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Fall Fishing at its Finest

It’s the time of year when the fish are filling their bellies as much as they can, because like us, they know what’s coming. The conditions the past couple of weeks have been great for getting on the water, and with the first cold snap came a great bite. It’s time to capitalize on it while you can. There were some great days to be outside in October. I believe one day we even had record highs near 90 degrees! This …

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