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Game and Parks closing public access to wildlife viewing blinds

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NORTH PLATTE, Neb. – In a proactive state and national effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus and ensure the health of its customers and staff, the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission is closing the public crane viewing blind at North River Wildlife Management Area north of Hershey. The Commission aims to protect its staff and customers by removing opportunities for crowds to gather at facilities and events and by maintaining clean areas that are available to the public. …

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Nature is the Respite for Coronavirus Concerns in Nebraska

Though we are in uncharted territory with COVID-19 regarding advisories and mandates, truly there is no better place to gain easy personal solitude or social distancing from the virus than in nature! All state park area grounds are open! They are not closed! They remain open to you for all sorts of outdoor pursuits – Sightseeing, picnicking, running, hiking, biking, camping, wildlife watching, fishing, mushroom hunting, etc. The Cowboy Trail is also open for use. Enjoying time in our state …

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Fighting for Every Acre

The Joint Venture and the Rainwater Basin By Jeff Kurrus Late this fall, I had the opportunity to spend some time with Rainwater Basin (RWB) Joint Venture Coordinator Andy Bishop, who toured me through the Basin, meeting ranchers and landowners who have very intimate knowledge of this landscape and how they benefit from the wetlands, and how the wetlands benefit from them. I also had the chance to spend some time on the basins myself, shotgun in hand in search …

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Crossbow for Spring Wild Turkey Hunting

Nebraska’s popular archery spring wild turkey hunting season is just around the corner It opens on March 25. And, seemingly a growing number of hunters (like myself) have added another piece of legal archery equipment to their repertoire — the modern crossbow. The increasing popularity of crossbows for hunting and harvesting game is even showing up in Game and Parks surveys. Some folks will be quick to let you know that a crossbow or arbalest is a firearm. That is …

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2019 Flood: $19 million in Damage

Game and Parks Still Working to Recover For many Nebraskans, 2019 was a tough year. Historic flooding in March sent nearly every river in the eastern half of the state out of its banks, washing out highways, bridges, dams, levees, farms and homes, and killing four people and countless livestock. Flooding along the Missouri River in southeastern Nebraska continued throughout the year. More floods hit south-central Nebraska in July and the northeast in September. It is estimated that the flooding …

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Let No One Tell You Snow and Ross’s Geese Aren’t Delicious!

As a conservation professional, I get sick and tired of people calling snow and Ross’s geese nasty nicknames and saying that they are downright unfit to eat. Look, they are not “sky carp,” “lutefisk with feathers,” “an over-cooked catcher’s mitt,” “rats with white feathers,” or “trash birds.” No, not by a long shot!  Your blogger displays snow geese harvested during a recent Light Goose Conservation Order hunt in south-central Nebraska. Photo courtesy of Greg Wagner/Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. They …

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Broadcast News

I am sharing some broadcast news related to Nebraska’s outdoor scene with you this week. Regarding my weekly television appearance about outdoors-related activities and destinations, that can now be seen on Omaha’s ABC news affiliate KETV NewsWatch 7 and www.KETV.com between 8 and 8:30 a.m. on Saturday mornings with popular  TV anchor/host, John Oakey. Called the “Great Outdoors,” this segment represents a fresh, new visual approach to letting you know about various outdoor news items and features around the Omaha-metro …

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Think Like a Buck to Find Shed Deer Antlers

A wildlife biologist I knew used tell me that to be an effective shed deer antler hunter, you must know white-tailed deer biology and “think like a buck.” I get the biology part, but “think like a buck? Hmmm … Luke Meduna who’s the Big Game Program Manager for the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, responds to that shed antler hunting strategy by saying: “Yes, to be successful, a shed deer antler hunter needs to think like a buck, but …

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Halt Eastern Redcedar Invasion

Opportunities coming to halt eastern redcedar invasion One of the greatest threats to Nebraska livestock production comes in an unassuming package. Eastern redcedar (juniperus virginiana), with its fragrant foliage and purplish “berries,” doesn’t look like a threat. But science has shown that once it takes over an area, rangeland productivity decreases by 75 percent, as the trees strip forage grasses of necessary sunlight and water. And once rangeland has been compromised by redcedar, restoring productivity isn’t cheap: cedar removal can …

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The Rope Buck

The stuff one witnesses in the great outdoors never ceases to amaze. As of late, enter the story of the “rope buck.” During Nebraska’s 2019 muzzleloader deer hunting season in December, the neighboring landowner who lives to the south of our farm was in his stand watching for white-tailed deer. A buck emerged at a distance, he closely examined it with binoculars. It was a nice-sized white-tailed buck, but something was very odd about its antlers. As the buck moved …

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