Home » Author Archives: Jeff Kurrus, Editor

Author Archives: Jeff Kurrus, Editor

Originally from Memphis, Tennessee, Kurrus completed his Bachelor’s degree at the University of Memphis in 1998 and Master’s degree from the University of Nebraska-Omaha in 2002. After seven years as a freelance writer for various regional and national publications, he joined the Commission in 2006 as Associate Editor of NEBRASKAland and was named Editor in 2013. He collaborated with NEBRASKAland Contributing Editor Michael Forsberg on the children’s picture book “Have You Seen Mary?” in 2013. He spends most of his time outdoors with friends and family, and his passions include bass and northern pike fishing and whitetail deer hunting.

NEBRASKAland Summer Residency Program

Painted turtle

This summer, Lexi Christensen, a student at John Brown University in northwest Arkansas, became NEBRASKAland Magazine’s first summer photography resident. During this time, she continued her development as a photographer by shooting various assignments for the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, receiving critiques of her work throughout, researching story topics, and uploading her files into NEBRASKAland’s cloud-based storage system. You can see some of her work below. NEBRASKAland is already planning next summer’s residency. If you know any college students ... Read More »

Painless Cooking

After slow cooking venison, I'll shred it, much like BBQ pork, and serve with hamburger buns and cole slow.

When all else fails, cook it slow. Turkey and goose legs, venison shoulders and even fish fillets. Get it safe to eat and then dress your dinner up from there. You’ll need a few ingredients: – aluminum foil pan – aluminum foil – water – meat of choice For a general rule of thumb, heat the oven to 250 degrees and place your meat of choice in the pan with just enough water to cover half of your dinner, and ... Read More »

Happenstance Photos

Canada goose defending eggs at Eugene T. Mahoney State Park. My original intention was to shoot RV camper photos.

If I’m shooting a fishing trip, I’ll also come home with flower photos. A pheasant hunt shoot may end with a windmill image. This is how I shoot, and how I instruct others to shoot. Go with your original plan until something else catches your eye. Because if this new subject interests you, it’s likely to catch a viewer’s eye too.   Read More »

Kill or Be Killed: Life of a Nebraska Farm Pond


For the inhabitants of a Nebraska farm pond, the ability to survive seems miraculous when analyzing how many different ways a fish can die. On a calm spring or summer afternoon, Nebraska farm ponds look anything but treacherous. They are peaceful places to take a kid for an afternoon of bobbers and hooked fingers, or to steal an afternoon nap on the water’s edge. Below the surface, however, ponds are a place of death and destruction where mothers and fathers ... Read More »

Banking on the Refuge

Northern pike fishing on Clear Lake at Valentine National Wildlife Refuge.
Jeff Kurrus/NEBRASKAland Magazine

In Nebraska, the wind is going to blow – especially in wide-open locales like the lakes at the Valentine National Wildlife Refuge. I’ve gotten used to it, but some days I just don’t feel like trying to keep a boat straight. But no worries. The most productive adjustment I have made when fishing for species like largemouth bass and northern pike is one I’ve been using since childhood – bank fishing. Bank fishing is especially productive at a place like ... Read More »

Fishing Fix: Getting Unhung

Jeff Kurrus/NEBRASKAland Magazine

If you are really trying to catch fish, it’s definitely going to happen. So don’t even worry about it. But what should you do once you are snagged? Wait, let me back up. First, if you never want to get hung up, stay at the house. If you rarely want to get hung up, however, use only weedless lures. Scum frogs, grass mice, floating plastics, weedless jigs – all are good for throwing wherever and whenever you want. The next ... Read More »

Honey-do’s For Hunters: A Postseason Checklist

Jeff Kurrus/NEBRASKAland Magazine

For me, March has always been an in-between month. It’s still nearly a month away from turkey season and since God hasn’t yet made ice thick enough for me to venture onto, my fishing hasn’t quite kicked in. I’m not opposed to ice anglers and their ways per se, it’s just that I’m originally from an area of the world where ice on waterholes was something to definitely stay away from, not flock toward. So now I’m left with weekday ... Read More »

The Third Eyelid: Observations of the Nictitating Membrane

The nictitating membrane of an American robin is revealed while eating cherries at E.T. Mahoney SP.

Since fish have fluid constantly cleaning debris from their eyes, their use of eyelids for this purpose is not needed. However, as animals have moved through evolutionary history from water to land, the eye has slowly evolved to include the eyelid and tear ducts, whose purposes were to help keep the eye clear and clean. Yet for an animal such as a bird that is often in constant motion, creating the potential for additional dryness and debris to interrupt the ... Read More »

Tale of Two Deer

Tim Reigert/NEBRASKAland Magazine

Two different deer, two different situations. The following “tale of two deer” tells the absurdities and calamities of my pursuit of this most coveted Nebraska hunting species: On a backroads drive through southeastern Nebraska a couple winters back, I spotted what had to be a 400-class buck standing at the edge of a field. Stopping the truck, I greedily stared at the behemoth before he calmly sauntered into the woods. I went home but couldn’t seem to get the deer ... Read More »

From the Litter to the Field: Choosing Your Next Hunting Companion

The Italian spinone excels at both pointing and retrieving, a fact potential dog owners should know before purchasing.
Jeff Kurrus/NEBRASKAland Magazine

Purchasing a hunting dog can do nothing but add to the pleasure of the sport – if done correctly. I have seen more than one dog point a covey a quail, wait for the flush, then point the first of many singles before the shooter has vested the first bird. On the other hand, I’ve also been on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere, Kansas, chasing a dog that refused to hunt or return to the ... Read More »