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Find NEBRASKAland magazine and the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission online at these websites:

Inside Saunders County: Wine-making hobby led to Cellar 426

Robert Hilske is a professional when it comes to mixing business with pleasure. Hilske, the owner of Cellar 426 winery, spent many years pursuing wine making as a hobby, growing his knowledge and passion for the practice.

Searches turn up empty after reports of cougar sightings in Wayne, Nebraska

Nebraska Game and Parks Commission officials are investigating reports of a mountain lion sightings near the Summer Sports Complex in Wayne, Nebraska.

Couch's Kingbird, a rare species for Nebraska, spotted near Valley

Birder Justin Rink has confirmed the sighting of the first Couch’s Kingbird in the area.


Target shooting banned on portions of Hamburg Bend WMA

Target shooting is prohibited, effective immediately, on portions of Hamburg Bend Wildlife Management Area (WMA) south of Nebraska City in Otoe County because of safety issues.


Requests for special grouse permits accepted

East Zone special grouse permit applications are being accepted by the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission until all permits are taken.


New hunter education options available

New options are available for people who want to become certified in hunter education in Nebraska. These options are designed to make the course accessible to more people.


North Platte’s Pavelka, Rowland win state high school fishing title

Grant Pavelka and Tyler Rowland of the North Platte Bass Bosses caught a five-fish limit weighing 9.86 pounds to capture the Nebraska High School Fishing Championship on July 25 at Lewis and Clark Lake near Crofton.

Family fishing event Saturday at Merritt Reservoir State Recreation Area

LINCOLN (AP) — The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission is hosting a family fishing event at Merritt Reservoir State Recreation Area in Cherry County.


Davis: Heavyweight fight wipes out challengers

In this fish fight, I was left bruised and bloody. And I can’t wait to take another beating. My goal at Lake McConaughy had been a 30-inch toothy walleye. As always, things didn’t go as expected.


Notes: Cambridge pair wins high school trophy

Jackson Ebbers and Tyler Witte of Cambridge won the Nebraska BASS Nation’s high school championship at Maple Creek Recreation near Leigh.


$5 Fridays coming to Nebraska Game and Parks Outdoor Education Center

The Nebraska Game and Parks Outdoor Education Center in Lincoln will offer special shooting rates at the indoor shooting park each Friday in July and August.

South Omaha

Gernandt, neighborhood leader happy about progress at Spring Lake Park

Dirt work has begun in the effort to return a lake to the historic park, as part of the City of Omaha’s sewer overhaul project.

All the way to St. Louis: Canoeist rests up in Omaha before resuming remarkable 2,321-mile river journey

Dave Starkey, 58, says he felt especially welcomed in Omaha, where he rested for two nights and loaded up on fast food; he has lost 40 pounds since he began his trek in early May from the Missouri River’s source in western Montana; he expects to arrive at the St. Louis Arch at the end of August.

Wait a sec ... wasn't Lake McConaughy supposed to be lower than normal this year?

It rained. Then it rained more. And more. Then it rained again. And the signature white-sand beaches that draw upward of 1 million visitations a year were underwater.

Camp counselor finds baby mammoth tooth on trek in Lincoln

A summer camp counselor thinks recent flooding may have helped unearth or carry to Lincoln a baseball-sized tooth believed to belong to a baby mammoth.


Outdoor calendar: Important dates for August

The following is a listing of Nebraska Game and Parks Commission events and important dates in August.


Notes: Bighorn sheep lottery permit applications close Aug. 7; Campfire Christmas in July

Nebraska residents may apply for a bighorn sheep lottery permit through Aug. 7.

Confirmed mountain lion sightings rise in Missouri, Kansas

Almost all the mountain lions confirmed in Kansas and Missouri since 1994 were males coming from established populations in the Black Hills, Badlands and northwestern Nebraska.


Notes: Harvest Information Program registration begins Aug. 1

Registration for the Harvest Information Program begins Aug. 1. HIP registration is required of residents age 16 and older and all nonresidents who plan to hunt migratory game birds in Nebraska between Aug. 1, 2015 and July 31, 2016. These birds are doves, ducks, geese, snipe, rail, coots and woodcock.


Ducey: With rain, Niobrara more scenic than usual

Park Superintendent Steve Thede found picture-perfect conditions last week when he floated down the Niobrara National Scenic River. “The grass is green, the trees are green, the flowers are out,” he said. “It’s just great out there.”


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