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Extremely Grateful

The season for gratitude and reflection is upon us. Thanksgiving week is when we remind our families, friends and close associates how much they mean to us and express our sincere appreciation for what positive things we have been given in life. While you are considering what you are thankful for, don’t forget nature. During the nine days of the recent firearm deer hunting season here in Cornhusker State, I selected a dozen key elements to be extremely grateful for …

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Firearm Deer Season: Enjoying the Experience

Nebraska’s most popular hunt is the 9-day firearm deer season (Nov. 14 through Nov. 22). This is one of the absolute best times of year to be outside and participate in it with the deer breeding period called “rut” happening. My lovely wife of well over 30 years, Polly Wagner, says that everything comes to a grinding halt in the Wagner family with the “rifle deer season.” It’s a terrific event, though. For many of us in the hunting lifestyle, …

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A Trophy Deer is Truly in the Eye of the Beholder

The deer harvested by a hunter prompted celebration but other hunters on social media certainly did not think so. You see, it was a smaller, younger white-tailed buck. It was a beautiful animal and a great photo of the proud hunter and his deer. I was one of the initial people to “like” the post on Facebook. However, it did not take long for the naysayers to chastise and ridicule the individual for shooting a basket-racked buck. Seriously? A trophy …

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How to take a quality photo with your deer

You are a deer hunter and you’re mentoring a new, young hunter in the field. The young deer hunter has just successfully shot their first deer. Congratulations! Knuckle bumps and high fives! Now, the opportunity is there for you to photographically capture the moment with the young hunter and their deer for all your friends and family members to see and to upload a pic to the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission’s website for the Take ‘Em Hunting challenge and …

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Deer hunting is so much more than just deer hunting

Someone once said: “Deer hunting is a lot about nothing.” “Nothing,” really? In my view, that statement is so far from the truth. It is the time of year for archery deer hunters and soon, firearm deer hunters, to be on their stands or in their blinds all day long, up to 12 hours. During his time off, Nebraska Conservation Officer Rich Berggren of Waterloo allows a photo to be taken before he enters his muzzleloader deer hunting season blind in …

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Tons of Tips for Hunting Public Lands

Hunting public lands. It can be a real challenge. Why? 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 lands offer a wide variety of opportunities for hunting different game species. And there is some good news. John Laux, Upland Habitat and Access Program Manager for the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission’s Wildlife Division, points …

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12 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 period 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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Deer hunters, buy a fall turkey permit

If you are a white-tailed deer hunter, you are going to see them. Maybe not today or tomorrow, but eventually. I am referring to wild turkeys. Even mule deer hunters will see flocks of wild turkeys in farm or ranch yards, patches of woods, creek bottoms and shelterbelts. The question for you, the Nebraska deer hunter, remains: Have you purchased a fall wild turkey hunting permit? If the answer is no then why have you not bought that permit yet? …

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Barn Owl Rescue

An Act of Devotion Nebraska Game and Parks district offices get many calls about wildlife. The call I received about stranded baby barn owls was no exception. A rural family was getting ready to tear down a dilapidated barn on their property when they noticed a baby owl peering over a ledge near the rafters. True stewards of wildlife, they called their local Nebraska Game and Parks office to find out what they could do. Typically, this type of information …

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Feathers: Nature’s Abstract Art

Nature’s Abstract Art About 20 years ago on a Sandhills hunt, I was arranging a few harvested grouse for a classic “I shot my limit” photo when I noticed something far more enticing — the feathers on the bird’s back accentuated in warm sunlight. After taking the photo, I was immediately hooked and have been photographing feather close-ups whenever the opportunity arises. For bird hunters, feathers to photograph are easy to come by. Gaudy rooster pheasants are decked out in …

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