NEBRASKAland

Nebraskaland April 2019

NEBRASKAland Magazine is dedicated to outstanding photography and informative writing with an engaging mix of articles and photos highlighting Nebraska’s outdoor activities, parklands, wildlife, history and people.

Issue link: http://mag.outdoornebraska.gov/i/1099174

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April 2019 • Nebraskaland 45 Viewing Nebraska has two species of prairie grouse: the greater prairie-chicken, found throughout central Nebraska and in some locations in the southeast, and the sharp-tailed grouse, found primarily in the Sandhills and Panhandle. Males begin to arrive on leks in late February and remain into early May, but courtship displays don't begin in earnest until mid-March, and activity peaks in mid-April. The best way to experience this unique ritual is from a lek-side blind. A list of these opportunities ranging from free, self-guided blinds on public land, to guided blind visits packaged with lodging and/or breakfast, follows. Grouse arrive at leks well before sunrise. If you are using a public blind, plan on being settled in at least 45 minutes before sunrise and staying until the birds leave roughly 2 hours later so you do not disturb the lek. If possible, visit the day before so it will be easier to fi nd your way in the dark. Free Public Blinds Bessey Ranger District, Nebraska National Forest, Halsey/Thedford. Sharp-tailed grouse and prairie-chickens. Two blinds available April 1, fi rst come, fi rst served. 308-533-2257, fs.usda.gov/main/ nebraska/home Burchard Lake WMA, Burchard. Prairie- chickens. Two blinds, fi rst come, fi rst served. 402-335-2534 Crescent Lake National Wildlife Refuge, Ellsworth. Sharp-tailed grouse. One blind, by reservation. 308-762-4893, fws.gov/refuge/Crescent_ Lake N-CORPE, North Platte. Prairie-chickens. One blind, March 18-May 3, reservations required. 308-534-6752 or 308-414-2140, ncorpe.org/wildlife- viewing Oglala National Grassland, Nebraska National Forest, Crawford. Sharp-tailed grouse. One blind, reservations required Friday-Sunday, remainder fi rst come, fi rst served. 308-432-0300, fs.usda.gov/main/ nebraska/home Valentine National Wildlife Refuge, Valentine. Sharp-tailed grouse and prairie-chickens. Two blinds available April 1, reservations required. 402-376-3789 or 1889, fws.gov/refuge/valentine Guided/Outfi tted Trips Big Blue Ranch, Burchard. Prairie-chickens. 402-865-4335, bigblueranch.com Calamus Outfi tters, Burwell. Sharp-tailed grouse and prairie-chickens. Also host of annual Nebraska Prairie-chicken Festival April 12-14, 2019. 308-346-4697, calamusoutfi tters.com Prairie-Chicken Dance Tours, McCook. Prairie-chickens. 308-345-1200 Ext. 318, prairiechickendancetours.com Sandhills Motel and Glidden Canoe Rental, Mullen. Sharp-tailed grouse and prairie-chickens. 308-546-2206, sandhillsmotel.com ● 2 ● 1 ● 1 ● 2 ● 3 ● 4 ● 3 ● 4 ● 5 ● 6 ● 1 ● 2 ● 3 ● 4 ● 3 ● 4 ● 5 ● 6 ● 1 ● ● 2

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