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Wildlife

The Sandhills Call To Me

Anyone can appreciate the mountains but it takes a true outdoors person to appreciate the Sandhills.    They are as beautiful as they are rugged.   Inviting yet unforgiving.    Gentle to the eye yet harsh to all who inhabit this rugged and scenic landscape.  Filled with incredible flora and fauna along with some of the coolest people Nebraska has to offer.   Each year I have the good fortune of heading out into the Sandhills, shotgun in hand, to chase sharp-tailed grouse and …

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Pay Attention To Nature’s Sounds When Deer Hunting

Picture yourself harnessed in a tree stand for deer hunting. You are losing light. It’s nearing sunset. The prime time for deer movement. Suddenly, you hear a squirrel bark and chatter. Then even closer to you, from the same direction, you hear curiosity putts from some wild turkeys. Within a few minutes you hear another squirrel bark and chatter by your location. Then, you hear the guttural grunt of a buck. Out of nowhere appears an adult white-tailed deer doe with pair of fawns being followed by an …

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Game and Parks seeks information on poached elk

LINCOLN, Neb. – The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission is seeking information on two elk shot in Boyd County. The two elk – a cow and her calf – were shot and left in a field northwest of Gross sometime between Oct. 25 and the early morning hours of Oct. 26. Conservation officers investigated the site on the morning of Oct. 26 and found the calf already dead and the cow fatally wounded. Conservation officers euthanized the cow. Anyone with …

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October’s Reason to Wander

I’m going to be truthful, this week has been tough to stay on task at work.  My mind has constantly been wandering out to some of Nebraska’s uplands in search of birds that cackle and those that covey.  My mind is being fueled by memories of opening days past and the birds, people and places that have become forever part of me.  It’s also being driven by the anticipation of memories to be made this year. As we near Saturday’s …

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Mountain lion depredation of two goats confirmed near Chadron

LINCOLN, Neb. – Nebraska Game and Parks Commission officials have confirmed that a male mountain lion killed two goats near Chadron in Dawes County. The owner of the land where the goats were killed contacted Game and Parks officials on Oct. 24 after finding the carcasses. That same day, Game and Parks biologists examined the carcasses, as well as the immediate vicinity. The condition of the carcasses and presence of nearby mountain lion sign suggested a high probability that a …

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The Year to Become a Quailer

It is like no other form of hunting. It is exhilarating, action-packed, and humbling to even the most practiced shotgun shooter! I should know. I grew up with it on our southeastern Nebraska farm. What kind of hunting is it? IT is hunting the northern bobwhite quail. Have you ever hunted quail? It’s awesome! You need to try it. And, their numbers this year look outstanding! Flushing a covey of quail is as exciting as any outdoor activity gets! However, from years of first-hand experience I will …

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How Do I Cook Wild Game?

Autumn brings lots of things to dining room tables: apples, cider, pumpkins, and in many homes — wild game. But with so many options for cooking wild game meat, it can be difficult to know where to start. No matter what the scenario is, any professional chef will tell you there’s nothing magical or mystical about preparing a delicious wild game dinner. Anyone who can cook at all can serve a savory supper using wild game birds and animals that …

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Chadron State Park Bioblitz tops 200 species

Kids with fish

CHADRON, Neb. – Participants of the Chadron State Park Bioblitz in late September identified 203 species of plants, animals and insects, providing evidence of the biodiversity in the Pine Ridge. Amber Schiltz, Nebraska wildlife education coordinator for the Bird Conservancy of the Rockies, was pleased with the tally, especially considering the time of year. Species ranged from the osprey flying high above the park’s pines to the smallmouth bass swimming below the pond’s surface. “We saw 45 bird species alone, …

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Foraging for Fall Fungi

It’s very unfair. Spring and its morel mushrooms get all the limelight, but hard-core nature enthusiasts in Nebraska know that autumn rains deliver a mushroom bounty in the woods that’s far more diverse, robust and rewarding. Fall mushroom hunting offers a bunch of benefits, and not just for fairy tale goblins and witches! It offers a refreshing, cool walk in the woods amid fall foliage colors, a chance to better understand forest ecology, and an opportunity to see a variety of woodland wildlife, as …

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Nebraska Oranges

Say what? Nebraska has oranges? Well, no, not really. But, kind of. Osage orange isn’t an orange though it may look like a yellow-green, grapefruit-sized, brainy-looking type of orange fruit. It is a fruit, of the Osage orange tree, that is. However, the tree is more closely related to the mulberry tree. Enter its primary nicknames; hedge apple, hedge ball, and mock orange. Confused? A bit perplexed, are you? Allow me to continue. I bet you’ve seen these wrinkled, softball-sized …

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