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Wildlife

Plan Ahead for Hunter Ed

While it might be harder to think about hunting season when summer temperatures are getting into the high 90’s, hunting season is just around the corner! Archery deer, dove, and teal seasons will kick off in less than two months and those months can skip by faster than you expect. That’s why some forethought now will make for a stress free slide into the best time of the year. Anyone between the ages of 12 and 29 hunting in Nebraska …

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Waterfowl Management in Action

Duck and goose season may not be top-of-mind for many Nebraskans – except for the die-hards that never quit thinking about it.  But that doesn’t mean waterfowl management is on-hold. I was able to tag along with our state’s biologists recently to take part in the annual Canada goose banding efforts.  We were able to capture video of the process and get an explanation by Dr. Mark Vrtiska, Nebraska’s Waterfowl Program Manager, of the importance of banding geese. I haven’t …

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Summer Wildflowers of the Sandhills

Yucca (Yucca glauca) adorns a sand dune in Cherry County. Also called soapweed, the plant’s crushed roots, when agitated in water, produce a lather used as a shampoo by Great Plains tribes. They ate the flowers, flower stalks and young seedpods raw or cooked.

Blooms on the Dunes From many Sandhills dune tops, one can see prairie stretching to the horizons. North America’s largest sand dune field, the wind-whipped Sandhills, covers more than 20,000 square miles of north-central Nebraska, ranging from low and rolling to steep and towering. The Sandhills is also our nation’s most intact grassland ecosystem – the wildflower-rich prairie, a vestige of times past. n 1795, James Mackay, working for the Upper Missouri Company, led the first European expedition into the heart of the …

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Fort Robinson, Wildcat Hills offer bighorn sheep viewing events

Bighorn sheep jumping fence

CHADRON, Neb. – Two Panhandle parks are offering special opportunities to view the state’s best climbers – bighorn sheep. The hikes, which each begin at 9 a.m., will be Friday, July 13, at Fort Robinson State Park west of Crawford and Saturday, July 14, at the Wildcat Hills Nature Center south of Gering. Participants will gather at the parks and caravan to the sheep’s present range with the aid of Nebraska Game and Parks Commission wildlife technicians who use telemetry …

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July Outdoor Calendar

LINCOLN, Neb. – The following is a listing of Nebraska Game and Parks Commission events and important dates in July. Get more event details at Calendar.OutdoorNebraska.gov. Visit OutdoorNebraska.org for a list of hunter education classes and boating safety classes. June 30-July 1 – Living History, Fort Atkinson State Historical Park (SHP), Fort Calhoun July 1 – Archery fishing of game fish is allowed statewide through Dec. 31 July 1 – Underwater spearfishing of game fish allowed in certain waters through …

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Commission to consider recommendation June 22 for mountain lion season

LINCOLN, Neb. – The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission will consider a staff recommendation to approve a proposed 2019 mountain lion season when it meets June 22 in Ogallala. The meeting will begin at 8 a.m. at the Mid-Plains Community College conference room, 512 East B St. A public hearing on the mountain lion recommendation will begin at 9 a.m. The proposed season would provide a harvest opportunity for up to eight mountain lions in two sub-units within the Pine …

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Cool Cliff Swallows (Of The Big Papio And Beyond)

You can’t miss them. You really can’t. Around bridges over rivers or creeks this time of year, they immediately snatch your attention. Maybe it’s their sheer numbers (hundreds, if not thousands of them) and their extreme aerial acrobatics that catch your eye. Or, maybe it’s them coming in and out of their clusters of gourd-like mud nests clinging to the walls beneath bridge overhangs that capture your awareness. Or, perhaps it is the throng of bird activity along the muddy bank of a stream or mud hole …

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Public urged to leave wildlife babies alone

LINCOLN, Neb. – It is natural for some people who see a young wild animal apparently abandoned by its mother to want to rescue it. The correct course of action is to leave it alone. Here are some rules of thumb from the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission regarding wildlife babies: — A lone fawn, or other young bird or mammal, may appear to be abandoned or injured, but the mother frequently is off feeding or drinking. Do not move …

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Still Time for Nebraska Gobblers

Still have an open Nebraska Spring Turkey Permit?  If so, you could be holding the golden-ticket to some of the best memory-maker hunts the spring has to offer.  You might need some minor tweaks to your strategies, though… More and more hens are starting to nest full time now.  While some others, for whatever reason, won’t be nesting at all this year.  So gobblers are trolling for any and all the remaining hens interested in breeding while avoiding hens that …

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For the love of birds

Black-crowned night heron

If people ask, one group of animals often receives credit for fueling my passion for wildlife photography a little more than the others do. Capturing imagery of mammals, reptiles and amphibians is certainly just as rewarding, but it is often the birds that keep me going.  It seems there are always birds around whenever and wherever I feel the need to shoot a wildlife photo, and with more than 400 species of birds in Nebraska, I still have a lot …

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