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Wildlife

The Most Secretive of Skunks

skunk

Rare Eastern spotted skunk found at the Valentine National Wildlife Refuge The Decline of the Spotted Skunk Biologists surmise that populations of spotted skunks – like many other species – declined when white settlers moved into the Great Plains and began hunting and trapping them. Their numbers rebounded some in the 1930s and 1940s when the landscape was dotted with small farmsteads that provided good habitat for the species. Spotted skunks, which eat grubs, grasshoppers and small mammals, often lived …

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No Water Needed for Hunting Canada Geese

Do  you really need water, pumps, pit blinds, lots of expensive decoys and to be part of a high-priced hunting lease to successfully hunt Canada geese in Nebraska? No, not necessarily. Field hunting for Canada geese is a ton of fun and can be very effective! It’s also much cheaper, easier and quicker than trying to establish a goose hunting spread with a boat blind on a pond, lake, reservoir or river. Waterfowl hunters establish a field spread for Canada goose hunting in a harvested corn field in …

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Lake Minatare opening to birdwatchers Dec. 8

Lake Minatare Lighthouse

MINATARE, Neb. — The public will have a special opportunity for viewing birds during an event at Lake Minatare State Recreation Area on Friday, Dec. 8. The event marks the only opportunity for the public to access the 2,158-acre reservoir on the North Platte National Wildlife Refuge for its annual closure between Oct. 15 and Jan. 14. Birdwatchers who want to participate in the one-day event may arrive at the lighthouse on Lakeview Point any time between 8-11 a.m. Binoculars, …

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Archery hunter’s bighorn sheep likely a Nebraska record

Jason Bruce with ram

GERING, Neb. – There may be a new state record among bighorn sheep harvested in Nebraska. Archery hunter Jason Bruce of Lockeford, California, claimed success during Nebraska’s bighorn sheep season with a massive ram taken on private property in the rocky Wildcat Hills near Gering on Saturday, Dec. 2. Todd Nordeen, the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission biologist who manages Nebraska’s bighorn sheep program, said the mature ram, estimated to be 10 years old, had a gross score of 195 …

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Three parks to host Christmas Bird Counts in December

NGPC Latest News logo

LINCOLN, Neb. – Take part in a winter tradition and participate in the Christmas Bird Count this month at three state park areas across the state. Events will be held Dec. 14 at Ponca State Park (SP), Dec. 16 at Indian Cave SP, and Dec. 30 at Lake Ogallala State Recreation Area (SRA). The Christmas Bird Count is a program of the National Audubon Society, with more than 100 years of citizen science involvement. This event is a one-day bird …

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The turtle — a master of wintering

Painted turtle

Some of the most common wildlife have the most magnificent capabilities. Painted turtles basking on a log is a familiar scene at ponds throughout Nebraska and much of the United States during summer months. Where, though, do those turtles go when temperatures drop and a heavy sheet of ice surrounds that log and covers that pond from shore to shore? This article provides some interesting information about how painted turtles, snapping turtles and other species of shelled reptiles survive the …

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Take Them Hunting

It was the eve of deer rifle season, sitting by the front door were two pairs of boots, two blaze orange vests, a backpack of snacks, binoculars and one rifle.  They were ready to go!  Catching the last few minute of sleep I hear small feet walking towards the bed.  “Mom, I thought dad was getting up early to go hunting?”  Seeing that is was 5:25 am, I reassured him that dad’s alarm clock will be going off any minute.  …

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Life Lessons – Through Hunting

Now that we’re deep into deer season we’ve been seeing more and more harvest photographs taken by archery mentors involved in our youth mentor hunt program.  These aren’t typical trophy buck harvest photographs but they capture something just as valuable: a hunter’s first harvest.  After learning the basics, observing experienced hunters and lots of practice…they did it and the look on their faces as they pose next to their deer says it all. This Kodak moment is only one small …

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Nebraska spring turkey hunters report high satisfaction, success

Merriam's Wild Turkey

LINCOLN, Neb. – Hunters liked what they experienced while pursuing wild turkeys in Nebraska this spring according to an annual survey by the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. Almost all respondents — more than 96 percent — of the 2017 turkey hunter survey said they would hunt Nebraska again based on their experiences. The survey data underscores many of the reasons Nebraska is the best turkey-hunting destination in the nation, said Jim Douglas, Commission director. Commission officials often point out …

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The Sandhills Call To Me

Anyone can appreciate the mountains but it takes a true outdoors person to appreciate the Sandhills.    They are as beautiful as they are rugged.   Inviting yet unforgiving.    Gentle to the eye yet harsh to all who inhabit this rugged and scenic landscape.  Filled with incredible flora and fauna along with some of the coolest people Nebraska has to offer.   Each year I have the good fortune of heading out into the Sandhills, shotgun in hand, to chase sharp-tailed grouse and …

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