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Flora & Fauna

Nebraska spring turkey hunters report high satisfaction, success

Merriam's Wild Turkey

LINCOLN, Neb. – Hunters liked what they experienced while pursuing wild turkeys in Nebraska this spring according to an annual survey by the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. Almost all respondents — more than 96 percent — of the 2017 turkey hunter survey said they would hunt Nebraska again based on their experiences. The survey data underscores many of the reasons Nebraska is the best turkey-hunting destination in the nation, said Jim Douglas, Commission director. Commission officials often point out …

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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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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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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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Bioblitz returning to Chadron State Park

Bioblitz presentation

CHADRON — The public is invited to join Chadron State Park’s second annual Bioblitz on Friday and Saturday, Sept. 29-30. The park’s group event facility will serve as headquarters for the more than dozen surveys and activities, which will take place at locations throughout the park. The free event will allow participants young, old and in-between to discover and celebrate western Nebraska wildlife. A bioblitz is an event where members of the public become “citizen scientists” and work with biologists …

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A New Fall Adventure — Becoming an Outdoors Woman

Our recent 80 and 90 degree days might lead you to think otherwise but September 22nd was the first official day of the fall season! Summer, you will be missed but I am more than ready for the cooler weather and festivities that accompany this time of year. For me fall is about spending as much time outside before hunkering down for winter. The crisp air and changing foliage make for perfect camping and hiking trips. Saturdays are spent with …

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