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Archery hunter’s bighorn sheep likely a Nebraska record

Jason Bruce with ram

GERING, Neb. – There may be a new state record among bighorn sheep harvested in Nebraska. Archery hunter Jason Bruce of Lockeford, California, claimed success during Nebraska’s bighorn sheep season with a massive ram taken on private property in the rocky Wildcat Hills near Gering on Saturday, Dec. 2. Todd Nordeen, the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission biologist who manages Nebraska’s bighorn sheep program, said the mature ram, estimated to be 10 years old, had a gross score of 195 …

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Preliminary deer harvest higher than last year

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LINCOLN, Neb. – Preliminary deer harvest in Nebraska is 3 percent ahead of last year’s pace. From Sept. 1 through Nov. 30, there were 49,923 deer checked, compared to 48,633 in 2016. Mule deer buck harvest has increased for the fourth consecutive year, with 8,609 taken, compared to 8,499 in 2016. “This bodes well for Nebraska, as mule deer buck harvest in 2016 was the highest on record,” said Kit Hams, big game program manager for the Nebraska Game and …

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Governor makes two appointments to Game and Parks Commission

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LINCOLN, Neb. – Two new commissioners have been appointed to the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission by Gov. Pete Ricketts. Doug Zingula of Sidney and Scott Cassels of Omaha have been appointed to represent District 7 (Panhandle) and District 9 (at-large), respectively. The appointments to four-year terms are effective Jan. 16. Zingula is retired from a career with outdoor retailer Cabela’s, where he was vice president of corporate merchandising. He serves on the board of the Nebraska Big Game Society …

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Aquatic Habitat Project at Valentine NWR begins second phase

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LINCOLN, Neb. – In preparation for a rotenone treatment in 2018, length limits on largemouth bass and northern pike at Pelican Lake will be rescinded Dec. 1 through Aug. 1, 2018. This action begins the second phase of the Valentine National Wildlife Refuge Aquatic Habitat Project. Pelican Lake anglers may harvest these bass and pike by rod and reel. Bowfishing harvest is allowed during the archery game fish season of July 1 through Dec. 31. Daily bag limits will remain …

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Three parks to host Christmas Bird Counts in December

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LINCOLN, Neb. – Take part in a winter tradition and participate in the Christmas Bird Count this month at three state park areas across the state. Events will be held Dec. 14 at Ponca State Park (SP), Dec. 16 at Indian Cave SP, and Dec. 30 at Lake Ogallala State Recreation Area (SRA). The Christmas Bird Count is a program of the National Audubon Society, with more than 100 years of citizen science involvement. This event is a one-day bird …

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Eight Louisiana deer hunters cited for violations

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LINCOLN, Neb. – The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission reminds hunters to follow the rules. During the recent firearm deer season, eight Louisiana hunters were arrested after they committed several hunting violations. On Nov. 12, conservation officers responded to two different complaints of deer camps, each with Louisiana hunters. Following an investigation, they cited eight men for illegal activities in Gage and Jefferson counties. Charges include hunting without permits, over-bag on game, borrowing deer permits, and several other deer regulation …

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Family Ice Fishing clinics scheduled in January

LINCOLN, Neb. – Learn the basics of ice fishing or pick up a few new tips at three free Family Ice Fishing clinics in January. On Jan. 6, the Nebraska Fish and Game Association will host a classroom clinic at Yanney Heritage Park’s Environmental Resource Center in Kearney from 5 – 9 p.m. This clinic will feature presentations by some of Nebraska’s top ice fishermen. An on-ice clinic will be held Jan. 7 from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. at …

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December outdoor calendar

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LINCOLN, Neb. – The following is a listing of Nebraska Game and Parks Commission events and important dates in December. Get more event details at Calendar.OutdoorNebraska.gov. Visit OutdoorNebraska.org for a list of hunter education classes and boating safety classes. Dec. 1 – Bobcat hunting and trapping season opens Dec. 1-3, 8-10, 15-17, 22-23 – Christmas at the Mansion, Arbor Lodge State Historical Park (SHP), Nebraska City Dec. 1-31 – Cow elk hunting season, private and public land Dec. 1-31 – …

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Hunters reminded to gain permission on private property

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LINCOLN, Neb. – The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission reminds hunters they must first gain permission before hunting on private property. GPS mapping applications are a popular tool with many hunters. These apps may show some properties as public lands, such as the School Trust Lands held by the State of Nebraska. However, these school trust lands are leased by the Nebraska Board of Education Lands and Funds to private individuals and require permission to access them for hunting. Nebraska …

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Celebrate Christmas in the Woods at Ponca State Park

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LINCOLN, Neb. – Celebrate the holiday season at Ponca State Park, where families can enjoy the weekly seasonal activities of Christmas in the Woods. Christmas in the Woods, which takes place Nov. 25, Dec. 2, Dec. 9 and Dec. 16, is a chance for families to do seasonal crafts, get a family photo taken, decorate a cookie or cupcake, attend an outdoor program, or ride on a decorated and lighted hayrack. In addition, the park is holding its annual Snowman …

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