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Platte River State Park

I never feel overwhelmed at Platte River State Park. Whether there are thousands of kids attending an Outdoor Discovery day or just a few vehicles, I can always take a deep, relaxing breath whenever I pull into the park. Located three miles from Louisville – between Omaha and Lincoln – the park is a welcomed break from city life. It offers both family-friendly attractions and solace in its 450 acres, even on the busiest of weekends. I love playing with …

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Kearney Water Trail

At 2.3 miles, the Kearney Water Trail is undoubtedly one of the shortest in Nebraska. Despite that fact, it might also be one of the busiest. On any given day from April through October, you’re apt to see kayakers paddling down the trail, which utilizes the Kearney Canal and Turkey Creek on the southwestern corner of this central Nebraska city of 38,000. Its location certainly plays into its popularity. The trail opened in 2016, a joint effort between the city, …

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Restoring Antlers

Have you ever left a deer mount outside for too long and now the antlers are chalky and bleached? All you need to restore them is dish soap, a paintbrush, wood stain and fine steel wool. If the antlers are chalky and porous you will also need two-part molding compound and fine sandpaper. Start by cleaning the antlers with soap and water and allow them to dry. Wrap the skull in paper to protect it during restoration. When the skull …

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Dutch Oven Cooking

In the summer, cooking with a Dutch oven outside prevents me from having to heat up the house, and while camping, it allows me to cook a homemade meal. Here are my tips on using and maintaining cast iron cookware for outdoor use. Dutch ovens come in many sizes. I recommend an 8-inch oven to feed two or three people, a 10-inch oven for four and a 12-inch oven for six. For outdoor cooking, buy an oven with three 1-inch …

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The Gobble

It is the primary reason I hunt wild turkeys in the spring. It invokes such strong feelings of excitement that it escapes words. It is a crazy sound in nature, really, perhaps even a bit comical. The sound, made by a wild bird and denoting spring, is actually a loud, shrill, descending, gurgling, throaty jumble of chords that lasts about 1-2 seconds. This is the gobble of a male wild turkey. Gil-obble-obble-obble. For those of us who enjoy being outdoors …

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Go Through Your Outdoor Gear

Those of us who enjoy outdoor activities such as hunting, fishing, boating and camping are spending an awful of time around the house, aren’t we? Nevertheless as you plan your next outdoor trip, this is an opportune time to go through your gear – cleaning, repairing, restoring and organizing various items that most likely were shelved, locked in a cabinet or safe or  neglected. You have the time to do this, trust me. I do. Keep in mind money can …

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While at Home, Watch Birds

You’re staying at home, hardly going anywhere except for essentials. There’s not a lot to do. Or, is there? Have you ever taken the time to watch or listen to the birds around your yard, acreage, farmstead, ranch house or lake house? After all, it is spring and that means courtship, breeding and nesting. But spring is also means migration. Our overall diversity of birds peaks in early May, so new species arrive every day or week. I have to …

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Wild Game Cooking 101

Are you feeling stuck inside your house with not much to do? Do you have wild game meat in your freezer? Good. Time to get a little “wild” and cook some! With so many options for cooking cuts of wild game meat, it can sure be difficult for the inexperienced cook to know where to start, right? No matter what the scenario is, any professional chef or wild game processor will tell you there is nothing magical or mystical about …

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Spring Wild Turkey Hunting Goes Beyond the Hunt in These Times

As avid spring wild turkey hunters, we possess a major advantage over other outdoor enthusiasts: We know what it feels like to be completely isolated, and to be alone, most notably in a turkey hunting blind for hours. As Henry David Thoreau once said: “I never found the companion that was so companionable as solitude.” For us hunters, we are used to sitting alone in different blinds quietly for long periods of time with our thoughts, waiting for a moment …

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A 50-inch Minimum

Merritt Reservoir has long been one of Nebraska’s top fishing destinations. Merritt is an irrigation reservoir, but unlike some others, it fills every year because of the ample flow of the Snake River. It consistently has great water quality and abundant prey fish. And with this year’s adoption of a 50-inch minimum for what many consider to be Nebraska’s greatest fish, the muskellunge, Merritt has entered rarefied air as a trophy fishery. “Merritt has alewives, white suckers and various panfish,” …

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