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Author Archives: Eric Fowler, Regional Editor

NEBRASKAland Regional Editor Eric Fowler was born in Hastings, graduated from Ogallala High School in 1988 and earned his Bachelor’s degree from Chadron State College in 1993. After six years as a writer and photographer with newspapers in Chadron and Scottsbluff, he joined the Commission in 1998 as Publications Editor and has been a member of the NEBRASKAland staff since 2001. He has won numerous awards from the Association for Conservation Information for writing featured in the magazine. Fowler enjoys spending time outdoors with friends and family, including his son. His passions include hunting waterfowl, upland and big game, fishing, especially in the Sandhills, hiking, camping and watching the sun rise or set anywhere in Nebraska.

Goose and Duck Kabobs

Goose kabobs. Canada goose grilled with onions and bell peppers and bacon.

  There’s something special about cooking over an open flame. Which is why I don’t understand the ads that start in the spring telling me it’s grilling season. I’ll fire mine up and melt snow off the top if I have to in the winter. But being cheap/frugal, I guess it does make more sense to grill in the summer, when you don’t want to heat up the house with the stove. There is also something special about grilled food ... Read More »

Big Mac Pike

Jamie Vasa of Ogallala holds a
37-inch northern pike caught July
2013 while trolling spinnerbaits and
crankbaits over submerged trees at
Lake McConaughy.
Eric Fowler/NEBRASKAland Magazine

Northern pike have been swimming in Lake McConaughy since biologists stocked them around the time the reservoir on the North Platte River began filling in 1941. But judging by fish sampling data, angler reports and the 10 pike that topped 36 inches in length or 10 pounds to qualify for Master Angler there in 2013, the current population may be the best since. That doesn’t mean there are a lot of the toothy critters in the lake. “[The pike population] ... Read More »

Boiled Omelets

Eric Fowler/NEBRASKAland Magazine

For no good reason, I hate doing dishes when I’m camping. Well, to be honest, I hate doing them when I’m home, too. But since I go camping to relax, it’s usually cereal or rolls or something else cold to start the day. That all changed at a Cub Scout campout a few years ago, when I learned how to cook an omelet with no cleanup required: Just boil it in a Ziploc bag. Yes, I know, I was late ... Read More »

Turkey Vultures: Nature’s Cleanup Crew

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There are many beautiful bird species that soar through Nebraska’s skies. And then there’s the turkey vulture, with a face only a mother could love. To be fair, the turkey vulture’s plumage, while drab, is not unattractive – it’s the bird’s beady eyes and bald, red head (which resembles that of a wild turkey, hence its name) that are hard to like. Add in its seemingly disproportionally smallness compared to the rest of the body and it’s easy to see ... Read More »

Goose (or duck) Kabobs

Eric Fowler/NEBRASKAland Mgaazine

Ingredients: Skinless, boneless duck or goose, bacon, bell peppers, onions, and tomatoes. You know, kabob stuff. Marinate: 1 can beer (the cheap stuff is fine), ½ cup soy sauce, 1 teaspoon ginger Directions: Cut duck or goose breasts and thighs into 1-inch cubes and marinate in the refrigerator overnight. Drain meat, wrap in bacon and thread onto bamboo or metal skewers with cubed vegetables between each chunk. Grill until medium or medium-rare (don’t overcook), turning often and dousing fire started ... Read More »

Meat for the Freezer

The author and his doe.

  I don’t get nearly as excited as I used to about deer season. Once upon a time, I hunted all day, every day, though the 9 days of rifle season, hoping to find a trophy buck. In recent seasons, my hunts have lasted a few days. The main goal now is to put a little meat in the freezer. It’s not that I’m too old to hunt that hard, although some will grin as they tell me I am. ... Read More »

Whitetails and Mulies: Tips for the Taking

Eric Fowler/NEBRASKAland Magazine

Whitetails Most white-tailed deer live in heavy cover offered by woodlands, and hence, are most abundant along rivers and in forested areas of eastern Nebraska. The easiest way to harvest a whitetail is to spend an evening waiting for one to arrive at its dining room: a crop field adjacent to heavy cover. Chances are you found one of these feeding areas while you were looking for a place to hunt. All you need to do now is find a ... Read More »

Tree My Dog: Vocabulary of the Raccoon Hunter

Jerry Spech handles Colonel and Thor, two of his five bluetick coonhounds, at the base of  a cottonwood tree, with a treed raccoon.
Eric Fowler/NEBRASKAland Magazine

You don’t have to spend much time around a raccoon hunter to figure out the sport has its own vocabulary. Some of the colloquialisms are self-explanatory, but those who don’t know the difference between a bluetick and a deer tick should read on: Strike – When a hound finds the first raccoon scent trail after being sent into the woods at the start of a hunt. Open – The howl a dog lets out when it strikes a track. On ... Read More »

Why I Hunt

Steve O’Hare and Eric Fowler spending one of many fall mornings hunting geese.  
Eric Fowler/NEBRASKAland Magazine

I like to hunt. I really like to hunt. A lot. You could say it’s who I am. Why? The normal clichéd answers might be that I enjoy the recreation, exercise, spending time with friends and family, the taste of game meat, or even that I’m satisfying primordial urges. All of these are important, but what I enjoy most is that hunting melts the stress of everyday life from my body. When I hunt, whether I’m sitting in the whitetail ... Read More »

Darn That Fog

DarnThatFog

Waking to a landscape covered in hoarfrost is a photographer’s dream. Hoarfrost’s creation is a simple combination of water vapor in the air and cold temperatures. The vapor source, however, can range from atmospheric fog to steam fog rising from water that is warmer than the air above it. You can’t always look at the forecast and plan for it, but it doesn’t take a degree in meteorology to know that when overnight lows dip to -16 degrees, you can ... Read More »