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Family Bird Count set for Lake Minatare

MINATARE, Neb. — The public is invited to attend a special birdwatching event at Scout’s Rest Campground of Lake Minatare State Recreation Area. The Bird Conservancy of the Rockies and the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission are conducting the Family Christmas Bird Count at the lake on Dec. 15 from 9-11 a.m. The lake is closed from Oct. 15-Jan. 15 each year as part of the North Platte National Wildlife Refuge, but is opening for this exclusive event. The Bird …

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Fire officials plan to begin burning piles

CHADRON, Neb. — Beginning Monday, Dec. 3, and as weather allows over the next few weeks, fire officials in forested areas of the northern Panhandle plan to burn slash piles. Both the Pine Ridge Ranger District of the Nebraska National Forests and Grasslands and the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission plan to ignite piles during the next several weeks. The agencies will notify the public about specific locations as the burning begins. At various times, smoke will likely be visible …

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Preliminary deer harvest lower than last year

LINCOLN, Neb. – Preliminary deer harvest in Nebraska is 5 percent behind last year’s pace. From Sept. 1 through Nov. 26, there were 47,532 deer checked, compared to 49,923 in 2017. Mule deer buck harvest decreased slightly, with 8,575 taken, compared to 8,609 in 2017. This is still the second highest recorded mule deer buck harvest on record bodes well for Nebraska. The average age of bucks is also very good, with 59 percent of bucks estimated at age 3 …

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December outdoor calendar

LINCOLN, Neb. – The following is a listing of Nebraska Game and Parks Commission events and important dates in December. Get more event details at Calendar.OutdoorNebraska.gov. Visit OutdoorNebraska.org for a list of hunter education classes and boating safety classes. Dec. 1 – Bobcat hunting and trapping season opens Dec. 1 – Archery on Fire, Platte River State Park (SP), Louisville Dec. 1 – Light Up the Fort, Fort Robinson SP, Crawford Dec. 1 – Historical Christmas Dinner, Fort Robinson SP, …

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Muzzleloader deer season opens Dec. 1

LINCOLN, Neb. – The seasons are changing and so are the deer hunting methods. Nebraska’s muzzleloader deer season opens Dec. 1 and those shooting black-powder firearms are gearing up. “Temperatures are dropping and the deer are going to be moving in search of high-energy foods,” Nebraska Hunter Education Coordinator Jackson Ellis said. “This is a great chance to spend some time outside and take the opportunity to put some meat in the freezer.” Follow these tips for a safe muzzleloader …

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UNL students may rent hunting equipment

LINCOLN, Neb. – Students registered at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln may rent hunting equipment at the university’s Outdoor Adventure Center. The available gear and rental rates are: pop-up blind: $3/day or $6/weekend; layout blind: $3/day or $6/weekend; jake/hen turkey decoy combination: $3/day or $6/weekend; two dozen duck decoys: $3/day or $6/weekend. Weekend rates are for three days. The equipment is available through a grant partnership between the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) and the Cabela’s Outdoor Fund. “We had two …

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Family Ice-Fishing Clinics scheduled in January

LINCOLN, Neb. – Learn the basics of ice-fishing or pick up a few new tips from experienced anglers at three free Family Ice-Fishing clinics in January. The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission’s Youth Fishing Program will host two on-ice events – Jan. 12 at Lincoln’s Holmes Lake from 1-4 p.m. and Jan. 20 at Kearney’s Fort Kearny State Recreation Area (SRA) Lake No. 6 from 8 a.m.-noon. On Jan. 19, the Nebraska Fish and Game Association will host a classroom …

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Game and Parks to release pheasants at 13 WMAs before Thanksgiving

LINCOLN, Neb. – The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission will release rooster pheasants at 13 wildlife management areas in time for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. The 13 areas are: Oak Valley (Madison County), Wilkinson (Platte County), Sherman Reservoir (Sherman County), Pressey (Custer County), Branched Oak (Lancaster County), Yankee Hill (Lancaster County), Twin Oaks (Johnson County), Hickory Ridge (Johnson County), Cornhusker (Hall County), Kirkpatrick Basin North (York County), Arrowhead (Gage County), Rakes Creek (Cass County) and George Syas (Platte County). Kirkpatrick …

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Some Hunters Helping the Hungry quotas met and fund contributions greatly needed

LINCOLN, Neb. – Cash donations are greatly needed to pay processors taking part in the Hunters Helping the Hungry (HHH) program. Because of critically low cash contributions, several locations no longer can take donated deer and others cannot accept as many as hunters are willing to donate. The following locations can no longer take donated deer: Bayard, JM Pack; Diller, Diller Locker Company; Franklin, Franklin Locker; Johnson, Pelicans; North Bend, Bob’s Custom Meats; Table Rock, Den’s Country Meats; and Wahoo, …

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Early checked deer numbers down 10 percent statewide

LINCOLN, Neb. – Preliminary deer check-in numbers indicate that statewide harvest numbers are down approximately 10 percent compared to the 2017 opening weekend of Nebraska’s firearm season. During this year’s Nov. 10-11 opening weekend, the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission’s northeast district check stations recorded 11 percent fewer deer than last year. The number of checked deer were down 9 percent in the southeast and northwest districts and down 11 percent in the southwest district. “Many factors can be related …

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