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Wildlife

Three parks to host Christmas Bird Counts in December

LINCOLN, Neb. – Take part in a winter tradition and participate in the Christmas Bird Count this month at three state park areas across the state. Events will be held Dec. 14 at Ponca State Park (SP), Dec. 16 at Indian Cave SP, and Dec. 30 at Lake Ogallala State Recreation Area (SRA). The Christmas Bird Count is a program of the National Audubon Society, with more than 100 years of citizen science involvement. This event is a one-day bird …

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The turtle — a master of wintering

Painted turtle

Some of the most common wildlife have the most magnificent capabilities. Painted turtles basking on a log is a familiar scene at ponds throughout Nebraska and much of the United States during summer months. Where, though, do those turtles go when temperatures drop and a heavy sheet of ice surrounds that log and covers that pond from shore to shore? This article provides some interesting information about how painted turtles, snapping turtles and other species of shelled reptiles survive the …

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Take Them Hunting

It was the eve of deer rifle season, sitting by the front door were two pairs of boots, two blaze orange vests, a backpack of snacks, binoculars and one rifle.  They were ready to go!  Catching the last few minute of sleep I hear small feet walking towards the bed.  “Mom, I thought dad was getting up early to go hunting?”  Seeing that is was 5:25 am, I reassured him that dad’s alarm clock will be going off any minute.  …

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Thankful

The season for gratitude and reflection is upon us. Thanksgiving week is when we remind our families and friends how much they mean to us and express our sincere appreciation for what we have been given in life. While you are considering what you are thankful for, don’t forget nature. During the nine days of the recent firearm deer hunting season here in Cornhusker State, I selected thirteen things to be extremely grateful for while I was in the field. As you look …

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Life Lessons – Through Hunting

Now that we’re deep into deer season we’ve been seeing more and more harvest photographs taken by archery mentors involved in our youth mentor hunt program.  These aren’t typical trophy buck harvest photographs but they capture something just as valuable: a hunter’s first harvest.  After learning the basics, observing experienced hunters and lots of practice…they did it and the look on their faces as they pose next to their deer says it all. This Kodak moment is only one small …

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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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How to take respectful deer harvest photos

You are a deer hunter, and you have just harvested a very nice white-tailed buck, or perhaps a gorgeous doe. Now, you have the opportunity to capture the moment for all of your friends and family to see. With due diligence, you can ensure the special moment is highlighted in a quality harvest photo. The photo likely will be taken with your smartphone, iPhone, iPad or similar device to immediately share with everyone on social media. How much care will …

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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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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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