Outdoor notes: Surveys hitting hunters’ inboxes soon
Hunters of upland and small game, waterfowl, fall turkey and deer will receive emailed invitations to participate in surveys about their harvest and hunting experiences.
These surveys, which the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission uses to estimate harvest, hunter participation and satisfaction — and to inform management decisions — will be emailed over several weeks, beginning Feb. 14. Surveys generally are available to participants for two weeks starting from the initial invitation.
Hunters who receive the invitation but have not responded to the survey will receive a reminder message midway through the survey period.
For hunters without internet access or who have not included an email address when they purchased their permit, the surveys will be available on the Game and Parks website.
Those who hunted multiple types of game may receive invitations to surveys specific to those game species and should complete each one.
Postseason surveys are among the best ways Game and Parks has to estimate harvest and participation and gauge satisfaction with hunting experiences. Hunters are encouraged to complete their surveys, even if no game was harvested.
“Game and Parks places tremendous value on hunter and public input because it helps us provide the best management services possible,” said Alicia Hardin, wildlife division administrator. “If you hunted, please take the surveys so your feedback informs our decisions.”
Results from these annual surveys will be available at OutdoorNebraska.org when they become available.
Stahlecker receives Agency Partner Certificate of Merit for life-saving effort
Nebraska Game and Parks Commission Conservation Officer Trevor Stahlecker was honored Feb. 15 for his role in a life-saving effort last fall at Pawnee State Recreation Area.
Stahlecker received an Agency Partner Certificate of Merit from the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office.
Lancaster County Sheriff Terry Wagner also presented a Life Saving Award to Lancaster County Sheriff’s Deputy Zachary Meyer.
On Sept. 21, 2021, Stahlecker and Meyer responded to an abandoned 911 call from the recreation area northwest of Lincoln. The two found an unresponsive woman in the lake. They immediately retrieved her and provided life-saving support. She later was taken to a hospital where she was treated and connected with additional services.
But for the officers’ quick actions, the woman may not have survived.
Stahlecker has been a conservation officer since 2017. He covers Lancaster and Saline counties.
Catch these Game and Parks education events in March
Nebraska Game and Parks Commission educators have scheduled interesting and engaging events for the curious in March. Here are several opportunities:
Little Saplings early childhood program presents Traces and Tracks
The Little Saplings early childhood nature discovery program will have the program, Traces and Tracks, at 9 a.m. March 2 at Schramm Education Center near Gretna.
Footprints in mud and snow give clues about what animals are around in the spring. We’ll look closely, predict, and match tracks to tell who’s been there.
This program, designed for children ages 2-5 and their adult caregiver, will bring nature themes to life through stories, sensory activities, crafts and outdoor exploration.
See the calendar event entry at calendar.outdoornebraska.gov for more information.
Game and Parks to host The Science of … Salamanders
Salamanders often are confused with lizards. But these aquatic amphibians couldn’t be more different from their reptile counterparts. Join the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission for the virtual webinar The Science of … Salamanders at 3 p.m. Central time March 3.
Salamanders are some of the most secretive animals on the planet, and most people never see them. Their long bodies and short limbs support their lifestyle in damp conditions, which helps them breathe. They often can breathe through their skin. Join this webinar to learn more.
Nature Experience Learning Centers educator training: Birds and Beaks
The Nature Experience Learning Center educator trainings are a series of short virtual educator workshops, each focusing on a different nature topic. The topic at 1 p.m. March 10 will be birds and their beaks.
This workshop is for in-home and center childcare providers of children ages birth through 5. Learn the similarities and differences between different wildlife tracks as well as everything students can acquire from looking at animal tracks. Fun activities will be included.
Learn about Nebraska conservation officers at Schramm Sunday Speaker Series
Learn how conservation officers protect Nebraska’s natural resources and help keep people safe by attending the Schramm Sunday Speaker Series at 2 p.m. March 13 at the Schramm Education Center near Gretna.
Listen to tales from the field from officers Sophia Gobber and Dan Evasco. The first half of the program will take place in a classroom, and then participants can head outside to view the Nebraska Wildlife Crimestoppers mobile exhibit trailer.
The event is free, but seating is limited. Visit the event listing at calendar.outdoornebraska.gov for more information or to register.
The Schramm Sunday Speaker Series is a monthly program where experts in the field deliver presentations related to nature and science in Nebraska. All programs take place in the Schramm Education Center classroom. Visitors also wishing to tour Schramm Education Center must pay admission to the center and enter through the main entrance. No park permit is required in the Center’s parking lot.
For more information, contact Jen Ruyle, outdoor education specialist, at [email protected] or 402-332-5022.
Nature Nerd Night to feature Starlight Ecology on March 15
Nocturnal animals have adapted to the night life. In the Nebraska Nature Nerd Night virtual webinar Starlight Ecology, outdoor educators will discuss how the night sky helps some animals find resources to survive. The free event starts at 7 p.m. Central time March 15.
Registration is required through the event listing at calendar.outdoornebraska.gov. Participants also may submit questions to be answered during the webinar while registering. For more information, contact [email protected] or follow the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission or Nebraska Wildlife Education on Facebook.
Those unable to attend can view the recorded webinar on the Nebraska Game and Parks YouTube Education Channel.
The Nebraska Nature Nerd Night series, for curious adults, takes places on the third Tuesday of every month.
Spring Break Days at Schramm all about frogs
It’s all about frogs at the Schramm Education Center near Gretna on March 15 and 17 during Spring Break Days.
Adults and students on break can learn about the habitats and adaptations of Nebraska’s frogs and toads. From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., outdoor educators will lead a series of educational activities, crafts and games.
The cost is $10 for adults, $7 for ages 4-12 and seniors, and free for ages 3 and under.
Homeschool Hike set for March 16 at Schramm Park SRA
Come to Schramm Park State Recreation Area near Gretna on March 16 for Homeschool Hikes, a nature exploration program for homeschool families.
On the third Wednesday of the month at 9 a.m., an outdoor educator leads a guided hike while participants ask questions, draw, observe and make discoveries in nature.
Visit the event listing at calendar.outdoornebraska.gov for more information and to register.
Explore the parks with these Game and Parks events in March
Spring is arriving soon, and activities will be picking up in Nebraska’s state park areas. The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission has scheduled events in March for people to explore. Here are several opportunities:
Arbor Lodge celebrating National Quilting Day with exhibit
Arbor Lodge Mansion at Arbor Lodge State Historical Park is celebrating National Quilting Day, which is March 19, by hosting a special exhibit featuring quilts from the Arbor Lodge collection. The exhibit will be on display each Saturday and Sunday in March.
Learn about the history of quilting and see how a once-utilitarian craft has evolved into an art form. Demonstrations will occur throughout each weekend. Adults and children can enjoy creating quilted make-and-take activities.
The event is included with Arbor Lodge Mansion admission. Visit the event listing at calendar.outdoornebraska.gov to buy tickets. Call 402-873-7222 for more information.
Experience spring bird migration at Ponca SP’s Marsh Madness
Enjoy the wonders of the spring bird migration from scenic Ponca State Park during Marsh Madness on March 5, 12, 19 and 26.
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 sunrise and sunset waterfowl blind viewings are scheduled, but space is limited. Call the park at 402-755-2284 for reservations.
Other birding-related activities are scheduled throughout the day.
Mystery at the Mansion set for March 12
Come to Arbor Lodge State Historical Park on March 12 for an evening of fun with Mystery at the Manson: Murder at Deadwood Saloon. This old-fashioned whodunit will take place at Arbor Lodge Mansion at 5:30 p.m.
Solve clues, look for evidence and break the case while mingling. Participants will receive a character to portray as they arrive at Arbor Lodge Mansion. Wear your own Western duds or select from props.
Cost is $25, and space is limited for this adults-only event. Tickets must be purchased in advance. Visit the event listing at calendar.outdoornebraska.gov to buy tickets or for information on adding dinner or lodging.
Beginning Bird Carving Workshop is March 20 at Schramm
Learn how to create decoys from members of the Central Flyway Decoy Collectors and Carvers Club at the Beginning Bird Carving Workshop on March 20 at Schramm Education Center near Gretna.
The instructors will cover the history of decoy carving, methods for carving, woodburning techniques, painting and habitat design. This workshop is open to adults and youth ages 8 and above when accompanied by an adult.
To register for this free workshop, which begins at 1 p.m., contact Kelly Ekue at [email protected] or 402-332-5022. Space is limited.