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Flagging for Canadas

Anyone who waterfowl hunts knows that movement in a decoy spread is crucial. Yeah, there are a plethora of motion decoys on the market to buy — battery-powered ones, mechanical flappers, windsocks, bags, kites, moving shells, etc. However, there is another kind of motion decoy used in waterfowl hunting by the hunter — the flag. A longtime waterfowl hunter “flags” to try to entice a flock of Canada geese off in the distance to come within shooting range in his …

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What You Need to Know for Late Season Deer Hunting in Nebraska

It is the late period for deer hunting now and things can sure get tougher. So, hear me out. I want to use a football analogy that many of you who hunt deer will understand. For a football team, it is often necessary for coaches to make adjustments to their game plan at halftime. If the defensive backs are locked in on the receivers every play, consideration is given to a few quick-hitters into the line by the running backs. …

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Rose Creek Mausoleum

Tucked away in a sandstone outcropping in Jefferson County is an oddity that will amaze anyone who visits: a rock-cut tomb carved by hand a century ago. Nelson McDowell was reportedly a colorful character. And if you visit the “mausoleum” he carved out of a sandstone cliff overlooking Rose Creek in Jefferson County, and later learn that it may have simply been a hobby to keep him busy and in good health rather than a place he intended to be …

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How the Republican River Got Its Name

Have you ever wondered how the Republican River got its name? Gov. Frank Morrison, a Democrat, used to tease his Republican friends by asking, “Is it because it’s so shallow or so crooked?” Jokes aside, the connection to the party seems obvious, doesn’t it? With few exceptions, Nebraska has been majority Republican since the Civil War. But look at the center of this 1839 map detail from Mitchell’s School and Family Geography. The Republican Fork had its name long before …

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Holiday Gift Ideas for the Hard-to-Buy-for Outdoor Enthusiast

I know it sounds cliché, but I’ll be the first to admit it. As a hardcore outdoor enthusiast, finding a holiday gift for me is a difficult task. In fact, whether you hunt, trap, fish, boat, kayak, camp, backpack, hike, bike or watch wildlife, I bet you are also in the hard-to-buy-for category. Am I right? We are a picky lot, aren’t we? We are a detailed bunch. We know what we need and desire to have. And what the …

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So Grateful

The season for gratitude and reflection is upon us. Thanksgiving week is when we remind our families, friends and close associates how much they mean to us and express our sincere appreciation for what positive things we have been given in life. While you are considering what you are thankful for, don’t forget about Nebraska’s outdoor scene. During the nine days of the recent firearm deer hunting season here in Cornhusker State, I selected a dozen key elements to be …

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Are you paying attention to nature’s sounds when deer hunting?

Picture yourself harnessed in a tree stand for deer hunting. You are losing light. It’s nearing sunset. The prime time for deer movement. Suddenly, you hear a squirrel bark and chatter. Then even closer to you, from the same direction, you hear curiosity putts from some wild turkeys. Within a few minutes you hear another squirrel bark and chatter by your location. Then, you hear the guttural grunt of a buck. Out of nowhere appears an adult white-tailed deer doe …

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What you need to know for the firearm deer hunting season

As Nebraska’s largest hunt by participation – the firearm deer hunting season – comes into view from Nov. 13-21, visions of antlers and venison tenderloins can make the mind wander a bit. So before you take to your stand or blind, glance over these deer hunting safety tips and regulation reminders to keep yourself focused, safe, and within the rules. With 42 years at the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission and as a landowner and longtime firearm deer hunter in …

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Honoring a Conservation Legend

After 47 years of service, including nine years serving as director of the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, Jim Douglas is retiring. He has celebrated a lifetime of conservation accomplishments. “Ask yourself what kind of world you want to live in and leave for your kids,” said Director Jim Douglas, a statement that says so much about what he has accomplished during his 47 years in conservation. For the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, he has served in a variety …

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Public Grouse: An Adventure Story

The hunting world can be small, and it seems even smaller on the internet. I credit social media for several friendships over the years — connections with like-minded hunters whom I would’ve never met otherwise. Through sharing photos, advice and recipes on Instagram and Facebook, we celebrate and commiserate in each other’s successes and failures every season. And sometimes, these online connections lead to hunting opportunities — real “FaceTime” and new adventures — down the road. A few years ago, …

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