The LightGoose Conservation Order opened Saturday, Feb. 9.Unplugged shotguns and electronic calls are allowed for harvesting thegeese. Various zone regulations anddetails also come into the Order. Find more information in the current Waterfowl Guide-available from Gameand Parks or online at outdoornebraska.org.
The spectacularsandhill crane migration will be well underway in a few weeks, continuing into March. If you've never seen this great gathering ofbird life -- it's a sunrise and sunset wonder along the Platte -- especially betweenGrand Island and Lexington.
During theday, thousands of cranes can be seen pecking at waste grain and invertebratesin the surrounding fields. Be respectfulof private property-do not trespass, park safely on shoulders, and do notdisturb the birds. Three great places toview the birds and get more information are from the Crane Trust Nature Centerat the Alda exit (call 382-1820), Rowe Sanctuary southwest of Gibbon (call 468-5282), andthe Fort Kearney State Recreation Area (call 865-5305). Reserve a viewing blind soon and beat thecrowd.
Anotherspring show is put on by prairie chickens and sharptail grouse. The mating rituals of these birds is bothamusing and haunting. The BesseyNational Forest near Halsey and the Valentine National Wildlife Refuge areamong places on public lands where you can enjoy blind time. Also, several private outfitters offer this -- sandhillsmotel.com outof Mullen and calamusoutfitters.com out of the Burwell area -- the grouse show canrun anywhere from mid-March into early May.Dress warm for these outings.
Consider parting with a dollar, maybe even $5 or $10 to help outthe Nebraska Wildlife Conservation Fund.By law, dollars from hunting and fishing license sales can only gotoward work pertaining to species hunted or fished. That leaves the vast majority of species, bothplant and animal, dependent upon the Conservation fund for support.
Goonline to learn more at outdoornebraska.org and wait for the home screenpicture to appear that pertains to the Nebraska Wildlife ConservationFund. There are ways to donate even ifyou don't have a state tax refund coming. On your tax form, the fund isrepresented by a peregrine falcon logo -- look for it -- and keep our naturalresources in mind.