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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.

Victoria Springs State Recreation Area

An Oasis at the Edge of the Sandhills Victoria Springs State Recreation opened in August 1925, an estimated 4,500 people attended the celebration. These days, around 6,000 people visit in an entire year. It’s a quiet little park, which is exactly why those who visit do so. Some folks will say the 60-acre park is in the middle of nowhere. But that isn’t true. It’s only 6 miles off the beaten path of Nebraska Highway 2 if you head west …

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A Parks Timeline

Marking 100 Years When Nebraska became a state in 1867, parks — let alone state parks — weren’t needed. Nebraskans of the day, and for years to come, were building homes, farms, businesses and towns, and with all of that work to be done, there was little time for leisure. But the conservation movement had begun, heightening the nation’s awareness of its pristine natural resources and prompting the launch of efforts to preserve them for future generations. The movement led …

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Sleeping with the Cranes

An Adventure Story I’m often asked about the best place to see the sandhill cranes during their annual spring stopover in Nebraska. My reply: Do you want to see the cranes or experience them? The former requires getting a reservation in a riverside viewing blind, several of which are available in the central Platte River Valley. But if you really want to experience the cranes, I tell them, you need to spend the night with the birds on the river. …

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Carp Roundup

Cattle drives are an important part of one chapter of Nebraska’s history. For about 20 years in the late-1800s, cowboys on horseback would push huge herds of longhorns from Texas to Nebraska, where the animals were loaded on trains and shipped to feed a growing nation. Cattle drives and roundups remain a part of everyday life on ranches throughout the state today. It’s a pretty simple process, where cowboys on horseback, ATVs or pickups push the cows from one place …

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Ahead of Their Time

There might be a few high school kids who hunted more than Blaine Dorn and Kobe Clevenger. Or harder. Or more passionately. But there can’t be many. From the start of the archery deer season in September through duck and goose seasons to the end of goose season in February, these two members of the Chase County High School class of 2020 in Imperial hunted every chance they could. They were back in the field for the spring turkey season, …

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Dove Banding

A nationwide mourning dove banding program has been helping biologists monitor population trends of the species while also providing interesting stories of the movement and longevity of this migratory game bird. The banding program began in 2003. The information it provides, combined with more obtained from the examination of wings of harvested doves, is used to estimate the number of doves in the nation and the age structure and productivity of the population. That information, as well as hunter and …

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Nebraskaland Behind the Scenes: Speedlights & Bikes

Story by Eric Fowler Photos by Alex Wiles View Eric Fowler’s featured July article on Platte River State Park Bike Trails HERE. When it comes to photography, “light is everything.” That’s what Jon Farrar, who spent four decades filling the pages of Nebraskaland with spectacular photographs, once told me. That simple statement is so true. Capture an image of the most striking landscape in the world in harsh mid-day light and you will likely have a photo that is average …

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Platte River State Park Bike Trails

Mountain bikers have been riding the trails carved into the bluffs at Platte River State Park for decades, its hills and rocks providing a challenge many yearn for, with the scenery providing the icing on the cake. Now they have a new set of singletrack trails loaded with unique features all for themselves as part of an addition to the park that could become a mountain bike destination for riders from across the country. Along with 4.4 miles of new …

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Sandhills Trumpeters

The marsh had a lot more cattails and bulrushes than most Sandhills lakes, concealing the trumpeter swans we were after. The swans themselves were doing their best to hide by swimming in a different direction than the large and loud airboat zigzagging through the marsh. So, when we burst through a wall of vegetation, and there were four swans right in front of us – two adults and two young, known as cygnets – we were not sure who was …

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Kearney Water Trail

At 2.3 miles, the Kearney Water Trail is undoubtedly one of the shortest in Nebraska. Despite that fact, it might also be one of the busiest. On any given day from April through October, you’re apt to see kayakers paddling down the trail, which utilizes the Kearney Canal and Turkey Creek on the southwestern corner of this central Nebraska city of 38,000. Its location certainly plays into its popularity. The trail opened in 2016, a joint effort between the city, …

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