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eric fowler

Nebraskaland Regional Editor Eric Fowler was born in Hastings, graduated from Ogallala High School in 1988 and completed his Bachelor’s at Chadron State College in 1993. After six years as a writer and photographer with newspapers in Chadron and Scottsbluff, he joined the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission in 1998 as Publications Editor and has been a member of the NEBRASKAland staff since 2001. Fowler spends as much time as he can in Outdoor Nebraska. When he’s not photographing wildlife, landscapes or people enjoying the state’s outdoor resources for the magazine, he’s enjoying them himself while hunting, fishing, boating, kayaking, hiking or camping with family, including his wife and son, and friends.

Choose Your Duck Limits

The two-tier duck bag limit system allows hunters to choose a bag limit that doesn’t require them to accurately identify ducks on the wing. By Eric Fowler Prior to 2021, Brandon Black had never hunted ducks. Rusty Rautenberg had, but only occasionally with family. Darin Hahne hadn’t since he was in college. An invitation from a seasoned hunter convinced the trio, all of whom work at Elkhorn Valley Schools in Tilden, to get into, or back into, waterfowl hunting. Their …

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Row Big Red – Nebraska Crew Team

Story and photos by Eric Fowler When Kevin Fierro came to the University of Nebraska – Lincoln in the fall of 2020, he knew little about rowing, much less that the school had a club crew team. “I’d only seen those types of boats maybe twice in my life on TV,” said Fierro, a graduate of Grand Island High School, who like many Americans, only see the sport every four years when the Olympics roll around. This fall, Fierro will …

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Long Pine Creek

Work Improves a Unique Fishery in the Sandhills Story and photos by Eric Fowler Joel Klammer repeatedly casts a woolly bugger fly toward rock structures in Long Pine Creek and lets it drift through the deep holes below them. He thinks he sees a fish attempting to bite on one drift, but after 20 minutes, he decides his first choice of flies wasn’t going to cut it on this section of the creek on Pine Glen Wildlife Management Area. So, …

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The Last Relic

By Eric Fowler Coulda, coulda, shoulda. Our lives can be full of them. The story of one of mine began in 1999, the first time I visited Niobrara State Park. From the hilltop overlooking the Niobrara River, I could see a rooftop poking out of the trees in the riverbottom. I was told it was the picnic shelter in the old park, the one that opened in 1935 and was closed when the park moved to its current location in …

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Campfire Therapy

By Eric Fowler The flames dance. The coals glow. The wood crackles and pops. The combination of these elements is mesmerizing. It is therapy. Sit there alone and stare into a campfire’s depths, and you can’t help but relax as the warmth melts your worries away. Sit around a fire with friends or family, and you can rehash old times, solve the world’s problems and make future plans. In Boy Scouts, it was the perfect setting for telling ghost stories. …

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Branched Oak Through the Seasons

There is not a time of the year when Branched Oak State Recreation Area northwest of Lincoln isn’t busy. But there’s also not a time of year when a person can’t find their own little slice of nature so close to the city. Photos and story by Eric Fowler Branched Oak State Recreation Area is a busy place. Especially in the summer. Which makes sense considering the 1,800-acre reservoir is the largest body of water within an hour’s drive of …

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A Soldier Returns to Fort Atkinson

By Eric Fowler Were it not for happenstance, we might know little about Lt. Gabriel Field. When John “Jack” Rathjen uncovered a portion of his headstone while plowing a crop field in 1954, it led to the exhumation of six graves, including Field’s, north of where Fort Atkinson, the first U.S. military fort in what was to become Nebraska, had once stood. In the years that followed, historians, both professionals and amateurs, searched through military and genealogical records trying to …

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Have Dogs, Will Hunt

Story and photos by Eric Fowler With pheasant and quail season heading into its third and final month, roughly one-third of upland hunters have packed it in for the year. Not Mike Plate and Aric Werner. Plate grew up in Kimball, hunting pheasants and quail behind his father’s pointers around the Panhandle. Werner hunted pheasants in central Nebraska with his father while growing up in Grand Island, sans dogs. The two, who live in Alma and Republican City, respectively, have …

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Replacing the Offensive

By Eric Fowler While on a hunting trip in the Pine Ridge in northwestern Nebraska in 2010, I photographed a picturesque butte in northwestern Sheridan County. When I got back to the office, I looked, as I often do, at the U.S. Geological Survey topographical maps to see if it was named. I couldn’t believe that, in the 21st century, a feature could still carry a name that was both sexist and racist. It no longer does. In September, the …

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Fog From Above

Flying above fog gives you a new perspective of these clouds on the ground. Photos and story by Eric Fowler We have all, on occasion, had our heads in the clouds. I’m not referring to our tendency to daydream. I’m referring to those cool mornings when our world is shrouded in mystical fog. On rare occasions, I’ve been lucky to have a photo flight scheduled on one of those mornings. In such cases, fog can be a blessing and a …

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