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Wildlife

Three Positives for CWD Found in Recent Testing of Deer

LINCOLN – The presence of chronic wasting disease (CWD) in Nebraska deer has spread eastward, according to findings by the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. The Commission conducted a CWD sampling operation in its Northeast District deer check stations during the 2015 November firearm deer season. Three samples tested positive for CWD. Those samples were taken from deer harvested in Boone, Nance and Harlan counties. The deer taken in Harlan County, which is in south-central Nebraska, had been taken to …

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The End is at Hand

Please consider me the proverbial town-herald, rather than an alarmist. But…The end is near! THE END IS NEAR!! January 31, draws nigh and with it comes the end of my beloved bird season.  And what a season it has been, too.  Last season (2014/15) I was pleasantly surprised with bird numbers.  This season (2015/16) I was shocked.  The birds bounced back. Yes-yes, I heard all the good news prior to heading to field this past fall, but data is just …

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Winter Is Great Time to View Bald Eagles

LINCOLN – Get out of the house this winter and spend some time viewing Nebraska’s bald eagles. They can be seen year-round across the state, but winter and early spring are the best times to see numbers of eagles. In the winter, there often are concentrations of bald eagles feeding on fish and sick or wounded waterfowl at reservoirs that have some open water. Favored sites include Sutherland Reservoir near Sutherland, Harlan County Reservoir near Alma, and below Gavins Point …

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February Outdoor Calendar

LINCOLN – The following is a listing of Nebraska Game and Parks Commission events and important dates in February: Feb. 1, 5 – Hunt Safe Session, Roger G. Sykes Outdoor Heritage Education Complex, Platte River State Park (SP), Louisville, 5:30 p.m., 402-234-2217 Feb. 2 – Big game public informational meeting, Bridgeport, Prairie Winds Community Center, 428 N. Main St., 7 p.m. Feb. 2, 9, 16, 23 – First Steps Pistol, Nebraska Game and Parks Outdoor Education Center, Lincoln, 6 p.m., …

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Tax Check-off Benefits Wildlife, Habitat Conservation

LINCOLN – Tax season provides Nebraskans a unique opportunity to contribute to wildlife and habitat conservation. Line 42 on 2015 state income tax Form 1040N allows individuals to donate all or a part of their tax refund to the Nebraska Wildlife Conservation Fund, which focuses on saving Nebraska’s wildlife and wild places. “The check-off is one of the principal sources of state funding used to conserve more than 95 percent of fish and wildlife species that are considered nongame,” said …

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January Turkeys

I am always about learning new things in Nebraska’s outdoor scene. I believe it makes you a better, more knowledgeable, well-rounded outdoor enthusiast. So, one of my New Year’s resolutions was to hunt in a variety of habitat and hopefully harvest a wild turkey (or two) in January, the last month of the fall season, which I have never done. I know, I know. What kind of crazed hunter goes after wild turkeys in the frigid, snow-covered landscape of a Nebraska January, …

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Commission Approves Outdoor Trail Projects for Federal Funding

LINCOLN – The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission approved outdoor trail projects for 2016 federal funding through the Recreational Trail Program at its meeting Jan 14 in Lincoln. Funding is provided by legislative apportionment authorized under the Federal Highway Administration. The approved projects are: — City of Kearney, $250,000, to build a 5,400-foot-long, 8-foot-wide concrete Archway Trail with a 5-foot-wide crushed rock shoulder for use by pedestrians and bicyclists. — City of Genoa, $184,694, to build a 5,420-foot long, 8-foot …

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Goose Lake WMA Open to Public Access

LINCOLN – Goose Lake Wildlife Management Area (WMA), located southeast of Chambers in Holt County, is open to public access effective immediately. In September, the WMA was closed to all access because of a heavy infestation of Eurasian watermilfoil, an invasive aquatic plant at the lake. Eurasian watermilfoil can spread rapidly because a single fragment of stem or leaf can take root and form a new colony, and plants can grow up to 2 inches per day. Once established, the …

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Enjoy Valentine’s Day at a Nebraska State Park

LINCOLN – Enjoy Valentine’s Day at a Nebraska state park this winter. Valentine’s dining specials are offered at Eugene T. Mahoney State Park (SP) on Feb. 12 – 14 and at Platte River SP on Feb. 13 – 14. In addition, Mahoney SP has a lodging discount on Feb. 11 and special Valentine’s packages available for those who reserve a cabin or lodge room between Feb. 11 and Feb. 14. Birds and Breakfast is the theme of the Valentine’s weekend …

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The Splendor of Solitude

I treasure my time spent alone in the woods, especially this time of year in Nebraska. If I don’t get some alone time in the great outdoors, I end up getting a little restless, grumpy and cabin fever-like (just ask my wife, Polly). For the record, I do not advocate venturing outdoors alone because of safety purposes, plus it is more fun and rewarding to share your outdoor adventures with others, but the alone time is essential! If you, like me, enjoy periodically going outdoors by yourself, please take …

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