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Jenny Nguyen-Wheatley

NEBRASKAland Associate Editor Jenny Nguyen-Wheatley was born in Nha Trang, Vietnam, and moved to the United States with her parents in 1992. She graduated from Bolsa Grande High School in Garden Grove, California, in 2008 and completed her bachelor’s degree at UCLA in 2012. Wheatley was editor-in-chief for her high school newspaper and continued to write in college, freelancing for various publications, the Tiger Woods Foundation and writing for her blog FoodForHunters.com. After graduating college, she moved to Nebraska in early 2013 to join the Commission as Regional Editor at NEBRASKAland Magazine. She then became associate editor in 2015. Wheatley enjoys hiking, camping, horseback riding, hunting, fishing and wild game cooking.

Dead Timber State Recreation Area

Complicated Past, but a Bright Future Despite its proximity to busy Highway 275 north of Scribner, Dead Timber State Recreation Area is hidden. Even its entrance, which faces a crop field on the other side, is unassuming and plain. The sign indicates that you’re in the right place, but you turn off the county road and wonder, “Is this it?” From your vehicle, you wouldn’t be able to see that to the southwest, just beyond the stretch of mowed grass, …

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Recipes at the Campground

One of the most enjoyable parts of the camping experience is preparing food around a campfire and learning how to create any number of simple, tasty dishes with ingredients already found around the house. Food always tastes a little better outside, and dinner prepared while camping is no exception — especially when the recipes are this easy. Breakfast: Corned Beef and Potato Hash By Jenny Nguyen-Wheatley Servings: 4-6 Ingredients: • 2 (14.5-ounce) cans of sliced/diced new potatoes, drained • 3 …

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Panko-Crusted Perch

Prep Time: 30 minutes Cooking Time: 30 minutes Ingredients: • 1 pound of boneless perch fillets • 2 to 3 large eggs • ⅓ cup of all-purpose flour • 1½ cup of Panko breadcrumbs • 1 teaspoon of kosher salt, plus extra • Freshly cracked pepper, to taste • 1 cup of mayonnaise • 4 teaspoons of Sriracha sauce • 4 teaspoons of lemon juice • Vegetable oil for frying • Lemon wedges, for serving 1. To make the spicy …

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Hunting Late-Season Waterfowl

Hunting the late-waterfowl season is not for the faint of heart. Thick ice, biting temperatures and freezing equipment are only a few things that the most die-hard of waterfowl hunters have to contend with in January and February. I talked to four of these hunters, who provided insight on how to best cope with hunting in harsh winter conditions. Julie Geiser is a public information officer and Nebraskaland regional editor for the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. She has spent …

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Duck with Beans Recipe

Servings: 6 Prep Time: Overnight Cooking Time: 6 hours Ingredients: • 1½ pounds bone-in duck or goose legs • 1 pound of dried cannellini beans • Water • 1 onion, separated • 1 rib of celery, roughly sliced • 2 carrots, roughly sliced • 2 bay leaves • Olive oil • 6 ounces of andouille sausage, sliced • 4 cloves of garlic, minced • 1 bunch of kale, leaves coarsely chopped • 1 tablespoon of tomato paste • 4 sprigs …

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Not Going to Eat That?

Your Dog Will Pheasant heads, freezer-burned fish, deer liver, duck feet … these are things that I might have tossed in the past. There are parts of an animal that I simply can’t use. Or waste from freezer-burned meat. Or meat that ended up not tasting good. I hate waste, but it happens. So, when my husband and I brought home our 8-week-old Pembroke Welsh corgi puppy last winter, our problems were solved. I’ve come up with a few creative, …

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Venison “Meatball” Sliders

I had an unsuccessful rifle season last year, so I decided to attempt deer hunting with a muzzleloader in December. I am a self-proclaimed “meat hunter,” so a season choice tag gives me “the best bang for my buck” — except that I wasn’t looking for a buck. It turned out that I got one anyway. As I turned “her” over, I realized that she was a “he.” It was the first time I had ever shot a male deer, …

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Hallowfest

Celebrate Halloween at Ponca State Park For more than two decades, Ponca State Park’s Hallowfest has thrilled guests of all ages. The park modeled its event after Indian Cave State Park’s festival, starting out with just one weekend of haunted hayrack rides in 1998 and expanding its offerings to two weekends full of Halloween activities. This fall festival has become a tradition for families, many of whom begin booking their cabins and campsites a year in advance. Hallowfest 2020 falls …

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Grilled Curry Quail Recipe

I don’t own a tandoor oven. You probably don’t have a tandoor oven. Good news, your background charcoal or wood pellet grill will work just fine. Inspired by tandoori chicken, a well-known Indian dish, these grilled, curried quail make delicious appetizers or finger food. Thanks to the flavorful yogurt marinade, the birds come off the grill tender and juicy. If you’ve had the Indian dish before, you might wonder about the lack of red coloring on my quail. Tandoori chicken’s …

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Japanese-style Grouse Katsu Recipe

“Katsu” means cutlet in Japanese, and it is equivalent to German schnitzel. Meat — typically pork or chicken — is breaded in Panko, deep fried and served in bento box lunches. Sharp-tailed grouse worked surprisingly well as katsu, as long as you don’t overcook it. Serve sharpies pink in the center; this bird turns gray easily, and its flavor goes downhill with it. I kept the meat cold until the last minute, and as the breaded pieces hit the hot …

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