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Getting Permission to Hunt on Private Land: Selling Yourself

Maybe it’s because I am a lifelong Nebraskan with deep farm roots and help my brother manage his farm. Maybe it’s because I am a person with an outgoing, assertive personality who thoroughly enjoys interacting with people. Maybe it’s because of what I do for living and my employer. Maybe it’s because I pride myself on being a legal hunter and an ethical one at that. Maybe it’s because I work at it. I don’t know for sure. But honestly, …

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Beyond BOW Hunting

Where Skills Are Learned in the Field Women are the fastest growing group of outdoor enthusiasts, and the Becoming an Outdoors-Woman program is a great contributor to this trend. In Nebraska, this program has taken hundreds of women into the field during its 30-year run, and, personally provided some of my most memorable hunting experiences. Many occurred during BOW’s annual training event the first full weekend in October. This event is packed with three days of learning about outdoor-related topics …

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Foraging for Wild Fruits and Berries in Nebraska

I always get rather impatient this time of year. Is it because of the weather being so hot, humid and hazy? No. Is it that the hunting seasons are just around the bend? No. Then, why? Well, I am a gatherer, a prairie wanderer – if you will, and I am anxiously waiting to harvest elderberries during these dog days of summer. Here I am checking out wild elderberries for ripeness on a Saunders County, NE farm in mid August. …

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Trout Stream Gem in Northeast Nebraska

A classic case of misrepresentation keeps occurring. Folks continue to express their disbelief  to me that a crystal clear, cold, spring-fed trout fishing stream exists in northeast Nebraska. “No way,” they’ll say. “Impossible in farm country,” they’ll say. “You’re drinking, can’t be,” they’ll say.  “I’ve driven through there and never seen it,” they’ll say. These are just some of the phrases people have uttered to me about the East Branch of the Verdigre (actual name is Verdigris) Creek flowing through …

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Go with the flow and float Nebraska’s water trails

Eager to get on the water? Yeah, me, too. This is a perfect time to float Nebraska’s water trails. There are many reasons to take a float trip on continuously flowing water. You can do it for the openness and space that it offers and the adventure of going somewhere you have never been. You can do it to make connections and memories with people and nature, re-trace history, see a variety of wildlife species, get some fresh air and …

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Freshwater Drum: Not a Trash Fish

I watched closely as the guy excitedly reeled in the fish he had hooked from a local sandpit lake in eastern Nebraska. Upon landing it, I heard him dismally say: “Oh man, it’s a damn drum, that’s a trash fish, I gotta throw this back.” At this point, I walked over to the man and casually said: “Hey, that’s a nice freshwater drum you’ve caught. Did you know those are good eating if you prepare them right?” “Are you kidding …

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Floating on the Breeze

A hot air balloon ride is a superb way to enjoy the scenery As Nebraskaland photographers, we do our best to attain the ultimate vantage of a given subject. In an effort to capture the attractive landscapes of western Nebraska, I have taken photos from atop many high buttes and from the cockpit of airplanes and helicopters. My new favorite, though, is the oldest of human-carrying flight technology: hot air balloon. I was not sure what to expect when my …

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Rock Creek Lake State Recreation Area

Serenity in southwestern Nebraska At the very southwestern corner of Nebraska in Dundy County lies a truly serene area that is sure to surprise those that venture there. Rock Creek Lake State Recreation Area is a small 54-acre area, with a 50-acre lake fed by the cold spring waters of Rock Creek. Located 4 miles north and a mile east of Parks, Nebraska, this quaint SRA has primitive camping only at roughly 43 non-pad sites, one vault toilet and five …

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Dead Timber State Recreation Area

Complicated Past, but a Bright Future Despite its proximity to busy Highway 275 north of Scribner, Dead Timber State Recreation Area is hidden. Even its entrance, which faces a crop field on the other side, is unassuming and plain. The sign indicates that you’re in the right place, but you turn off the county road and wonder, “Is this it?” From your vehicle, you wouldn’t be able to see that to the southwest, just beyond the stretch of mowed grass, …

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Bluegill Provide the Fireworks of Fishing in Summer

It’s hot. It’s humid. Whew! Yeah, it’s summer alright. Hey, has your fishing success slowed with the conditions? Well, one fish leads the way with lots of action for anglers in the good, old summertime — bluegill. A male bluegill stands guard on its nest in a southern Nebraska pond. Underwater photo courtesy of NEBRASKAland Magazine/Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. Maybe it’s the kid in me, I don’t know. But, at 58 years of age (approaching 59), I still enjoy …

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