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A Special Community Fishing Night

You and your family are invited to come join us at a special Game and Parks Community Fishing Night at Lake Halleck in Papillion, NE this Tuesday night, July 16 from 6 to 8 p.m. Come, get some fresh air, sample some Dutch oven cooking and find out how easy and fun fishing is! Hungry sunfish await you! We at Game and Parks will be hosting the event. We will be furnishing loaner fishing tackle and bait as well as …

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Wildcat Hills: A Wild Place

Whether you’re looking for state-of-the-art facilities, or just a great view in the pines, this Panhandle park has it. High on the list of Nebraska’s captivating scenery and natural assets are the Wildcat Hills. It seems an understatement to label this topographical spectacle as “hills,” as it is actually a land of rugged buttes, ridges and canyons with topographical elements rising upwards to 1,000 feet above the North Platte Valley. Some of the state’s most recognizable landforms – Chimney Rock, …

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The Divine Devil’s Den

Scientists of yesteryear agree: this crevice in far northwestern Nebraska is in a class by itself. Western Nebraska has many landforms labeled canyons. Each contradicts Nebraska’s “flat” stereotype, but a true box canyon – one featuring steep walls on each side with single access for entrance and exit – is a rarity in the state. One site in the northwest corner of the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission’s northwestern-most property fills the bill as such even though it does not …

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A Stitch in Time

In the world of living history, the clothes make the man (and woman). The cannon smoke has mostly dispersed, visitors are trickling back to the parking lot, and Sarah Dack is taking a break. She portrays an officer’s wife at Fort Kearny State Historical Park’s living history events, and looks every inch the part. Dack is wearing a big-brimmed sunbonnet, leather ankle boots, a sky-blue skirt, and a muslin shirt with pearl buttons, a stand-up collar, and a gathered yoke. …

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There Is No Excuse For Not Wearing A Life Jacket On The Water

It bothers me to no end that people have such cavalier excuses regarding why they don’t want to wear life jackets on the water in a boat. In my 41 years at the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission I have seen my share of boating tragedies. I have seen the victims of boating fatalities who were not wearing their life jackets. You never, ever forget them. Often the victims of those fatalities died right in front of close family members …

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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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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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