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Wildlife

Searching for the Elusive Yellow Lady’s Slipper Flower

On a sunny, but muggy, morning last June, six Game and Parks Commission and Northern Prairies Land Trust biologists gathered at Indian Cave State Park. Our mission for the next two days: trek the park’s rugged, wooded hills in search of the elusive yellow lady’s-slipper orchid (Cypripedium parviflorum). A common and widespread North American species, the yellow lady’sslipper grows in coniferous and deciduous forests and wetlands across much of Canada and the U.S. Nebraska, however, supports only a handful of …

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Salt Creek Jewels

A fog rising through the Salt Creek valley led me quietly out the door and down the driveway, past a series of dirt road intersections and directly to the gate of the Little Salt Fork Marsh Preserve near Raymond, just in time to greet the dawn. It was the barbed-wire spun in silk that first made me stop to consider the hidden creatures residing here that revealed a soft touch in sharp contrast to the tamed highway cutting through the creek. As I crossed …

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Bighorn Sheep Tours Set for Wildcat Hills, Fort Robinson

The public will have an opportunity to view the animals known to be the best rock climbers in western Nebraska’s butte country during morning hikes at two state parks in July. Group hikes to view the region’s wild bighorn sheep are scheduled for two consecutive Saturdays – July 12 at the Wildcat Hills State Recreation Area south of Gering and Fort Robinson State Park near Crawford on July 19. Hikers will meet at the Wildcat Hills Nature Center for the …

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Great Plains Connections: What Is That White Bird?

  Recently I was out taking photos when I came across a strange looking bird – from a distance I couldn’t tell what the bird was. Walking closer to the bird, snapping photos as I gained ground on it, I realized it was a robin that had partial leucism. Out of curiosity I asked TJ Walker, NGPC District Manager, Wildlife Division and avid birder how common this was, his response was “I have seen leucistic birds in many species – …

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Nature Programs Continue at Chadron, Fort Robinson SPs

A series of nature programs continues this week at the two state parks in the northern Panhandle. Park naturalist Jami Campbell will lead eight family-friendly programs at Chadron State Park and Fort Robinson State Park on Thursday, June 5, through Saturday, June 7. The action will start at Chadron State Park’s Trading Post on Thursday at 3:30 p.m. with a program about snakes. At 5:30 p.m. she will tell about the tiniest creatures in the prairies and forests. The programming …

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Wildlife is All Around Us

Many of us who enjoy Nebraska’s great outdoors do so as a result of flora and fauna that we see there. But, I am reminded today, that wildlife is, after all, all around us, even in urban Omaha’s Metcalfe Park neighborhood! I think it’s really neat when we have to go no further than our own homes to thoroughly enjoy and appreciate wildlife, especially in late spring and early summer! Case in point: The mourning dove nest at our Wagner abode. Look! On the ledge of our fireplace chimney we have a …

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Ground Blind Discussions

It’s now the middle of May. Spring turkey season in Nebraska is entering its final weeks.  I have already spent a good number of hours in a ground blind – mostly with members of my family – and I hope to spend several more in the days to come.  For sheer excitement the portable blinds cannot compete with sitting at the base of a tree as a gobbler closes in, but they do give a person plenty of time to …

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7-11 Gets Whacked

The turkeys are gobbling and I am not in the office much.  I do however have time to tell you some stories about recent success. . . . My family and I spent some time “back home” over Easter weekend.  We did all the family activities, and then spent as much time as possible in the field with the birds.  I am not going to tell you that we punched a bunch of tags, but my son Daniel did take …

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Gobblers, Largemouths, Morels and More in Less than a Week

Timing is everything when it comes to being successful bagging your quarry in Nebraska’s outdoor scene. But, one of the many reasons I enjoy the outdoor lifestyle in my home state of Nebraska so much is its tremendous mixed bag potential when the weather cooperates and wild things come into alignment. In less than one week I have managed to have success with targeting three major quarries with some added bonuses. I called in and shot two, big wild tom turkeys with the spring shotgun turkey season in full swing. I managed …

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It’s a Fish Eat Bird World

Fish and fishing are my thing, that is what I blog about most of the time.  The life and interactions between predator and prey that occurs below the surface fascinates me, and understanding those interactions are an important key to finding and catching fish.  A few weeks ago I shared a video where brown trout were jumping out of the water to eat damselflies ( Damselflies ).  Well, now I want to kick that up a notch, watch this, watch …

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