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Past Issues

Turkey Call Trifecta

Turkey Calling

There are three main types of turkey calls: box, pan, and diaphragm. Turkey hunters should be proficient with the following three main turkey calls to maximize their chances of success. Let’s take a look at each type: Box Boxes are the easiest to master. Simply run the paddle-like lid across the lip of the box’s rectangular sound chamber.  Traditionally, chalk is applied to the lid’s underside to create the friction that produces turkey sounds, although some newer models use a …

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Best Knives from Field to Table 2018

knives

Few things peeve me more than dull knives. As someone who spends a lot of time breaking down game animals and cooking them, having the right tools to complete the job is critical; my food is already dead, and the last thing I want to do is fight with it again in the kitchen. So over the last few years, I’ve put together a collection of knives that I enjoy using most: knives that will take me from field to …

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Nebraska’s Outdoor Venture Parks

venture

Creating a New Legacy Ropes courses and water playgrounds… state-of-the-art aquariums and touch tanks… these are just a few of the exciting attractions coming soon as part of the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission’s Venture Parks complex. Yet excitement isn’t the Commission’s only goal. After the opening of Platte River State Park’s Crawdad Creek in the fall of 2016, Owen Roberts-Day visited with his daughter, Hattie. Owen watched his daughter happily playing in the water, where children are encouraged to …

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Our Most Popular Posts of the Year

eclipse

For Nebraska Game and Parks, 2017 was the year of the fish. Ok, not really, but fish definitely played a strong role in our most popular Facebook posts of the year. A blog by fisheries outreach manager Daryl Bauer about new state records was a big hit, as was a post about “alien fish.” Recently caught in Nebraska, this species of fish doesn't even belong in North America. Can you guess what it is or how it got here? Read …

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Winter Recipe to Try: Baked Rigatoni & Wild Turkey Meatballs

A pasta casserole with turkey, mushrooms and bacon Simple to put together and filling, I love a good baked pasta dish. And having discovered some beautiful velvet pioppini mushrooms at the grocery store, I added them to this casserole for texture and a woodsy flavor that complemented the ground turkey meatballs. However, you may use any mushroom you prefer. The ground meat came from the thighs and legs of a wild turkey, and I didn’t miss the red meat. This …

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Eclipse Tourists Shocked by Nebraskan Friendliness

eclipse

Nebraska puts “southern hospitality” to shame according to eclipse tourists. A Pennsylvania family sent in this rave review of the state after visiting during 2017’s eclipse: I’m writing to NEBRASKAland to tell you how much I enjoy it. I first subscribed to the magazine in February after I decided I was coming to Nebraska to watch the eclipse. I thought it might give me some tips on what to do and see in Nebraska. It did, as we enjoyed an outing …

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Night Lights: Tips for Spectacular Night Photography

nighttime photography

Zach’s Night Photo Tips Learn how to take photos at night like a pro with these tips from Zach Equipment essentials You don’t need expensive equipment to make pictures you’re proud of. For night photos on a budget try a basic DLSR, kit lens & tripod. One of my first shots at night that I really loved was taken with a basic DSLR, a kit lens, and a tripod from Costco – so a $400 camera and a $49 tripod. And it’s …

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Valentine NWR Update

water control structure

Renovations planned for many Sandhills lakes Invasive Carp Native to Europe, bottom-feeding carp stir up sediments and cloud the water, hampering the growth of the aquatic vegetation that is the base of the food web, and the growth and productivity of sight-feeding gamefish, including the bluegill, yellow perch, black crappie, largemouth bass and northern pike that thrive in Sandhills lakes. Carp found their way onto the refuge in the 1930s when a ditch was dug from Gordon Creek northwest of …

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The Most Secretive of Skunks

skunk

Rare Eastern spotted skunk found at the Valentine National Wildlife Refuge The Decline of the Spotted Skunk Biologists surmise that populations of spotted skunks – like many other species – declined when white settlers moved into the Great Plains and began hunting and trapping them. Their numbers rebounded some in the 1930s and 1940s when the landscape was dotted with small farmsteads that provided good habitat for the species. Spotted skunks, which eat grubs, grasshoppers and small mammals, often lived …

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The Worth of a Wild Goose

goose cover

Canada Goose Hunting in Nebraska and “the Leopold tingle” In his classic 1949 book A Sand County Almanac, Aldo Leopold, the father of wildlife conservation, asked: “What is a wild goose worth? I have a ticket to the symphony. It was not cheap … but I would forego the experience for the sight of the big gander that sailed honking into my decoys at daybreak this morning. I saw him, I heard the wind whistle through his set wings, as …

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