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There Is No Excuse For Not Wearing A Life Jacket On The Water

It bothers me to no end that people have such cavalier excuses regarding why they don’t want to wear life jackets on the water in a boat. In my 41 years at the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission I have seen my share of boating tragedies. I have seen the victims of boating fatalities who were not wearing their life jackets. You never, ever forget them. Often the victims of those fatalities died right in front of close family members …

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A Summer Checklist for a Successful Fall Hunt

The intense heat and humidity of summer’s “dog days” are here. Ears of sweet corn will soon be ready for harvest. Boating, swimming, tubing and fishing are being widely enjoyed now. But, wait a second. For those of us who are avidly involved in the hunting lifestyle and its year-round process, summer means a myriad of things to do if we are have a successful fall hunt. I don’t know about you, but after the 4th of July, my thoughts …

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Outdoors in a Thunderstorm or Tornado: What Should You Do or Not Do?

It’s the spring and summer storm season in Nebraska. You’re­ on a leisurely canoe/camping trip on Nebraska’s Elkhorn River. It’s a warm, humid spring afternoon. You’re unloading your canoe where you have permission to camp. Suddenly, you feel a few raindrops splat on your forehead as the sky becomes tumultuous and rapidly begins to darken. Then you hear loud claps of thunder in the distance. What should you do or not do? If you find yourself outdoors when a thunderstorm or tornado …

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Hunters, Anglers: Become Bird Watchers!

I am a hunter. I am an angler. I am a bird watcher. I love to watch birds, especially when I am hunting or fishing. I love watching all birds, not just the game birds I hunt. I enjoy viewing them intently and trying to capture some halfway decent photos of them. If you’re a hunter or an angler, you should become a bird watcher. I’ll explain why in a moment. May is a great month to view birds. In …

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Saddling Up Out West

For exploring the rugged and spacious public lands of the Panhandle, it is tough to beat a mode of transportation that has been around a while. The Panhandle of western Nebraska’s rugged buttes, sweeping grasslands, rolling hills and ponderosa pine forests spur an urge of exploration for countless visitors each year. For many a seasoned cowpoke on down to the greenest of greenhorns, their most memorable experiences while visiting this region have been atop a mode of transportation that has …

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The RV Lady

If you’ve ever contacted the Reservation Call Center for Nebraska State Parks, you know who CJ Zajicek is. She’s the one who’s always nice to you – the one whose positive, personable attitude and interest in you makes you feel like you were her only phone call of the day – just the way great customer service should be. CJ has been working for the call center since it opened in 2004, taking calls for the 26 Nebraska state parks …

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Morels Aren’t the Only Edible Fungus in Spring

Along with finding and picking morel mushrooms, there is another edible wild fungus growing in your moist woodlands that you should know and consider harvesting and making for dinner — the dryad’s saddle. Dryad’s saddle? Say, what? The dryad’s saddle (Polyporus squamosus) , a.k.a., pheasant back’s mushroom, or hawks wing, is a widespread edible wild fungi that is easy to spot beginning in late April and continuing into May. Found east of the Rockies and potentially throughout Nebraska, it is a common basidiomycete bracket fungus …

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Plan To Take ‘Em Fishing

From all indicators, he absolutely loved it! That would describe my young grandson’s first fishing expedition. I loved it, too! So, have you, the avid angler, taken a youth or a newcomer out fishing in the last year or so? Hmmm … Well, let me tell you that there are now more incentives than ever before to introduce someone new or someone who hasn’t been out on the water in a while to the lifestyle of fishing. In fact, the …

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About Morel Mushrooms This Spring

There is no doubt that your morel mushroom hunting grounds along river bottoms and their tributaries in eastern and central Nebraska were greatly impacted by recent catastrophic flooding. This is the most widespread damage the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission has experienced due to a natural disaster. In my 40 years with the agency and growing up near the Platte River, I have never witnessed any natural catastrophe to this magnitude. So, as an outdoor enthusiast, maybe you’ve been thinking: …

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Hunting The Hills For Your Spring Gobblers

So, your spring wild turkey hunting grounds along river bottoms have been flooded, huh? I am sorry to hear that. The turkeys may or may not return to those river bottom grounds on a consistent basis. More than likely, severely flooded areas probably will be void of birds this season. It might be a good idea to do your homework and plan your route for heading for the hills. But maybe you have never hunted the rolling hills, steep grades and …

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