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American Burying Beetle Reintroduction

Nebraska Game and Parks assists in collecting American burying beetles for Ohio reintroductions By Shaun Dunn, Zoologist This summer, the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission and partner biologists led and participated in several trapping efforts for the federally threatened American burying beetle (Nicrophorus americanus) in the Loess Canyons and Sandhills regions of the state. The populations in these two areas are among the largest concentrations of American burying beetles in the world. Efforts to monitor their numbers and distribution have …

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Ice Fishing: 10 Tips I Learned

Ice fishing. Tis’ the season for it. I sure enjoy ice fishing but admittedly I don’t do much of it. I don’t quite have all the equipment needed for it. So, I guess you would consider me an amateur ice angler. Nevertheless, when there’s an invitation to go with seasoned veterans of the hard water fishing lifestyle for a day, you can bet that I will jump at the opportunity. Such was the case a couple years ago in January …

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Prairie Seeds in Winter

By autumn, the seeds of most prairie plants have fallen, and with luck, pounding rain, digging animals or winter frost heaving will work them into the soil to await germination. Some seeds, however, are stragglers — held in pods, shriveled fruits or tight bracts to face the elements of winter aboveground. Many of these will fall prey to hungry birds and mammals, and a lucky few will pass through the foragers’ gut unharmed and be dispersed about the land. Others …

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A Winter Hike

A Great Time to Observe Nature Anyone can hike on a warm day, surrounded by birdsong and verdant meadows of wildflowers. The world is full of sights and sounds. But in the winter? That sounds ridiculous. It’s cold outside, the plants are all brown and animals are either hibernating or vacationing in warmer places. What are you supposed to do, tromp through the snow, bundled up like that one kid in that one movie? Well, yes. Whether you explore the …

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Foraging for Winter Wild Edibles in Nebraska

Gathering wild foods in Nebraska is not just a spring, summer or fall outdoor activity, it can be done in winter. What? Winter! Seriously. Don’t stop reading. Stay with me here. But let’s get this straight: Foraging for wild plant foods in winter is not easy. It’s tough, it’s rough, it’s cold, it’s hard work. It’s challenging, to say the least. Frigid temperatures, snow cover and low-light add to the difficulty. Winter foraging can sometimes be about slim-pickings, too. However, …

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Panhandle Afield Podcast: Jackrabbits

By Justin Haag Justin Haag · Panhandle Afield: Jackrabbits A weekly radio segment featuring outdoor topics relevant to the Nebraska Panhandle. This week the discussion is about jackrabbits. Air Dates: Dec. 10-17 Length: 3:00 Episode 199

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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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Panhandle Afield Podcast: Blue Jays

By Justin Haag Justin Haag · Panhandle Afield: Blue Jays A weekly radio segment featuring outdoor topics relevant to the Nebraska Panhandle. This week the discussion is about blue jays. Air Dates: Dec. 17-24 Length: 3:00 Episode 200

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Flagging for Canadas

Anyone who waterfowl hunts knows that movement in a decoy spread is crucial. Yeah, there are a plethora of motion decoys on the market to buy — battery-powered ones, mechanical flappers, windsocks, bags, kites, moving shells, etc. However, there is another kind of motion decoy used in waterfowl hunting by the hunter — the flag. A longtime waterfowl hunter “flags” to try to entice a flock of Canada geese off in the distance to come within shooting range in his …

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