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Big game diseases monitored as cold temps arrive

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LINCOLN, Neb. — Nebraska wildlife officials are welcoming colder temperatures for at least one reason. A hard freeze kills the insects responsible for spreading two deadly viral diseases among big game populations during dry years. Since asking the public to report dead and sick big game animals in August, the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission has fielded more than 150 reports of suspected epizootic hemorrhagic disease, often referred to as EHD, or the closely related illness bluetongue. Todd Nordeen, Game …

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13 Tips For Archery Deer Hunting During the Rut

It’s a magical time of year, really. As daylight wanes, the temperature begins to drop, frost appears on the pumpkin, leaves turn color and start toppling to the ground, and experienced bowhunters know the deer rut or breeding season is beginning. Buck rubs on trees and scrapes on the ground are apparent. A buck rub on an eastern cedar tree in rural Sarpy County, NE. Photo by Greg Wagner/Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. Deer movement is picking up and the …

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How to Hunt Nebraska’s Public Lands

Hunting public lands. It can be a real challenge. No, scratch that. It is a daunting challenge. I know. I have hunted all kinds of game on various public lands around the state for years. So why is hunting public lands in Nebraska so tough? Well, in a state like Nebraska the overwhelming majority of our total land acreage is privately owned (97%) with only a small percentage of it open to the public (3%). However, Nebraska’s array of public …

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Sen. Fischer supports bipartisan bill to benefit wildlife

LINCOLN, Nebraska — Sen. Deb Fischer has signed onto a bipartisan wildlife conservation bill, the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act, which will dedicate $1.4 billion annually to locally-led efforts to help at-risk wildlife species in Nebraska and nationwide. Approximately $17 million would go to the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission and be used to implement its wildlife action plan, a cooperation with organizations and landowners interested in financial and technical assistance to address conservation concerns and improve fish and wildlife habitat. Private …

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A Second Chance

A Retired Wildlife Ecologist Gives Back At first sight, a plains pocket mouse makes a lasting impression. There’s only one word for it: cute. It’s tiny and delicate-looking, with small ears and fur-lined cheek pouches. Retired wildlife ecologist Mike Schrad can identify one in seconds, as he does on this cool October morning, striding through a restored prairie near Wood River, Nebraska. He lifts one from a live trap baited with oatmeal and birdseed, and hands it me to warm …

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National Hunting and Fishing Day: A Personal Perspective

National Hunting and Fishing Day is this Saturday, Sept. 25. This is a significant day. No, this is not just another one of those celebratory days, not by a long shot. I grew up fishing, trapping and hunting in rural Nebraska. So this day is deeply personal to me and many others as we are devoted hunters, anglers, trappers and landowners. Your blogger is pheasant hunting the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) grassland acres of a private farming operation in east-central …

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Extra incentives available for landowners on CRP

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CHADRON, Neb. — Nebraska Panhandle agriculture producers participating in the Conservation Reserve Program may be eligible to earn extra income by helping the region’s pheasant population and other wildlife. The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission is offering bonus incentives to CRP participants within certain areas of the Panhandle — locations designated as Pheasant Opportunity Areas in the agency’s Berggren Plan to improve hunting opportunities for the popular game bird. Incentives are available for landowners who are enrolling, re-enrolling or are …

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Nebraska Oranges

Nebraska has oranges? Well, no, not really. But, sort of. Osage orange isn’t an orange though it may look like a bright yellow to yellow-green, grapefruit-sized, brainy-looking type of orange fruit. It is a fruit of the Osage orange tree, that is. However, the tree is more closely related to the mulberry tree. Enter its primary nicknames; hedge apple, hedge ball, and mock orange. Confused? A bit perplexed, are you? Allow me to continue. I bet you’ve seen these wrinkled, …

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Partnership to provide peregrine falcon education resources

Peregrine falcon

LINCOLN, Nebraska — A new set of resources available to teachers in eastern Nebraska highlights the recovery of the peregrine falcon, a bird of prey pushed to the brink of extinction. A new partnership between the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission and Omaha Public Power District aims to bring this conservation success story to students through new education resources, including: A detailed poster highlighting the family tree of 93T, a well-known and long-lived peregrine falcon who was integral to the …

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Take Part in the Bowhunter Survey

I am one of you. I am among the thousands of you who hunt deer and turkey with archery equipment. I want you to join me once again in voluntarily participating Nebraska’s  Bowhunter Survey. Bowhunter survey? Hmmm … Another survey? Yes! So why should you, an archery deer hunter, consider maintaining a diary and counting free-ranging, wild deer and turkeys for us at Game and Parks? The answer: Because, like me, I know you passionately care about wildlife. Think about …

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