Nebraskaland December 2021

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.

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52 Nebraskaland • December 2021 MIXED BAG I put a few hundred miles on two models of AKU boots this summer and fall, and can say the newest entry into the premium hunting boot market in the U.S. is worthy of a spot. Handcrafted in Italy, the all-leather boots Jager Evo GTX, a mountain boot, and the Riserva GTX, a heavy-duty hiker, are solid. I wore them in moderate terrain in eastern Nebraska and on rugged trails at Fort Robinson State Park, traversed some of the steepest slopes I've set foot on in Colorado and hiked the rockiest trails I've ever seen in Wyoming. Many of these miles included training or hunting with a heavy pack, and never did I question the support my ankles needed in the steep or rocky terrain. The rugged Vibram soles provided plenty of grip and the GORE-TEX liners kept my feet dry. Both models required a considerable break-in period, as can be expected from a boot made with leather this thick. Once broken in, they fit like a glove. There are lighter boots out there, but these are built for durability. The factory insoles were lacking in cushion and support, and even slipped a bit, but since I have high arches and use after-market inserts, that wasn't an issue for me. AKU boots are currently available at only a handful of retailers in the U.S., but the company is working to expand that presence. The boots are also available online at –EF I was immediately intrigued with FLPSDE, an Elkhorn, Nebraska, company, when I saw their dual chamber water bottles. With one side for drink, and the other for snacks, these water bottles have become a mainstay for my kids and me at athletic practices and times hunting and fishing. Coming in an array of colors, including hunter-friendly black, evergreen and sand, these vacuum- insulated, stainless steel bottles live in my vehicles. While at times I wish these 20-ounce bottles were larger, their size does allow for perfect packing into the deer stand or duck blind. Plus, I have another 7 ounces of dry storage for my favorite trail mix or protein bar to keep me from starving until a whitetail walks within bow range. Visit f for more information. –JK I f you're looking for a stocking stuffer or a snack to throw in your pack, grab some of Old Trapper's Jumbo Kippered Beef Steak. Made with thick strips of lean beef, well-seasoned with spices and fresh ground pepper and then wood-smoked, the steak snacks are moist, tender and flavorful. They come in three flavors: old fashioned, peppered and teriyaki. The Kippered Beef Steak is the latest snack from Old Trapper, which has been making its authentic handmade beef jerky in Forest Grove, Oregon, since 1969. It is available in individual and 12-pack boxes at numerous retailers and online at –EF HOLIDAY GIFTS By Eric Fowler and Jeff Kurrus

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