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Afield and Afloat

Midland Musings with Jenny Nguyen: PF Rooster Road Trip Stops in Northeast NE

The Pheasants Forever Rooster Road Trip held in northeast Nebraska this past Wednesday was a success! 12 pheasants and 8 quail were harvested in just one morning on public land in the Open Fields and Waters Program. I’d like to thank the Pheasants Forever crew, PF National Board Member Dick Bell, NGPC Commissioners Mick Jensen and Lynn Berggren, Scott Wessel, Josh Konouvsky and Mark Davis from the Omaha World-Herald for making this happen and for inviting me along.

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Panhandle Passages: Hunting for Words

I figure it’s time to put words to some of my hunting experiences this fall. Time certainly does fly when the birds are flying. Turkey Time We’ll start off with an event in my “backyard.” In early October, about three dozen hunters came to Chadron to be paired with landowners for the Pine Ridge Wild Turkey Hunt. The annual hunt, which began in the mid-1990s, has forged many relationships while celebrating turkey hunting in the region that led the state’s …

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Great Plains Connections with Julie Geiser – Collecting crawdads

The crawdad – or commonly known as the crayfish, crawfish or mudbugs are smaller versions of lobsters and they taste just as good, only in a smaller package. Collecting crawdads, as I have called them since childhood, is an easy process if you know when and where to find them. Every fall the canal system waters in southwest Nebraska are lowered for water conservation and/or canal repairs – leaving a smorgasbord of crawdads that can be harvested for a tasty …

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Opening Day First Hunt by Norris Marshall, Nebraska Game and Parks Commission Chair

My wife and had a great dog, Jazz, for 12 years. A female black Lab, she was an awesome companion and hunting dog. But as things go, we had to put her down a couple years ago. So here we were a year later picking from a litter of puppies whose daddy came from our Jazz. That was a year ago, and that little bundle of puppy has grown to be a big, rambunctious, slobbering hunting buddy. Her official name …

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Great Plains Connections with Julie Geiser – Empowering Women at BOW Workshop

The 22nd annual Becoming an Outdoors Woman (BOW) workshop was held last weekend at the 4-H camp near Halsey, NE. I write about this event every year after the workshop, not because writing is part of what I do, but because I am passionate about every aspect of the weekend and empowering women to get outdoors and experience all the wonderful activities and beautiful things in nature – all in hopes that they will pass their new knowledge on to …

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Midland Musings with Jenny Nguyen: Ponca Expo School Day

I attended my first Missouri River Expo a couple weeks ago, and I had a great time! For those who have never been (which may not be many of you), the Expo runs for 3 days in September — Friday, Saturday and Sunday. While Saturday and Sunday are open to the public and are the busiest days, Friday is only open to elementary schools. Nearly a thousand 5th graders this year received a private sneak peek before the general public …

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Panhandle Passages: Stopping to Smell ‘Em

I’ll admit, I’ve never figured myself to be much of a flower guy. Prior to this year, my nature photography has gravitated toward wildlife. I’m guilty of zooming past countless beautiful plants and flowers to fill the frame with whatever bird, mammal, reptile or other critter catches my eye. I’ve rarely stopped to shoot, let alone smell and identify, the roses. That’s changed. As nature photography, in a more broad sense, has become a big part of my job description, …

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Great Plains Connections with Julie Geiser – The Call of the Male Cicada

This call of the male cicada is unmistakable this time of year, when cicadas or more commonly called locusts emerge from their underground homes to breed. Starting in mid-summer and continuing for a couple months the songs of the cicadas’ can be heard for miles. There are several species of cicadas in Nebraska, but the most common cicada near my home town of North Platte is the Dog Day or Annual Cicada. These cicadas make their appearance during the “Dog …

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Panhandle Passages: Lessons from Star Party Country

I’d never heard of the Niobrara River, let alone canoed it. It was the early ‘80s in southwestern Nebraska and Dad had caught wind of people enjoying canoe trips down the scenic Niobrara. So, he borrowed a canoe from someone in McCook, strapped it to the top of his old Pontiac and drove us up Highway 83 for an adventure. My sister and I, still in elementary school, surely had a lot of questions along the way. I remember wondering …

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Great Plains Connections with Julie Geiser – July was a Busy Month

Wow July was a busy month – I put on some serious miles traveling across southwest Nebraska, but I experienced some pretty cool stuff along the way. Nebraska Game and Parks Commission hosted the first annual Carp-O-Rama at Lake Maloney, south of North Platte, which was a huge hit and gave people in attendance a new perspective on carp, carp fishing, and eating carp. Catching carp was only part of the day – once a carp was caught anglers learned …

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