Outdoor News: Spring turkey hunting, crane migration and more.

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Sign up for free spring turkey hunting workshops

Turkeys under a tree.

Are you new to turkey hunting or would like additional tips from a seasoned hunter? Just in time for spring turkey season, the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission is hosting a number of free workshops in March and April that tackle all aspects of turkey hunting.

Topics include strategies, equipment, biology, and ways to increase a hunter's confidence and success.

With lots of birds, a long season and plentiful and affordable permits -- including $8 permits for youth -- Nebraska offers an excellent turkey hunting experience, and is a great place for new hunters to get started.

The schedule is:

Space is limited. Register now using the links above, and get ready for a fun and successful hunting season. Permits are available at our website.

Bighorn sheep tracking effort underway

The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission got up-close and personal with 20 bighorn sheep ewes last week in an effort to track their future offspring. The goal is to get a handle on the species’ population struggles in the Pine Ridge area of northwestern Nebraska.

With the help of a helicopter wildlife capturing crew and others, Commission staff on Tuesday through Thursday, Feb. 14-16, equipped 20 pregnant female sheep with a device to immediately detect when lambs are born. The Commission has staged numerous bighorn sheep captures in past years involving the installation of telemetry collars, but this is its first bighorn-monitoring project using this type of transmitter. To read more and see pictures, visit us online.

Experience spring migration at Marsh Madness

Snow geese along Missouri River

Enjoy the wonders of the spring bird migration from scenic Ponca State Park during Marsh Madness.

Marsh Madness is a migratory celebration held each weekend in March at Ponca. The park’s location adjacent to the Missouri River presents a significant flyway that serves as the feeding, breeding and staging ground for migratory birds.

Ponca SP is listed as an “Important Bird Area” by the National Audubon Society, with nearly 300 bird species sighted and more than 70 of those breeding in the area. More than 20 waterfowl species have been observed from the park’s blinds.

Guided and unguided bird tours are available. Guided sunrise and sunset waterfowl blind viewings are scheduled every Saturday in March, but space is limited.

For more information about Marsh Madness, blind reservations, other activities, and lodging discounts available, contact the park at 402-755-2284. Information about each day's specific programs is available on our calendar

Hunting accident reports at all-time low in 2016

The three hunting accidents reported to the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission in 2016 were the fewest recorded in a year since the state began keeping track in 1958. None of the 2016 hunting incidents was fatal.

The 2016 incidents mark a decrease compared to the 10 incidents – none fatal – recorded in 2015.

“Hunting in Nebraska continues to be a very safe outdoor recreational activity in which many families participate,” Nebraska Hunter Education Coordinator Wendy Horine said. To read more about the report, visit us online.

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Upcoming Events

Kids playing in a tent

Kids' summer day camps

Enrollment is open for fun summer day camps at the Nebraska Game and Parks Outdoor Education Center in Lincoln! The four camps in June, July and August focus on education and outdoor fun, covering everything from archery to kayaking to outdoor cooking, wildlife knowledge and more. Space is limited. Read details online.

Sandhill cranes

Women's crane viewing event

Spend an enjoyable day at Fort Kearny State Historical Park on March 11 viewing and learning more about the majestic sandhill crane! Fort Kearny is a wonderful place to view the cranes, and the day will include visits from local experts, photography, waterfowl, and coffee and chili. Women 16 and older are welcome. Learn more and register online.

Hiking the trails at Ponca

Saturday fun at Ponca

Come out to Ponca State Park on Saturday, Feb. 25, and spend a fun day with the family learning more about the park's wildlife. The day will include a sunset bird tour, a guided hike through the forest at Ponca, an educational session about the winter critters of Ponca, and a craft of making bird doorknob hangers. Fees apply to some activities. Learn more online.

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Popular Online

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Follow us on Instagram!

If there's one thing NEBRASKAland is known for, it's the breathtaking photography captured by our staff. Follow our Instagram page to see frequent updates showcasing beautiful NEBRASKAland photography from across the state, as well as interesting tidbits of information about the subject of each picture.

Plate of cooked game

Game cooking tips, recipes

There's a big "wild" world of potential menu items to be explored, beyond the typical items at the grocery store -- wild game! In this blog, Wendy Horine concentrates on cooking and processing tips for commonly hunted species, and includes recipes for squirrel or rabbit in a crock pot, brined wild turkey, and marinated grilled venison.

Going boating

Watercraft inspection

"The threat from aquatic invasive species requires all of us to do what we can to prevent their spread," writes Game and Parks fisheries biologist Daryl Bauer. Read this blog to learn more about two upcoming watercraft inspection workshops that will teach you the most effective way to combat this ongoing problem. Knowledge is power!

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Featured photo from NEBRASKAland Magazine:

Golden sun sets over the river.

The sun sets over the river in Marsland, located in Dawes County.

Bob Grier/NEBRASKAland Magazine

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Nebraska Game and Parks Commission
2200 North 33rd Street
Lincoln, NE 68503

Nebraska Game and Parks Commission is responsible for stewardship of the state's fish, wildlife, parklands, and outdoor recreation opportunities.

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