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Spring Forward With These Outdoor Activities

Spring. It has arrived on the calendar. The amount daylight is increasing. The weather is warming. In Nebraska, there are a multitude of activities that you can do in early spring. Here are several to encourage you to step outside. View Early Spring Birds. A wide variety of opportunities await Nebraska bird watchers in early spring. The migration of wild fowl is truly something to behold! The spring spectacle of the sandhill crane migration along the Platte River in south-central …

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Spring Wild Turkey Hunting: Addiction, Obsession, Passion

Noted turkey hunter and outdoor writer Tom Kelly once wrote, “I do not hunt turkeys because I want to. I hunt them because I have to. I would, really, rather not. But I am helpless in the grip of my compulsion.” I completely agree! Anyone who has ever spent a gorgeous Nebraska spring morning with their back leaning against the base of a mature hardwood tree or sitting in a camouflaged blind, using a call and decoys to lure a …

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March Means Migration Near You (Even in the City)

When I was kid, I always looked forward to taking a drive with my grandparents during the March thaw to see the spring migration of birds along the Platte River in rural Sarpy County, Nebraska. We never had to travel very far from our homes in Gretna to see the migrating birds either. It’s those drives that helped develop my appreciation for birds. Truth is, you still do not have to venture far at all to enjoy the spectacular spring migration of birds …

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Light Geese are Delicious and Deserve Respect

As a conservation professional, I get sick and tired of people calling snow and Ross’s geese nasty nicknames and saying that they are downright unfit to eat. Look, they are not “sky carp,” “rats with white feathers,” or “trash birds.” No, not by a long shot! Your blogger displays snow geese harvested during a recent Light Goose Conservation Order hunt in south-central Nebraska. Photo courtesy of Greg Wagner/Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. They are classified as light geese — snow …

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Shed Antlers: A Great Reason to Explore Nature

By Greg Wagner and Brian Peterson. Brian Peterson is a biologist at the University of Nebraska at Kearney and coordinates the M.S Biology Online Program. His research focus is white-tailed deer antler metrics.  He is also an avid hunter and outdoorsman. Maybe you’re a hunter. Maybe you’re not. But, there’s a unique form of hunting you will enjoy. It is a challenging and rewarding pastime that makes for an excellent family outdoor activity this time of year. It is deer shed …

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Winter Scouting for Spring Turkeys in Nebraska

Don’t kid yourself, we are still in the icy, frigid grips of winter. However, the length of daylight is increasing. Deer have begun shedding their antlers. Some sandhill cranes have arrived already along the Platte River in south-central Nebraska. It is calving season on ranches in the Nebraska Sandhills. These are all indicators that spring is just around the bend. For those of us who spring wild turkey hunt, our thoughts are drifting to the woods where we stake our …

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Hunters: Share Your Harvest!

If there ever was a time to share your harvest as a hunter, it is now! With the impacts of the coronavirus and higher meat prices, folks are struggling. There are people around you that are in need of healthy protein. Enter wild game. YOUR wild game. In your freezer, that is. Don’t you agree with me that it is the time to help unite our nation by reaching out to your neighbor with a friendly gesture — a gift …

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15 Ways to Cure Cabin Fever

It’s winter. The daylight is short. The nights are long and dreary. Air temperatures outside are cold, downright frigid at times. There’s probably some snow cover. We are all spending more a lot of time indoors this season, aren’t we? It is that time of year when we get that cooped-up, restless, nothing-to-do feeling that is referred to as “cabin fever.” Stuck inside, too many of us get weary and lethargic and spend long, endless hours watching TV re-runs, binge-watching …

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Going Outdoors Alone in Winter: Survival and Splendor

I treasure my time spent alone in nature or in a rural setting, especially this time of year in Nebraska. If I don’t get some alone time in the great outdoors, I end up getting a little restless, grumpy and cabin fever-like (just ask my wife, Polly). Alone time is essential with the hustle and bustle of the season and all that is happening in this world. Sure, it is safer and more fun to share your outdoor adventures with …

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WMA Habitat Fuels Songbird Migration

By Stephen Brenner and Joel Jorgensen, Nongame Bird Program managers Migration is a critically important event in the lives of many avian species. This period accounts for over a quarter of the annual cycle for some birds and is extremely risky as individual birds travel long distances through unfamiliar areas. Consequently, many species experience higher rates of mortality compared to the breeding or wintering periods. Some of the smallest migratory species in North America also can travel the longest distances, …

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