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Flora & Fauna

Barn Owl Rescue

An Act of Devotion Nebraska Game and Parks district offices get many calls about wildlife. The call I received about stranded baby barn owls was no exception. A rural family was getting ready to tear down a dilapidated barn on their property when they noticed a baby owl peering over a ledge near the rafters. True stewards of wildlife, they called their local Nebraska Game and Parks office to find out what they could do. Typically, this type of information …

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Feathers: Nature’s Abstract Art

Nature’s Abstract Art About 20 years ago on a Sandhills hunt, I was arranging a few harvested grouse for a classic “I shot my limit” photo when I noticed something far more enticing — the feathers on the bird’s back accentuated in warm sunlight. After taking the photo, I was immediately hooked and have been photographing feather close-ups whenever the opportunity arises. For bird hunters, feathers to photograph are easy to come by. Gaudy rooster pheasants are decked out in …

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Cut From a Different Cloth

In the 1800’s, the scene in America was somewhat lawless once you traveled west of the Mississippi.  America was trying to save its natural resources, which were being over exploited at an alarming rate, but had little might in which to do so.  Wildlife were in peril and they didn’t have many friends watching out for them! The idea of a game warden is not new to America.   In midieval times, Kings would often employ wardens to protect the King’s …

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A Time To Hunt

Fall sports have been cancelled, postponed or will be highly regulated. Yes, there is no Husker football this season. Bars, restaurants and gatherings are being limited or restricted. Mask wearing mandates are in effect for various businesses and in the cities of Omaha and Lincoln. These are certainly very strange times. One of the oldest pastimes in our American history, however, remains valid and is not damaged or impaired in any way – hunting. The hunting seasons in Nebraska for …

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Things To Know When Coaching A New Hunter

One of the most amazing experiences in the hunting lifestyle is taking a new hunter to the field repetitively. I have mentored new hunters for some time and encourage any of you who hunt to join our cadre. Coaching apprentice hunters should start with our own family or friend networks, however, be on the lookout for aspiring hunters in all sorts of unexpected places. It is now vital to reach out to new and different audiences who are eager to …

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Get Fit For Hunting; Your Life May Depend On It!

You just read the title of this blog, and I know what you’re thinking (or voicing aloud): “Come on, Greg, really? Hunters need to be physically fit? After all, we are driving ATVs to our hunting spots and mainly just sitting in blinds and boats, right?” Au contraire. What if you wind up in a predicament? What if your ATV breaks down, you must pursue a wounded animal, or drag a deer out yourself? Physically, hunters need to be prepared …

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Dove Banding

A nationwide mourning dove banding program has been helping biologists monitor population trends of the species while also providing interesting stories of the movement and longevity of this migratory game bird. The banding program began in 2003. The information it provides, combined with more obtained from the examination of wings of harvested doves, is used to estimate the number of doves in the nation and the age structure and productivity of the population. That information, as well as hunter and …

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Large Milkweed Bugs

If you pay attention to milkweed plants during the summer, you’ll notice a wide variety of insect species feeding on the nectar produced by milkweed flowers. That nectar is sweet, nutritious and free of the toxic latex found throughout most of the rest of the plant. A much smaller group of insects can be found feeding on the leaves, stems or seeds of those milkweed plants, both dealing with and taking advantage of the toxicity. Those insects include monarch caterpillars, …

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Cicada killer wasps

Cicada killer wasps will start emerging from the ground anytime, but these docile wasps only have one thing on their minds: Seeking out cicadas. Found across the U.S., these native wasps start to appear in mid-to-late July through August in Nebraska. Cicada killer wasps are approximately 2 inches long with black and yellow on their abdomens and amber-colored wings. When you hear male cicadas begin singing to attract their mates, the adult cicada killer wasps will start to emerge from …

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A Summer Checklist for a Safe and Successful Hunt

The intense heat and humidity of summer’s “dog days” are here. Ears of sweet corn are being harvested. Boating, swimming, tubing and fishing are being widely enjoyed now. But, wait a second. For those of us who are avidly involved in the hunting lifestyle and its year-round process, summer means a myriad of things to do if we are to have a safe and successful fall hunt. I don’t know about you, but in mid-summer, my thoughts begin to drift …

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