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My Time on the Lek

lek

The thrill of the dance. When the Pine Ridge Rangers erected a lek viewing blind on the Oglala National Grasslands, I jumped at the chance to experience the dance of the sharp-tailed grouse. For years I had researched private and public blinds. Distance and weather concerns kept me home, but this blind was nearby. I packed blankets, camera, water and snacks and made my way to the blind. Flashlight in hand, I stowed my gear and settled in. Wrapped in …

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Northeast District Birding Day set for May 15 at Davis Creek WMA

LINCOLN, Neb. – Birders are invited to join the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission for Northeast District Birding Day on May 15 at Davis Creek Wildlife Management Area. Join resource professionals and bird experts to take inventory of the spring migratory birds at Davis Creek. Participants will leave at 5:30 a.m. from the day-use area at the southwest end of the lake, which is located 5 miles south of North Loup in Valley County. Participants should bring lunch, binoculars, camera, …

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Being too Good

With Saturday being the opening of Nebraska’s spring turkey season – shotgun edition –  I ask this one simple question.  “What happens when you are just too good at calling turkeys?” This video answers that very question.  It shows the struggle of some turkey hunting greats who are at the top of their game. Have a great, safe turkey hunting weekend. hershy

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The dance of the sharptail

Sharp-tailed grouse

If you travel far at all on many of our dirt roads, you have a good chance of a seeing one or more sharp-tailed grouse – that is, if you can pick them out with their brown, black and buff camouflaged bodies. Sharptails, popular game birds in Nebraska, are at home on much our landscape, enjoying a mix of open grassland with some trees and shrubs. This is certainly the time of year that grouse are most fun to watch. …

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Game and Parks provides updates on cougar research and management

GERING, Neb. – The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission delivered an update of its cougar research and newly approved management plan for the species to Panhandle residents this week. The information was delivered during public meetings in Gering on Wednesday, April 4, and Chadron on Tuesday, April 3. The meetings featured a presentation by Sam Wilson, Commission carnivore and furbearer program manager, and addressed questions about the big cats, commonly referred to as mountain lions or pumas. Wilson said cougars …

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Slate – Gobbler Callin’ Refined

We still call them ‘slate-calls’ though the surface of many of these turkey calls nowadays are glass, aluminum or some other material.  And again this spring, thousands of gobblers in Nebraska will give testament to their effectiveness – when in the right hands. The beauty of the slate-call is first and foremost that they produce some of the truest turkey talk a hunter can make. Sometimes sounding even better than the real deal. Secondly, they are the model of versatility.  …

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The Rise Of The Modern Crossbow

Nebraska’s popular archery spring wild turkey hunting season is in full swing, and seemingly a growing number of hunters have added another piece of legal archery equipment to their repertoire  — the modern crossbow. The word — crossbow — can stir up a very heated debate in conventional bow hunting circles. Consider that a similar debate also took place when the compound bow was first introduced into the hunting scene many years ago. Some folks will be quick to let you know that a crossbow or arbalest is …

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I’ll Have a Box Please….

This weekend should be an interesting one for turkey hunters.   Warm Saturday and then some disagreeable weather for Sunday.   You have to love spring turkey hunting!   No matter, grab your turkey calls and head to the woods as things may start heating up soon! Over the years, I have come to be very fond of certain turkey calls.   From mouth calls, slates, wing bone yelpers, to box calls, I have and still do use them all.   But it seems each …

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See sharp-tailed grouse on lek April 7 in Boyd County

LINCOLN, Neb. – Take a guided sunrise tour to watch sharp-tailed grouse on a lek April 7 in Boyd County. The Sharptails and Saddle Tales event will provide the public an opportunity to view the annual return of sharp-tailed grouse to their spring dancing grounds. A lek is an assembly area where grouse display their courtship behavior. The males extend their wings, stomp their feet and dance around the lek, and then suddenly stop – all to impress on-looking female …

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Drone operators advised to know and abide by wildlife, park rules

LINCOLN, Neb. – Operators of recreational unmanned aircraft (UAVs), commonly known as drones, should be aware of the following wildlife laws and rules governing their use at Nebraska Game and Parks Commission’s properties: State Parks, State Historical Parks and State Recreation Areas: To ensure public safety and privacy, UAV use is not permitted in state parks, state historical parks and state recreation areas. A special permit may be issued to operate a UAV in unique occasions. State Wildlife Management Areas …

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