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A Fan of the State Tree

As Nebraska celebrates its 150th year of statehood, an iconic, representative symbol of the state is the official tree — the native cottonwood. The 1972 legislature named the cottonwood (Populus deltoides) as the state tree, replacing the original selection made in 1937 — the American elm (Ulmus Americana L.). The cottonwood was chosen because many elm trees had been killed by Dutch elm disease and it is rooted in Nebraska’s pioneer history. I have great admiration for the cottonwood tree. I can …

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Nebraska’s 150th Anniversary: Bursting with Pioneer Pride

They were immigrants who braved the unknown to carve out new lives in a strange new land among native inhabitants. They were about determination, perseverance, strong backs and an unwavering faith in their religion. They never recognized the impossible. They fought and endured a Civil War. They loaded up their belongings and themselves in covered wagons and came here in search of a better life in which to claim land to farm, hunt, fish and raise their children. Along the …

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Shed Antlers: Another Reason to Explore Nature in Winter

Maybe you’re a hunter. Maybe you’re not. But, there’s a unique form of hunting you will enjoy. It is a challenging and rewarding pastime that makes for an excellent family outdoor activity this time of year. It is shed deer antler hunting. Beginning in late December and continuing through April, white-tailed and mule deer shed their antlers for regrowth purposes in Nebraska. A number of deer drop their antlers in February and March. Nebraska law allows a person to pick up, possess, buy, …

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Get Fit for Hunting and Fishing in 2017

You just read the title of this blog and I know what you’re thinking (or voicing aloud): “Come on, Greg, really? Hunters and anglers need to be physically fit?” After all, we are mainly just sitting in blinds and boats, right? Au contraire. Consider those long walks early in the morning, tromping through dense woods, back loaded with gear while fighting the elements to get to a deer or turkey hunting blind. And, consider those long hot days in the …

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Photographing the Panhandle: A Top 10 for No. 3

Photographing the Panhandle: A Top 10 for No. 3 I live in a pretty special place. A recent National Geographic article by Robert Reid ranks all of America’s 10 panhandles from 1 to 10 in terms of travel appeal. Nebraska came in at No. 3 on the list, topped only by Alaska and Florida. Travelers who have seen Nebraska only during a drive along Interstate 80 might be surprised our panhandle ranked so high, but it certainly comes as no …

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The Best Holiday Gift of All: Access to the Great Outdoors!

Before the accident, he loved to hunt, fish, hike, watch wildlife, target shoot and camp. But in the last six months, he has questioned whether it would even be possible to do any of those outdoor activities ever again without being able to use his legs to walk. You see, my son-in-law, Tyler Nichols, of Omaha, NE, while serving with the U.S. Army’s 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, NC, was involved in a horrific motor vehicle accident on Father’s …

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Late Season Deer Hunting Tips

Sadly, it’s the time of year when many deer hunters start hanging up their gear for the season. Perhaps they have already harvested deer, or are tired of trying to do so with their bow, crossbow or muzzleloader, or are just not interested in taking a white-tailed doe during the deep-freeze weather of the late season. Whatever the case may be, that deer hunting gear should not be put away! Hunters should not let the word ‘late’ make them feel …

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Wild about Turkey Salad!

There are thousands of different recipes that exist on how to cook wild turkeys, but how about a unique twist on preparing North America’s largest upland game bird for this Thanksgiving week? I have a scrumptious wild turkey recipe for you to try from avid outdoor enthusiast and outdoor writer Rick Windham of North Platte, NE. Windham says since we are in the midst of Nebraska’s fall wild turkey hunting season and Thanksgiving week, hunters might be looking for a …

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Creating and Maintaining a Tradition of Hunting

Only those who have walked into the silent woods together in the predawn hours and waited motionless for white-tailed deer amid the woods in a stand or blind as the different hues of daylight unfolded truly understand. Only those who have watched a canine companion intently work with a grassy field for upland game birds with family members and friends truly understand. Traditions. They are a major part of us and our values. They help to shape who we are. And, …

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The Magician

Editor’s Note: With summer not-so-far behind us, Jessica Franke Carr’s essay, “The Magician,” is a reminder of the bonds that can be forged anytime a family encounters nature together, regardless of how small the scale. By Jessica Franke Carr Henry always wears lime green Crocs, but he can get away with it because he’s only three years old. A grown man or woman would attract disapproving stares or outright censure if caught frolicking in such fluorescent hues. The shoes’ garishness …

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