Outdoor notes: Hunting on state recreation; Bioblitz coming to Chadron State Park

LINCOLN, Neb. – Hunters are reminded that state recreation areas (SRA) are closed to hunting until Sept. 4.

Several hunting seasons will be open during the Labor Day weekend. Archery deer, teal, dove, grouse and other small game seasons will be open Sept. 1. SRA regulations prohibit any hunting until the Tuesday following Labor Day. This year that date is Sept. 4.

Regulations state the portions of some SRAs are open to hunting from the first Tuesday following Labor Day through the end of the spring turkey hunting season, unless restricted. A park entry permit is required for vehicles entering the SRAs. Hunting is prohibited within 100 yards of any public use facility or activity area, including picnic areas, campgrounds, private cabins, concession areas, boat ramps, and parking lots.

Wildlife management areas, Open Fields and Waters sites and other public lands are open to hunting. The Public Access Atlas lists more than 300 publicly owned areas open to hunting. Visit OutdoorNebraska.org/wheretohunt for public hunting access opportunities.

For summaries of hunting regulations, read the Small Game, Waterfowl and Big Game guides at Outdoornebraska.gov/guides/. Purchase permits at OutdoorNebraska.org.

Bioblitz coming to Chadron State Park

CHADRON, Neb. – The public is invited to examine the natural diversity of the Pine Ridge during the third annual Chadron State Park Bioblitz on Friday and Saturday, Sept. 14-15.

A bioblitz engages attendees to identify as many plants and animal species as possible within a designated area and timeframe. During this bioblitz, members of the public will team up with local natural resources experts to explore and learn about the biodiversity and habitat at Chadron State Park.

The event, which is being led by the Bird Conservancy of the Rockies, will kick off with a free pizza dinner at the park’s community building at 6 p.m. Friday. Scheduled activities and sessions will run from 7 p.m. that night through noon the next day at locations throughout the park. Registration is required to attend the dinner and the first 20 participants to register will receive a free bioblitz T-shirt.

“If you’re looking for a fun, free event to get you and your family outside this summer, this is a great opportunity,” said Amber Schiltz, Nebraska’s wildlife education coordinator for the Conservancy. “Kids and adults alike will love the chance to get out and explore while learning from experts about our amazing natural diversity. We’re excited to continue this event at the Chadron State Park.”

The sessions will include surveys for a wide variety of organisms including mammals, plants, insects and owls. Experts also will present information about bighorn sheep and mountain lions.

The Conservancy produces the bioblitz in collaboration with Chadron State College and Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. The Nebraska Environmental Trust and Nebraska Wildlife Conservation Fund provide financial support.

The event is open to the public but a Nebraska Park Entry Permit is required for vehicles. People may attend as much of the event as they wish. Registration will be at the Group Event Building, which will serve as a central location for the entire event.

Camping and cabins are available at the park. Contact Schiltz at amber.schiltz@birdconservancy.org or 402-310-6137 for more information.

The schedule:

Friday, Sept. 14 — Bioblitz Introduction and Dinner, 6 p.m.; Mountain Lion and Bighorn Sheep Session, 7 p.m.; Evening Hike, 8 p.m.; Owl Survey, 9 p.m.; Night Sky Program 9 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 15 – Bird Survey, 7 a.m.; Mammal Survey, 8 a.m.; Fishing Survey, 9 a.m.; Aquatic Insects Survey, 9 a.m.; Tree and Shrub Survey, 10 a.m.; Fungi and Lichen Survey, 10 a.m.; Wildflower and Grass Survey, 11 a.m.; Insect Survey, 11 a.m.

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