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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.

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 »

Indian Cave State Park

Indian Cave State Park

For 50 years, Indian Cave State Park near Brownville has enticed visitors to soak in autumn’s vibrant colors along the forested bluffs lining the Missouri River. Named for the petroglyphs etched in the sandstone ledge by early American Indian tribes, the park offers many events during the fall season. Read More »

My Kind of Weather

Kayaking on Wagon Train Lake at Sunrise

When you grow up in Western Nebraska and move east, you never really get used to the heat and humidity, you just learn to live with it. And you learn that when the temperatures turn unseasonably cool in July or August, you get out and enjoy them. I did just that last weekend, taking advantage of gorgeous weather to photograph two stories: one on Wagon Train Lake and one on tanking, with this stop on the Elkhorn River. Not only ... Read More »

A Day Late … Again … Sort Of

Sunrise on the Platte with skies filled with cranes and snow geese.

I added yet another case of “should’ve been here yesterday” to my bourgeoning portfolio last week. Mary Harner from the Crane Trust called to let me know that a whooping crane had been spending the night in front of one of their viewing blinds on the Platte River south of Alda. I’m hoping to get lucky and have a chance to photograph one of those rare birds that has been fitted with a GPS transmitter for a story I’m following ... Read More »