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NEBRASKAland Magazine

Published by the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission since 1926, NEBRASKAland Magazine is dedicated to an engaging mix of outstanding photography and informative writing, highlighting Nebraska’s outdoor activities, parks, wildlife, history and people.

Buffalo Bill’s Big House

The Wild West built this house. At first glance, an 18-room French Second Empire-style mansion might not strike you as “Western,” but take a look at that huge barn! This is what a Western man would build for his family if he found himself with a lot of extra money in the 1880s. William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody came to Nebraska in 1869 as a Fort McPherson cavalry scout. Later he made his fortune as a showman. Buffalo Bill’s Wild …

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Our Fascinating and Fearless Foxes

Foxes are continuing to populate our urban areas A big dog rushed into my backyard a few years ago, likely because it saw a red fox puppy playing under the bushes. It let out a deep bark as it saw the adult fox that was watching over the pups. That is when things really got interesting. The adult fox leapt up and raced toward the big boxer — pretty brave for a 10-pound fox. It made a loud bark on …

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Weathering Turkeys

Using the elements to your advantage With Mother’s Day being the target date to pursue lonely toms, you can find success at almost any turn if you’ve paid your dues scouting. However, even the best laid plans can go to waste if Mother Nature intervenes and makes your hunting, well, miserable. On more than one occasion, I’ve scheduled a hunting trip around early to mid-May, only to be blindsided by weather that only Nebraska could provide at that time of …

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Park Memories

Waiting to Be Made It was January 1993. I was in my first month of a dream job as a staff photographer and writer for Nebraskaland Magazine, and I was flustered. Then editor Don Cunningham had placed a large stack of hardbound Nebraskaland volumes on my desk and asked me to become familiar with the material so I could pitch him a few of my own story ideas. Not wanting to fail my first assignment, I pored over roughly two …

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How Many Could I Catch?

In 2020, Norfolk resident Scott Buss put a long thought-out plan into action. He would travel the state and see how many species of fish he could catch — fishing public waters as much as possible. Like many anglers, Scott Buss of Norfolk began planning his 2020 fishing trips way before the year started. From researching stocking reports and fishing forecasts to talking to various anglers throughout the state, he began writing a list of where he wanted to fish. …

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Becoming Arbor Lodge

Arbor Lodge State Historical Park in Nebraska City features a small house that became a 52-room mansion. It belonged to Arbor Day founder J. Sterling Morton and later to his son, Joy, the founder of Morton Salt. When was Arbor Lodge built? That’s complicated. It began as a two-room house in 1855. During the elder Morton’s lifetime, the house was remodeled seven times, evolving in style as it grew in size. After Morton’s death, a major addition by Joy more …

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2020 Photo Contest

Best of Show With more than 2,500 entries, the 2020 Nebraskaland Magazine Photo Contest drew a record number of stunning images from Nebraska photographers in the categories of Wildlife, Flora, Scenic and Recreation. This year’s Best of Show winner, “Young Buck” by Karen Kader of Omaha, was shot at Chalco Hills Recreation Area. She used Lightroom as her post-image software, adding shadow and accessing the program’s color sliders to accentuate the photo. We thank everyone who participated and look forward …

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The Science of Antlers

Antler Basics Horns and antlers, decorative headgear sported by some of Nebraska’s best-known species, are not the same. Horns are keratin, a hair-like sheath, that grows over a bony core throughout an animal’s life. They are found on pronghorn, bison, cattle, goats and sheep. Antlers, however, are bones that grow each spring and summer and are shed, or cast, late the following winter as the animal’s testosterone levels decrease. You’ll find them on deer and elk. Antlers grow up to …

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Real-World Bowhunting Practice

Proficiency on a foam block doesn’t always translate to real hunting scenarios during the season. Too many archery hunters practice archery and not bowhunting. Setting a foam target in the yard, walking back to a premeasured distance and flinging arrows all summer is good practice for hitting a foam target, but climbing into a blind for turkeys or a tree stand for deer is completely different. Being an effective bowhunter is about what you do with the shots you are …

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The Outsider

I know when I’m the outsider. As a longtime Nebraskaland Magazine writer and photographer, I’m well aware when I’m interrupting someone’s hunting or fishing trip. So when I went on a top-secret hunt near Ashland with a group of hunters I barely knew, I had been gifted an exclusive trip. But it wasn’t the first time I had been on a hunt like this. On the night before the open day of pheasant season in 2008, I was at Frank’s …

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