Geiser: Game and Parks encourages you to ‘Take ’Em Fishing’ to win prizes, make memories

Introduce someone new to fishing this summer, snap a photo of the adventure and register in the Take ’em Fishing Challenge for a chance to win a prize.

Summer is here, and people all across Nebraska are fishing. When you introduce someone new to fishing, snap a photo of the adventure and register in the Take ’Em Fishing Challenge for a chance to win a prize and make lasting memories.

This is the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission’s second year offering the challenge, which encourages experienced anglers to take a pledge to go fishing with a beginner or someone who hasn’t fished in several years. Anglers who take a photo of themselves taking someone fishing can enter an online drawing for dozens of prizes, including a Bass Tracker Classic XL boat, two $500 Scheels gift cards, a fishing kayak, or a two-night stay in a Nebraska state park. All participants will be featured on the agency’s Facebook page and will receive a Take ’Em Fishing decal.

Fishing allows groups of friends or family to spend time together while engaged in the same activity, no matter the fitness or skill levels of the various participants. It requires only basic, inexpensive equipment that can be found at any sporting goods store. Game and Parks stocks ponds and lakes across the state with sport fish, which means that just about everyone can find a good fishing spot close by.

Fishing is also crucial to the conservation of our natural resources. Money generated through the sale of fishing permits and aquatic habitat stamps is used to maintain healthy fisheries in Nebraska water bodies, and to improve access for anglers. We need more anglers to ensure the health and vitality of Nebraska’s aquatic resources for generations to come.

The benefits of fishing are numerous. Anglers report feeling more satisfied with their mental health, more inspired at work and closer to their families than non-anglers, according to the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation.

Visit outdoornebraska.org/takeemfishing to take the pledge (encouraged but not required), register, view rules or get more information. The Take ’em Fishing Challenge will run through Oct. 31, 2020.

Deadline for multispecies lottery permit

Hunters have until July 3 to apply for a 2020-2021 multispecies lottery permit. Two types of permits are available: super tag and combo.

The super tag permit is valid in 2020 and 2021 for one elk of either sex, one antelope of either sex, one deer of either sex, and two turkeys (only toms and bearded hens may be taken in the spring). The permit is valid in open seasons with the appropriate weapons.

One super tag permit is authorized for residents only, and one permit is authorized for residents/nonresidents. Persons may apply for the residents-only permit once per year for $25. Persons may apply for the resident/nonresident permit multiple times per year for $10. Winners require a Habitat Stamp.

The combo permit is valid in 2020 and 2021 for one antelope of either sex, one deer of either sex, and two turkeys (only toms and bearded hens may be taken in the spring). The permit is valid in open seasons with the appropriate weapons.

One Combo permit is authorized for residents only, and one permit is authorized for nonresidents only. Qualifying persons may apply multiple times per year for $10. Winners require a Habitat Stamp.

Applications will be accepted online at outdoornebraska.org; via U.S. Postal Service mail: Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, 2200 N. 33rd St., Lincoln NE 68503; dropped off at any Game and Parks permitting office. A drop box or an Iron Ranger will be provided near the building, or call the North Platte office at 308-535-8025.

Applications must be received by the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission by 5 p.m. on July 3, or 11:59 p.m. if applying online. While Game and Parks offices still are closed to the public, customer service is being provided via telephone. See a list of office phone numbers at outdoornebraska.gov/locations.

Making homemade bug spray

It’s that time of year again when the weather is starting to get hot and the bugs are out in full force.

The mosquitoes, gnats and relentless ankle biting flies seem to be plotting against people, making us miserable when we’re outside.

I don’t like to use chemical spray unless I have to so I like to tinker with homemade concoctions that will keep those bugs away and offer a little peace of mind as well; they will certainly help us all to enjoy the outdoors a little more.

The simple rule of thumb with essential oil-based homemade bug spray is to choose oils that repel insects and mix it with a carrier, usually an alcohol or oil. Insect repellent essential oils include clove oil and citronella (also called rose geranium), which are the most effective against mosquitoes, as well as lemongrass, eucalyptus, castor oil, peppermint, tea tree oil, lavender and cedar.

At its simplest, a homemade insect repellent of essential oil can be made by combining 1 part of your selected essential oil with 10 parts rubbing alcohol, witch hazel, vodka, olive oil, white vinegar or jojoba oil.

It’s important to remember not to use essential oils internally — they are designed to be used on the skin and on clothing. Always test oils on a small patch of skin before applying widely to your body to avoid allergic reactions or skin irritations.

Spray for dogs

Don’t forget your pets as they can really be pestered by biting flies, mosquitoes and gnats. A simple and easy to make spray for dogs includes mixing equal parts of white vinegar and water in a spray bottle. For added repellent put a couple drops of dish soap in the mixture. I’ve used this on myself when I didn’t have any essential oils handy. Oils such as eucalyptus or citronella can be added to this solution for pets, but be sure to research oils that are harmful to pets like cinnamon, citrus, peppermint, tea tree, clove, thyme, juniper, and yarrow.

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