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Flora & Fauna

Game and Parks seeks comment on elk management plan

LINCOLN, Neb. – The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission is seeking public input on its draft elk management plan. The purpose of the plan, which is a working document, is to provide background and historical information about elk in Nebraska, while providing guidance in the decision-making process. Game and Parks will host two virtual public informational meetings on the plan: 7 p.m. Central time Sept. 20 and 2 p.m. Sept. 22. To view the plan or register for the virtual …

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Why Hunting Is So Important

With September just a one more quick flip my on NEBRASKAland magazine calendar, it is time once again to reflect on the age old question of why hunting is so important. Yeah, I know hunting is important. But, why do you think hunting is important? Give it some more thought. Really think about the question: Why is hunting important? Why is hunting important to you, if you hunt? If you don’t hunt, why do you think hunting is important? Sure, hunting offers a multitude of benefits. Hunting is quiet …

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Preseason Checklist For Hunters

We are in the “dog days” of summer. In fact, it was so hot in Nebraska the other day I saw a coyote chasing a rabbit and they both were walking! Just kidding. On the serious side of things, wildflowers are in bloom, ears of sweet corn are being harvested and elderberries will soon be ripe. The start of school is also just around the corner. Boating, swimming, tubing and fishing are being widely enjoyed now on the hot weekends. …

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Wing Commander

Commission biologist Randy Stutheit’s experience evaluating duck wings over the years has helped formulate waterfowl regulations across central U.S. Quickly studying a duck’s wing, Randy Stutheit plays a role in determining waterfowl regulations and seasons in states throughout the central portion of the country. But he’s been doing it awhile — 35 years — and that experience means a lot in the Central Flyway, which stretches from Canada to Mexico. Stutheit, a longtime wildlife biologist with the Nebraska Game and …

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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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Becoming Part of Something Bigger

The Wildlife Conservation Fund The Nebraska state income tax form isn’t known for its wildlife illustrations. Yet, tucked on the second page is a small illustration of a peregrine falcon, along with a space to donate to the Wildlife Conservation Fund. These tax-deductible donations play a vital role in conserving Nebraska’s wildlife, said Melissa Panella, Nebraska Game and Parks’ wildlife diversity program manager. They form the Wildlife Conservation Fund, which is “one of the primary means that Game and Parks …

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The Dewy Bug Guy Is Back

All the photos in this article were photographed on the morning of Sept. 15, 2019, at Lincoln Creek Prairie in Aurora. When I first started working with Nebraskaland as a college student in the mid-1990s, my nickname among at least some of the magazine staff was “the dewy bug guy.” It was completely fair. A large part of my portfolio, such as it was, consisted of insects covered in tiny water droplets. At the time, my parents had recently helped …

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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. However, it’s not quite time yet. Here I am checking out wild elderberries for ripeness on a Saunders …

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Nebraska Big Game Society supports big game efforts with Game and Parks donation

LINCOLN, Neb. – The Nebraska Big Game Society, which raises money through membership dues and its fundraising spring auction and dinner, donated $27,000 to the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission on July 13. NBGS President Justin Hertzel, Secretary Jim King and board members Aaron Baumann and Tom King made a check presentation to Game and Parks Director Jim Douglas. The check represented the sale of the Nebraska Resident Elk tag to the highest bidder. Additional funds raised are earmarked for …

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Find 100 birds during Nebraska parks centennial year

LINCOLN, Neb. — In honor of 100 years of state parks, the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission is calling on birders to find and identify 100 bird species in its park areas by the end of 2021. Birders of all experience levels are invited to visit Game and Parks’ state parks, state recreation areas, state historical parks or wildlife management areas to spot birds and log them using eBird or iNaturalist. Both are available online or via mobile app. Once …

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