HPPR Environment

High Plains Outdoors
8:00 pm
Fri May 2, 2014

Cleon P Carraway... the Hog Whisperer

Cleon P Carraway in action with one of his calls.

  There is a great deal of information available on most aspects of wild hog hunting but the art of using calls to attract porkers within shooting range is one that is often skirted around, probably because of lack of factual information. Through the years, I’ve had very limited success using calls to attract hogs. The lion’s share of my failures I attribute to lack of skill on my part and possibly the fault of the calls I used to perfectly duplicate the sounds made by wild hogs.

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It's a mixed bag
8:00 pm
Thu May 1, 2014

What is drought doing to beef prices?

Credit The Texas Tribune

Texas is the nation’s biggest beef-producing state, and as the state enters the fourth year of drought, ranchers, consumers, and grocers are feeling the effects reported The Texas Tribune.

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Texas Panhandle
8:00 pm
Thu May 1, 2014

More hiking and biking at Lake Meredith

Credit nps.gov

New hiking and mountain biking trails open at Lake Meredith this weekend according to the Amarillo Globe-News.

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Growing on the High Plains
8:00 pm
Wed April 30, 2014

Great Horned Owl facts and fallacy

Fledgling peeking out of the nesting platform.
Credit Skip Mancini

 Last week Skip told you about the efforts to attract great horned owls to her home, and the enjoyment watching these wonderful birds gives her.  This week, she shares owl facts, separating fact from fallacy.  

If you'd like to learn how to build a nesting platform for these magnificent birds, or if you'd like to see the family residence at Skip's, simply drop her an email using this link.

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Amarillo, Texas
8:00 pm
Tue April 29, 2014

Chase Tower sways with high winds

Credit wikipedia.org

The high winds plaguing the High Plains this week moved real estate ranging in size from bits of soil to the Chase Tower located in downtown Amarillo. 

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Playa Country
8:01 pm
Mon April 28, 2014

Playa Health: The Importance of Buffers

Credit Texas Parks and Wildlife

Research indicates that a buffer surrounding a playa lake, consisting typically of native grasses and forbs, prevents migration of upland topsoil and farm chemicals into lowland wetlands such as playa lakes and rainwater basins.

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Drought
8:00 pm
Sun April 27, 2014

Drought area expands across the high plains

Credit droughtmonitor.unl.edu/

Drought conditions expanded in the central and southern Plains where winter wheat is struggling to grow according to the U.S. Drought Monitor report released this week.

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Prairie Ramblings
8:00 pm
Sun April 27, 2014

When it comes to rain, it's not good to want a thing too much

Credit 123rf.com

One of my favorite novels to teach is John Steinbeck’s The Pearl. I love his use of landscape, the very human ways the main character Kino and his young wife Juana face ills that befall them, and truths about human nature the author unfolds in quotes that spill from memory at odd times. One of those instances occurred recently.

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Endangered species protection
8:00 pm
Sun April 27, 2014

Feathers ruffled by Fed plan to save prairie chicken

The population of the lesser prairie chicken is plummeting. According to some estimates, it was cut in half in 2012.
Credit J.N. Stuart/Flickr Commons

It's prairie chicken mating season!

Still, it's tough being a lesser prairie chicken these days. This type of grouse once spanned an enormous area, though now they survive mainly in pockets of Oklahoma and Kansas. Their numbers are plummeting; in 2012, the population dropped by half.

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High Plains Outdoors
8:00 pm
Fri April 25, 2014

World record whitetail changed this Canadian's life

Milo Hanson and his two Boone and Crockett record bucks.
Credit Luke Clayton

Howdy Folks!

Today, we wrap up our visit with Milo Hanson.  Milo has the world record typical whitetail, and he's made the record book again with the rack shown in this picture.  

The world record changed the lives of Milo and his family, and it also affected his community.  At one point his wife said she'd "like to beat the record with a hammer."

Take a listen.  This man is a great story teller. 

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Federal Conservation Reserve Program
8:00 pm
Thu April 24, 2014

New study reveals playa conservation program is a help, not a fix

A playa wetland in an unaltered native short-grass prairie.
Dale Daniel

Playas are those big ponds you see dotting across the High Plains.  They provide habitat for amphibians and points for aquifer recharge.  A study from Oklahoma State University suggests the Federal Conservation Reserve Program does have a positive impact on the health of the playas, but does not restore them reported The Environmental Monitor.

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Water Conservation
8:00 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Amarillo residents continue to exceed water usage goals despite drought

Credit homeadvisor.com

Amarillo is in the fourth year of drought conditions, yet residents continue to exceed city water usage goals.  During the month of April, there have only been three days when water use was below the goal of about 44 million gallons.  This past Monday, residents used almost 60 million gallons according to the Amarillo Globe-News.

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Growing on the High Plains
8:00 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Great Horned Owls: A tale of survival in southwestern Kansas

Nesting platform
Credit Skip Mancini

 Years ago the resident architect joined up with the family environmental engineer to create a very special abode.  They spent the weekend fashioning a nesting platform for great horned owls, in hopes of providing the perfect honeymoon cottage for the pair that spent the previous year in the shelterbelt.  Ollie and Big Owlberta moved in and set up house.  Their struggle to survive in this sometimes brutal land has taken the architect and the engineer on a rollercoaster ride of joy, grief, and worry.  

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Playa Country
8:01 pm
Mon April 21, 2014

Playas: Providing Biodiversity in the Plains

Credit Oklahoma Conservation Commission

Scientists are increasing their understanding of how playas contribute to the landscape.

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High Plains Outdoors
8:00 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

Tell me the story of the world record whitetail buck, ey?

Milo Hanson and his world record typical whitetail
Credit biggamehunt.net

Howdy Folks!

I tell you what, I have just had a conversation with Milo Hanson about the day he shot his world record whitetail buck.  I feel like I've just been on the set of The Red Green Show.

Milo is from Biggar, Saskatchewan.  He tells the story of that day better than any radio theater.  Pour yourself a cup of coffee, lean back, and listen to Milo.

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drought
8:00 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

Western Kansas drought scars run deep

On normal years, thousands of acres of crops receive supplemental irrigation water from the Amazon Ditch. But Ditch Superintendent Dan Maxfield hasn't made a call for water from John Martin Reservoir in Colorado. There's none to be had.
Amy Bickel kansasagland.com

Even if you had no idea western Kansas was in the midst of a long-term drought, the scars are hard to miss.  Corrals and roads are drifted with tumbleweeds.  Irrigation ditches are bone dry.  Fence rows are filled with drifted sand, and grass in the pastures has disappeared according to a recent article from Kansas Agland.  

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Growing on the High Plains
8:00 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

Kale: Everything old is new again

Ornamental kale
Credit wikipedia.org

 There’s an old song, “Everything old is new again.”  This year a portion of Skip’s vegetable garden will be on the cutting edge of the latest culinary style.  In addition to featuring some heritage tomatoes and watermelons from the 1800s, she’s decided to add some kale seeds to the patch of greens that traditionally provide the makings of her summer salads.  If you haven’t been to the produce section recently, here’s an update on what’s hot and what’s not.

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Homestead autopsy
8:00 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

Unlocking prairie secrets from a sod house

Researchers prepare to take down a section of a sod house in Gates, Neb., in order to study the bricks made of dirt.
Credit Jackie Sojicko for Harvest Public Media

Ecologists in Nebraska are trying to find out what the Great Plains looked like when homesteaders settled there in the 19thcentury. To do that, they’re working with a team of archaeologists and historians dissecting a sod house, a house built out of bricks cut from dirt.

Larry Estes has had a sod house in his backyard in Gates, Neb., for as long as he can remember. He never really thought anything about it until a year ago when a repairman asked him about it.

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Playa Country
8:01 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

Rainwater Basins, the Central Flyway and Migratory Birds

Credit Chris Helzer / The Nature Conservancy

Nebraska's rainwater basin region is beneath the Central Flyway, used by tens of millions of birds migrating to the prairie pothole regions of the Dakotas, Canada and beyond to nest and mate.

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Swisher County
8:00 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

Texas Panhandle: First hantavirus case of 2014

deer mouse
Credit unl.edu

A Swisher County resident is the first case of Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome in Texas this year according to a recent news release from the Texas Department of State Health Services.  

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Playa Country
1:28 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

Playa Sedimentation: Causes and Fixes

Playa lakes are effective vectors for groundwater recharge and water filtration, but that assumes they're in a healthy state.

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1:10 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

Don't miss the rare blood moon tonight

Lead in text: 
There was a time when a blood moon didn't happen for 300 years. Tonight's forecast of mostly clear skies across the high plains should give good visibility to the total lunar eclipse. The moon will have a burnt reddish orange color. The eclipse will be seen about 1am central time.
On Tuesday, April 15, there will be a total lunar eclipse that will turn the moon a coppery red, NASA says. It's called a blood moon, and it's one of four total eclipses that will take place in North America within the next year and a half.
Prairie Ramblings
8:00 pm
Sun April 13, 2014

Sharks in Kansas

Credit thefossilforum.com

Sharks swimming in Kansas waters? Looking for dorsal fins cutting through waters where I fish, wade, and swim gives me goose bumps. I’d already spent too much time focusing on such worries as a teenage body surfer in Huntington Beach, California.

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High Plains Outdoors
8:00 pm
Fri April 11, 2014

A tale of turkey and hogs

Mark Balette (right) takes aim through the Nite Site as Randy Douglas uses the Nite Site Spotter to scan through the darkness for wild hogs.
Luke Clayton

There are few things that I enjoy more than hunting turkeys in the spring when the landscape is coming to life in many hues of green and the sun’s warming rays once again informs Mother Nature that it’s time for all her creatures to go about the task of procreation.

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Water Conservation
8:00 pm
Wed April 9, 2014

Water Basics 101

This map portrays the volume of water being depleted from rivers, lakes and aquifers on a daily basis (MGD = million gallons per day).
Credit EPRI, 2014

Math helps us understand the causes of water shortages, how much water we’re wasting, as well as predict flooding.  The big picture can be seen when you grasp how much water is falling as rain or snow, moving into rivers or aquifers, and how much is being used in cities, industry and farms.  An explanation of the current water situation from the National Geographic can be found here.   

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Prairie Ramblings
8:00 pm
Fri April 4, 2014

New beginnings for a winter coat

Credit therealjackrussell.com

You’ve heard the saying, “Looks can be deceiving.” That statement describes our little terrier’s coat. When you see him, he looks like a sleek little pooch who doesn’t shed. That’s true September through February. However, when March blows in, he gives March Madness a new interpretation.

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Invasive weeds
8:00 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

Tumbleweeds drift across the High Plains causing havoc

Tumbleweeds, also know as Russian thistle, clog a road in Crowley County in southeast Colorado.
Credit Crowley County Road and Bridge Department

Prolonged drought, bursts of high winds, and untimely rain is a recipe for an explosion of tumbleweeds across the rolling plains of southeastern Colorado, parts of New Mexico and the Texas Panhandle said a recent article in Reuters.

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Growing on the High Plains
8:00 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

Full Circle Farming: Leaving a better place in the world

The pigs at Beaver Creek Ranch
Barb Blevins

Skip talks with Alice Hill

Our final visit to Beaver Creek Ranch and Full Circle Aquaponics takes us on a tour of the site, with a look at the animal residents and a discussion with Alice Hill about future hopes, plans, and goals.  

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Playa Country
8:01 pm
Mon March 31, 2014

Ogallala Aquifer Initiative: Converting to Dryland Farming

Credit Farm Foundation

Southwest Kansas producer Steve Arnold had been a big irrigator. Ten wells, numerous pivot irrigation systems and 4-wheel-drive tractors on a farm near Johnson City.

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High Plains Outdoors
8:00 pm
Fri March 28, 2014

Wiper fishing during the shad spawn

Jason Barber catches a big one.
Credit Luke Clayton

Howdy Folks!

If you will take a few minutes and listen, Jason Barber will tell you the secrets of catching catfish and wipers now that spring has arrived and the water temperatures are warming up.  The warmer temperatures also mean the shad are spawning, and that's key for a successful day!   

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