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Panhandle Passages: Closer to Home

My job with the Game and Parks commission and NEBRASKAland has taken me to some incredible places throughout the Panhandle and beyond in the first six months. With more than 40 Commission properties within 160 miles of my home, there is a lot to see and photograph in this spacious region. That being said, it seems some unbeatable travel opportunities await me right before my nose. While I join others in the desire to set up camp at a location …

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Panhandle Passages: What’s Up at Whitney?

One thing I like is the sight of a fish coming over the side of a boat. That’s just one of the reasons I thoroughly enjoyed a boat ride Thursday with Al Hanson and Joe Rydell, fisheries biologists for the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission’s northwestern district. Hanson, district supervisor, and Rydell were collecting data from the frame nets they had set in Whitney Lake the previous day, a process they use to keep tabs on fish populations at bodies …

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Panhandle Passages: Home of the Eagles

If you’re like me, you probably saw numerous bald eagles in Nebraska this winter and early spring — if not on the wing then in photographs circulating the Internet. The bald eagle’s resurgence is a true conservation success story. Today, though, I find it appropriate to give a little publicity to the bald eagles’ lesser mentioned cousin, the golden eagle. When I told NEBRASKAland associate editor Jeff Kurrus that I planned to photograph golden eagles at a nest in a …

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Outdoor Educator Learns How to Study Sturgeon

[ Submitted by Christy Christiansen-Outdoor Education Specialist NGPC ] As an avid outdoor educator, I have taught myself to never pass up an opportunity to learn something new.  I got one of those chances recently when I teamed up with Nebraska Game and Parks Commission’s (NGPC) Fisheries Division for the Pallid Sturgeon broodstock study. Gear packed and loaded into our vehicles, we left the office around 7:30 a.m. on our way to Nebraska City to hitch up the boats and …

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Panhandle Passages with Justin Haag — Touring the Bighorn

When it comes to giving a tour of the Bighorn Wildlife Management Area south of Whitney, I doubt many people are as suited for the job as Greg Schenbeck. Schenbeck, a Nebraska Game and Parks Commission biologist with headquarters at the Ponderosa WMA field office near Crawford, has a leading role in managing the northwest district’s WMAs. Not only that, he was raised in northwest Nebraska and began hunting the area that is now the Bighorn WMA as a child. …

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Two Commissioners Roadtrip for Turkey, Jerky and Coyote

[ Submitted by Mick Jensen- Nebraska Game and Parks Commissioner ] In Nebraska we are fortunate to have a variety of outdoor opportunities available to us regardless of the season.  Recently another commissioner, Rex Fisher, and I experienced a whirlwind (30 hour) outdoor experience we won’t soon forget. We left on a Friday afternoon traveling to Lynch, Nebraska on a predator hunt for coyotes. Coyotes had become a problem for a rancher friend of ours who was concerned for his …

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A Big Bass Quest

A little over a year ago a fishing buddy of mine began asking some questions about which public body of water in Nebraska would give him the best chance to catch the biggest largemouth bass of his life.  Knowing where he lived, I instantly had an answer for him. I teased you with this last Friday, and I realize by now some of you have already seen this, but for those of you who have not, you are going to …

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FREE Day of Outdoor Fun at Fort Kearny SP – Coming Up May 11

Family Day Web Site | Outdoor Discovery Program Web Page  A full day of FREE outdoor fun awaits families at the Family Outdoor Discovery Program at Fort Kearny State Recreation Area . The parks spring celebration of Nebraska’s outdoors runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on May 11. Among the activities available for all ages and experience levels are shooting sports (shotgun, 3-D archery, aerial archery and air rifle), kayaking, fishing, dog field activities, campground games, sling shots and trapping. In …

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Panhandle Passages with Justin Haag – Hidden Treasures

As one who loves the outdoors and also embraces technology, I may be a bit of an anomaly. I certainly do love to get “off the grid” to places the phone doesn’t ring, but, generally speaking, I enjoy the ways technology can enhance outdoor experiences. Whether it’s the digital camera that allows me to share the neat things I see, the GPS unit that usually keeps me from getting lost or the smartphone fishing app that allows me to record …

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Midland Musings with Jenny Nguyen – Trout Stocking in Verdigre Creek

If there’s any fish that has a special place in my heart, it would be trout. While backpacking in the Sierras during high school, my weary companions and I came to a small pool that peacefully shimmered in the sun. A creek– a tributary from the great Kern River– ran through it, gently rippling the cold, crystalline surface that held a handful of unknowing golden trout underneath. So we threw down our packs, and my friend handed me his fishing …

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