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Summer Checklist For Hunters

The turkey season is long over. Crops are sprouting. The intense heat and humidity of  summer’s “dog days” approach. Nevertheless, for those of us who are avidly involved in the hunting lifestyle, it is truly a year-round process which definitely includes summer! Like me, even though your grabbing your catfish or bass rod, I’m sure that some of your thoughts are now drifting toward cool, crisp mornings, falling leaves and maybe even a bit of snow cover on the ground. …

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Reel Therapy: Fishing!

If people concentrated on the really important things in life, there’d be a shortage of fishing poles.  ~Doug Larson Because I know of places where the water seems endless. Because the day is bright and the sand pulse along the shore is warm. Because I enjoy the challenge, pursuit and thrill of the catch. Because I want to bond with a loved one in the natural world. These are the primary reasons why I like to fish. But there’s more to …

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Outdoors in a Thunderstorm or Tornado: What Should You Do or Not Do?

It’s the spring and summer storm season in Nebraska. You’re­ on a leisurely canoe/camping trip on Nebraska’s Elkhorn River. It’s a warm, humid spring afternoon. You’re unloading your canoe where you have permission to camp. Suddenly, you feel a few raindrops splat on your forehead as the sky becomes tumultuous and rapidly begins to darken. Then you hear loud claps of thunder in the distance. What should you do or not do? If you find yourself outdoors when a thunderstorm or tornado …

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Hunters, Anglers: Become Bird Watchers!

I am a hunter. I am an angler. I am a bird watcher. I love to watch birds, especially when I am hunting or fishing. I love watching all birds, not just the game birds I hunt. I enjoy viewing them intently and trying to capture some halfway decent photos of them. If you’re a hunter or an angler, you should become a bird watcher. I’ll explain why in a moment. May is a great month to view birds. In …

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Saddling Up Out West

For exploring the rugged and spacious public lands of the Panhandle, it is tough to beat a mode of transportation that has been around a while. The Panhandle of western Nebraska’s rugged buttes, sweeping grasslands, rolling hills and ponderosa pine forests spur an urge of exploration for countless visitors each year. For many a seasoned cowpoke on down to the greenest of greenhorns, their most memorable experiences while visiting this region have been atop a mode of transportation that has …

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The RV Lady

If you’ve ever contacted the Reservation Call Center for Nebraska State Parks, you know who CJ Zajicek is. She’s the one who’s always nice to you – the one whose positive, personable attitude and interest in you makes you feel like you were her only phone call of the day – just the way great customer service should be. CJ has been working for the call center since it opened in 2004, taking calls for the 26 Nebraska state parks …

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Late Season Turkey Tips: Gettin’ That Gobbler

We are in the late season for spring wild turkey hunting in Nebraska. Using a baseball analogy, it is the bottom of the 9th inning, your team is behind, the bases are loaded, there two outs and you are up to bat! I don’t think there is any doubt about it, spring turkey hunting late in the season is challenging. However, there are still plenty of gobbles to be heard and birds to be worked plus amazing experiences to be …

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Morels Aren’t the Only Edible Fungus in Spring

Along with finding and picking morel mushrooms, there is another edible wild fungus growing in your moist woodlands that you should know and consider harvesting and making for dinner — the dryad’s saddle. Dryad’s saddle? Say, what? The dryad’s saddle (Polyporus squamosus) , a.k.a., pheasant back’s mushroom, or hawks wing, is a widespread edible wild fungi that is easy to spot beginning in late April and continuing into May. Found east of the Rockies and potentially throughout Nebraska, it is a common basidiomycete bracket fungus …

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Plan To Take ‘Em Fishing

From all indicators, he absolutely loved it! That would describe my young grandson’s first fishing expedition. I loved it, too! So, have you, the avid angler, taken a youth or a newcomer out fishing in the last year or so? Hmmm … Well, let me tell you that there are now more incentives than ever before to introduce someone new or someone who hasn’t been out on the water in a while to the lifestyle of fishing. In fact, the …

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About Morel Mushrooms This Spring

There is no doubt that your morel mushroom hunting grounds along river bottoms and their tributaries in eastern and central Nebraska were greatly impacted by recent catastrophic flooding. This is the most widespread damage the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission has experienced due to a natural disaster. In my 40 years with the agency and growing up near the Platte River, I have never witnessed any natural catastrophe to this magnitude. So, as an outdoor enthusiast, maybe you’ve been thinking: …

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