Home » NEBRASKAland Magazine

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.

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 …

Read More »

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 …

Read More »

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 …

Read More »

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 …

Read More »

Finding the Right Duck Call

I remember getting my first “real” duck call. It was a gift from a friend, and I couldn’t wait to give it a try. After several failed attempts to make it sound like a duck, I realized that maybe it wasn’t the right call for me or maybe I just wasn’t very good at blowing it. It was then that I went on a search to find the right call for my skill level and my budget. I forged ahead …

Read More »

Five Wingshooting Tips

‘Tis the wingshooter’s favorite time of the year. With quail, pheasant and waterfowl seasons open, why wouldn’t it be? Keep these tips in mind this month: Know the loads you’re shooting. Pellet count, energy and velocity are big deals when wingshooting. The more you know about what you’re firing from your gun, the better you can make adjustments when you’re afield. It’s much easier to diagnose your problems of the day when you know what loads you’re firing. Shoot the …

Read More »

Jump-shooting the Rainwater Basin

An Adventure Story I had long wanted to jump-shoot ducks in the Rainwater Basin wetlands. Growing up pursuing this midday passion in Tennessee, I wanted to get back to where it all started for me: slowly working through a slough, ready at any second for a flush. With this goal in mind, I started asking questions to folks who had hunted the area. “Do that when it’s windy,” one hunter told me. “The birds will be pressed against the vegetation …

Read More »

Common Scents

A No-nonsense Approach to Scent Control Besides Nebraska farmers, no group in the state frets over the weather more than deer hunters. They study barometric pressure, moon phase, temperature and daylight hours, trying to figure out when deer will move and where. Of all these factors, they pay the most attention to the wind, and for good reason. While we experience the world through our eyes, deer live in a world of smell, and the wind is what delivers that …

Read More »

In Pursuit of the Blue Dart

Nebraskaland cover story on teal hunting

As a youngster, I cut my teeth duck hunting on small marshes in northwestern Iowa. Before the days of fancy decoys, acrylic calls, robo ducks and all the rest of modern-day technology, I would not sleep just so I could get to my favorite duck “hole.” It was there that I experienced my first encounter with this majestic bird that I would later term the “blue dart.” Although it’s been over 40 years since I harvested, or at least tried …

Read More »

Squirrel Hunting Questions

Ask yourself these questions before squirrel hunting this season. What’s Cutting? This is a squirrel hunter’s most effective knowledge base. If a hunter knows what a squirrel is eating and at what time, then their success increases exponentially. In Nebraska, squirrels eat a variety of nuts, including acorns and walnuts. A quick midday scout through the woods will reveal what nuts squirrels are cutting at a particular time, as remnants will be scattered on the ground. Partner or Alone? There’s …

Read More »