Fort Atkinson hosting living history event

Fort Atkinson State Historical Park will host a living history event Aug. 31 and Sept. 1, featuring World War II military vehicles and a presentation on the Holocaust.

The Holocaust presentation is set for 1 to 2 p.m. in the visitor center both days, given by a speaker from the Institute for Holocaust Education. Other presentations include an archaeology tour from noon to 1 p.m. both days, led by Nolan Johnson of Nebraska History, and a talk on Fort Atkinson's keelboats from 11 a.m. to noon both days by Wade Davis and Terry Bush.

Iowa teacher honored

Norma McCutchan, life science teacher at Nodaway Valley High School in Greenfield, Iowa, is the 2019 recipient of the Brass Bluegill award from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources Fish Iowa! program.

McCutchan started using Fish Iowa! in 2012 to introduce animal behavior and Iowa's natural resources to her sophomore classes, and share her love of the outdoors.

"Many of my students aren't aware of the nature around them, activities available outdoors, and the impact we have on an ecosystem," McCutchan said. "I'm an outdoors person and want to share my experiences and passion for nature, and hopefully spark an interest in fishing."

McCutchan's students study Iowa fish species found in their regional lakes and characteristics of the fish. They learn about fishing baits and lures and make a hypothesis about which lure or bait they could use to catch a specific fish species.

After the students' research is complete, they put their knowledge into practice during a fish outing.

"I want students to experience the outdoors and joys of fishing," McCutchan said. "Many of my students have never gone fishing, don't know how to cast a rod, bait a hook, tie a hook/lure on their line, or remove a fish after it's caught. I get the privilege to teach them these skills."

Archery sites needed

A youth hunting program that teaches life skills like preparation, discipline and socialization is in need of accessible private land to act as an outdoor classroom.

Access has been the greatest limiting factor to the program. More youth archers can participate if more land partners can provide access.

The Mentored Youth Archery Program reaches 100 youth in eastern and central Nebraska. The program is a nearly year-round effort of adult mentors working with young archers in all aspects of being a successful hunter.

"The solution is out there," said Aaron Hershberger, Game and Parks' coordinator for the program. "We just need to find our land heroes — heroes willing to give the access needed so the program continues to be a positive impact in the lives of our youth."

To find out how landowners can help, contact Hershberger at ngpc.

DeSoto will host two deer hunts

DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge will have two antlerless deer hunts on Dec. 7 and 8 and Jan. 4 and 5.

The entire refuge is open to hunting. Both hunts are muzzleloader and antlerless deer only.

During these hunt weekends, the visitor center will remain open but the refuge roads and trails will be closed to all other visitor activity.

Hunters should be aware that with the flooding this year there could be issues with access to portions of the hunt area throughout the entire hunting season. As the hunt season approaches, hunters can contact the refuge to find out the latest updates on access to the hunt areas.

Nebraska residents will need to purchase either a Statewide Muzzeloader Permit or a Season Choice Wahoo Unit Permit to participate in the December hunt. For the January weekend, Nebraska residents will need to purchase a Season Choice Wahoo Unit Permit.

Nebraska hunters must notify Peter Rea by email ( if they plan to participate in either of the hunt weekends and they will then receive the refuge specific access permit along with more information on when they can access the refuge during the hunt.

Iowa residents can apply by sending a card with their name, address, phone number and the requested hunt weekend to DeSoto. Information can also be emailed to

For Iowa hunters, the drawing will be Sept. 1, if needed. Any remaining unfilled slots will be available on a first come basis.

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