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First Day Hikes chance to explore outdoors at your own pace

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LINCOLN, Neb. — Nebraska’s annual First Day Hikes are a chance to explore trails, watch wildlife, snap photos and create a lifetime of memories. This year, Nebraska Game and Parks Commission encourages families to take self-guided hikes between Jan. 1 and 3 at a Nebraska state park, state historical park, or state recreation area. Though parks usually offer guided tours, hot chocolate and more, this year’s First Day Hikes have been adjusted to account for the current public health situation. …

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Fish salvage extended for Valentine NWR’s Hackberry Lake

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LINCOLN, Neb. – The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission has declared a fish salvage for Hackberry Lake on the Valentine National Wildlife Refuge south of Valentine from Dec. 18, 2020, through Sept. 30, 2021. The lake was scheduled to have its existing fish population renovated during 2019 and 2020 as part of an Aquatic Habitat Project to eliminate common carp on the refuge. However, the renovation has been postponed multiple times due to wet conditions and unsuitable water levels. Salvages …

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Game and Parks to offer virtual Birds and Books workshop Jan. 19

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LINCOLN, Neb. – Educators of preschool-aged children are invited to the Jan. 19 virtual Birds and Books educator workshop, which focuses on using literature books to teach science concepts. Nebraska is home to more than 450 bird species, which can be found in nearly every habitat. Birds are easy to see and fun to watch, creating a fantastic opportunity to learn about science. Participants will receive bird-related and science-focused lesson ideas, bird-related literature books, Birds of Nebraska Field Guide and …

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Spicha first female to complete Duck Slam this season

LINCOLN, Neb. – When Janice Spicha shot a northern pintail on a Harlan County duck hunt Nov. 18, she said “it was like winning the lottery.” Not because that bird gave her a Nebraska Duck Slam, making her the first female to complete it this season. “A pintail is kind of elusive out here at times,” the 73-year-old Alma hunter said. “I knew it would be the hardest duck to get. Pintails have been few and far between.” The Nebraska …

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More trout stockings for Omaha, Lincoln, Mahoney SP

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LINCOLN, Neb. – More rainbow trout are being stocked in Omaha, Lincoln and Eugene T. Mahoney State Park waters this month to provide excellent fishing opportunities this winter. Trout are being stocked the week of Dec. 14 at Omaha’s Standing Bear Lake (3,750 trout) and Mahoney’s CenturyLink Lake (3,500). A week earlier, Lincoln’s Holmes (3,000) and Bowling (400 in south pond) lakes, and Omaha’s Standing Bear (3,750) were stocked. For those who enjoy stream fishing, East Verdigre Creek near Royal …

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Brush piles to be burned at Mormon Island, Windmill SRAs

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LINCOLN, Neb. – Parks staff of the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission will burn brush piles the week of Dec. 14 at Mormon Island and Windmill state recreation areas. The burns at Mormon Island, in Hall County, and Windmill, in Buffalo County, will eliminate fuels and small predator habitat by burning dead tree limbs from storm damage. These burns will help keep the areas open for continued tree management.

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Virtual Discover Ice-Fishing events scheduled in January

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LINCOLN, Neb. – Anglers can learn the basics of ice-fishing or pick up a few new tips from experienced anglers at virtual Discover Ice-Fishing clinics in January. The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission and the Nebraska Fish and Game Association will host classroom clinics via Zoom on Jan. 16 and Jan. 19. Due to COVID-19 concerns, there will be no on-ice clinics in January. Join the panel of avid ice-fishers to learn about ice-fishing safety, clothing, equipment and gear, as …

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Challenge yourself: Find these six things in nature during winter break

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LINCOLN, Neb. – Students across the state are invited to combat their cabin fever this coming winter break by searching for and photographing six nature finds during the 2020 Outdoor Winter Challenge. Each day, students will be given a nature item to find and photograph, and should submit — with the help of their parents — via social media for a chance to win a prize. The daily themes are: Dec. 26: Take a photo of something natural that is …

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Game and Parks to offer virtual Growing Up WILD workshop Jan. 12

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LINCOLN, Neb. – Those looking for more ideas on using nature in the classroom are invited to a virtual educator workshop Jan. 12 that focuses on engaging young children in nature through discovery and science. Growing Up WILD is a high-quality, easy-to-use guide for all educators, after-school program leaders and in-home daycare providers who work with children ages 3 through 7. Growing Up WILD involves social, emotional, physical and cognitive domains to foster learning in all areas. Participants will receive …

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Saturday series offers chance to learn outdoor skills from home

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LINCOLN, Neb. — With a cup of coffee in hand and cozy slippers on one’s feet, outdoor enthusiasts can learn or improve their outdoors skills thanks to a new education series, the Snowy Saturday Series. The three-month virtual series, hosted by Becoming an Outdoors-Woman, will feature outdoor skills education opportunities at 9 a.m. via the group’s Facebook page, facebook.com/BOWNebraska. Sessions will be: Dec. 12 — Winter birding: Uncover skills to be a successful bird watcher Dec. 19 — Improving your accuracy: …

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