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Wildlife

Hunting Experience Feels Like Husker Game Day

The morning air is crisp and cold. Hardwood trees stand motionless and silent — faint brush strokes against the slowly lightening predawn sky. As light emerges, wild plants still green are bejeweled with dew. Small sounds begin to carve the creek bottom. A raucous calamity of crows can be heard in the distance. An assertive, vociferous blue jay appears on a limb. Two fox squirrels squabble amid the leaves on the woodland floor. The insistent nasal yammering of a white-breasted …

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Nebraska Ornithologists’ Union to meet in Ogallala

LINCOLN, Neb. – The Nebraska Ornithologists Union (NOU), a statewide group of birders and bird-watchers, will hold its annual fall meeting Sept. 15-17 in Ogallala. This event is open to members and nonmembers. The event will include field trips in which birders will try to record as many bird species as possible and presentations about Lake McConaughy State Recreation Area and bird research. Register at noubirds.org/Meetings/Next.aspx and learn more information on the meeting. The deadline is Sept. 1. To discover …

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Why Hunting Is Important

With September just a one more quick flip my on NEBRASKAland magazine calendar, it is time once again to reflect on the age old question of why hunting is so important. Yeah, I know hunting is important. But, why do you think hunting is important? Give it some more thought. Really think about the question: Why is hunting important? Why is hunting important to you, if you hunt? Sure, hunting offers a multitude of benefits. It is quiet dampness on a frosty morning. Hunting is the ease of camaraderie. …

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Last-Minute Notes for The Great American Eclipse

Are you gearing up and getting excited for the historic spectacle on Monday, Aug. 21st, when a total solar eclipse will race over Nebraska from the northwest to the southeast? Good! Thought so. Me, too! Here are some last-minute notes to assist you in safely and enjoyably experiencing The Great American Eclipse in The Cornhusker State. Plan ahead. Buy your state park permit ahead of time. Take additional supplies (water, food, insect repellent, sunblock, etc.). Carry park brochures and a road map. Fill your vehicle …

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Come to Indian Cave State Park for BioBlitz Sept. 9-10

LINCOLN, Neb. – Participate in a citizen science opportunity by pairing with an expert to find and identify as many species as possible in a specific area. Come to Indian Cave State Park near Shubert for BioBlitz on Sept. 9-10. BioBlitz is an opportunity to contribute to a scientific census of Indian Cave’s wildlife and plant life and to learn about each of the species counted. This free event for all ages will include birds, reptiles and amphibians, plants and …

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Are you REALLY ready for the total solar eclipse?

It will undoubtedly be among the most stunning sights you have ever witnessed. It has been labeled as one of the most awe-inspiring events in nature, and it’s coming! For the first time in 26 years, a total solar eclipse will occur in our great country, and we, in Nebraska, will play host to the world’s eclipse-chasers along with eleven other states on August 21st for about a minute or two around the lunch hour depending on local time. To find out exact times of the …

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Researchers studying bighorn lamb deaths

Bighorn sheep lamb with collar

CHADRON, Neb. – Disease issues have once again struck bighorn sheep lambs in northwestern Nebraska’s Pine Ridge, but a comprehensive research project is on track to counter the maladies. Todd Nordeen, the Nebraska Game and Park Commission’s big game research and disease program manager, said all 21 lambs equipped with tracking collars in May and June have died – almost all to pneumonia. While pneumonia is the cause, Commission biologists want to know what pathogens are triggering the disease. They …

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Big Game Conservation Association hosting a Day at the Range at Platte River SP

LINCOLN, Neb. – The Big Game Conservation Association will host a Day at the Range on Aug. 19 at Platte River State Park. Come to the Roger G. Sykes Outdoor Heritage Education Complex and visit with association members about their organization. Visitors will receive a token for a free shooting experience at the range. All ages are welcome. Activities include archery, pellet gun, rifle, tomahawk and slingshot. Youth must be at least 8 years old to shoot rifles. A park …

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Wildcat Hills Bioblitz identifies 141 species

Young "citizen scientists"

GERING, Neb. – Participants of the Wildcat Hills Bioblitz at Wildcat Hills State Recreation Area near Gering observed 141 species of plants, animals and insects Friday night and Saturday morning, July 7-8. About 70 volunteers became “citizen scientists” in taking a survey of the area from 1 p.m. Friday to noon Saturday. Amber Schiltz of the Bird Conservancy of the Rockies said good fortune came to the event from the start as a wild six-lined racerunner, a small lizard species, …

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Big Catfish Manifesto

Never in my outdoor life have I ever endured so much negativity, so much criticism, and taken so much flak for an action. It all was the result of a photo and video I shared recently on my personal social media accounts. Both were of a large, master angler-sized flathead catfish that I caught in an eastern Nebraska sandpit lake and then duly released back into it. Here are the photo and short video clip shot by my fishing partner, Rich Berggren of Waterloo, NE. Alright, I know what you’re thinking: “Nice fish, good job on the release,” …

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