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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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How To Cook Your Goose: Tasty Light Geese

Hey, who says that snow and Ross’s geese are not good to eat, huh? No, they’re not cat food, garden fertilizer, “sky carp,” “bad lutefisk with feathers,” “over-cooked catcher’s mitts,” or any other derogatory  names you want to call them! With these geese, it’s just the opposite! Please don’t roll your eyes. Bear with me. Snow geese and Ross’s geese, defined as light geese,  have dark, richly flavored meat. They can be quite delicious, if, and I mean, if, you take adequate care of them in the field, prepare them …

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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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Hunter Surveys: The Importance of Being Heard

Are you a hunter? Have you have received a couple emails from us at the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission asking something about hunting surveys? If so, answer them, don’t delete or trash them! But, why? Why does Game and Parks care about what I think as a hunter or what wild game I put in my freezer during these past seasons? Well, let me tell you that our wildlife biologists are genuinely, genuinely interested in what you think about the different aspects of hunting here in Nebraska and how you did in the …

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Care about and Contribute to Nongame Wildlife

We see them everywhere in Nebraska. They are readily spotted in our yards, acreages, farms, ranches, parks, wildlife management areas and various other places. We see a variety of them when we are hunting, fishing, trapping, hiking, biking, camping, picnicking and participating in other outdoor activities. They are “nongame” wildlife species. They number in the thousands and are not hunted, trapped, fished, harvested or collected. They are birds, mammals, fish, mollusks and crayfish, reptiles, amphibians, insects, and plants. And, they …

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The Generosity of Nebraska’s Archers and Shooters

The Christmas spirit is alive and well at the Nebraska Game and Parks Outdoor Education Center thanks to the archers and firearm shooters that frequent the center.  The holiday decorations went up the week of Thanksgiving, with a new twist this year.  The annual Christmas tree was adorned with tags from the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree Program. The tags supplied by the Salvation Army of Lincoln identify needs of area children as well as some Christmas gift ideas.  Individuals can …

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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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Hunter’s Traditions

What’s hunting without traditions?  Well yes, it’s still hunting, and it’s still great, but it’s our traditions that make it even better.  Hunting itself can be a tradition, but I’m talking about all the stuff that goes along with it – the stuff we look forward to year after year: the favorite “lucky” hat, granddad’s gun, who sleeps in which bunk, or what I’ve discovered to be a Nebraska tradition – chili and cinnamon rolls.  Any hunter who has logged …

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Seward girl’s bull elk more than just a state record

LINCOLN – A bull elk harvested by a Seward girl in September is not only the new non-typical record for Nebraska, it also ranks 16th in the all-time world records maintained by the Boone and Crockett Club. Hannah Helmer’s bull, harvested on the Sept. 24 opener of the elk season in the Hat Creek Unit near Crawford, was officially scored at 430 6/8 on Nov. 30 by Nebraska Game and Parks Commission wildlife biologist Randy Stutheit. That topped the previous …

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