NOS Mission

Nevada Outdoor School inspires exploration of the natural world, responsible stewardship of our habitat and dedication to community.
This is the spot for us to share stories, fun ideas or general musings. When you aren't in here, we hope to see you out there!

Monday, April 29, 2019

Reflections on AmeriCorps Service - Frontier Community Action Agency

AmeriCorps has been an amazing program to be a part of here in my community. I was not very aware of how many services are provided through AmeriCorps until I became an AmeriCorps member myself. Through AmeriCorps I work at my host site, the Frontier Community Action Agency, and there we provide many services to clients.

FCAA works a lot with Welfare with programs such as SNAP (Food-stamps), Medicaid, and Energy Assistance. We have the applications for these programs at our office ready to go, clients can come in apply for the services they need, and we send off their applications to Welfare or connect them to the necessary representative for help. In addition to these services with AmeriCorps, my host site works with the Foodbank of Nevada and other local community food bank to receive food shipments from them to distribute what we call food commodities to clients. Sometimes donations come in from other companies such as toilet paper, hygiene products, and even cleaning products that we AmeriCorps members can distribute at our host site.

AmeriCorps helps people in the community to connect to the right agencies to receive the help depending on their circumstances. It gives people a sense of hope when they are in hard situations and need a helping hand. AmeriCorps allows you to work with others who are like-minded and have the same goal, which is to better the community and provide services that will benefit others in need. I believe AmeriCorps is a beneficial program that strengthens the community wherever it can.

Monday, April 22, 2019

Benefits of Shed Hunting

During the late winter months, deer, elk, and moose begin to shed their antlers in order to grow a new set during the summer. Many people like to collect shed antlers, but what are the benefits of doing so? 

Photo Credit:

Some people like to collect sheds due to their aesthetic value, for crafting, or to sell. If you are a hunter like myself, antler sheds help give you an idea of the size of bucks you have roaming the property you hunt. It also means that the buck survived the hunting season and the winter. Some hunters who manage the deer herd and property they hunt are able to collect sheds from the same buck year after year. Finding multiple sheds will also give you insight to the size and age of deer you have on your property. Typically, a buck will grow larger antlers each year as it gets older. 

Shed hunting is also a good way to get out and exercise during the late winter, rather than being stuck inside. Many people walk for miles looking for sheds, but shed hunting can also be done from ATVs or horseback. Taking your dog is also fun, and dogs can even be trained to find sheds far more effectively than humans. (Make sure your dog is trained not to chase wildlife). Sheds can be found in areas where deer like to bed down such as tall grass, thickets, and densely wooded areas. Feeding areas such as fields, orchards, or food plots are also good places to look. Fencerows and deer trails may also turn up sheds. I like to look for sheds in late February and March, but shed hunting can be done into the spring as well.

It's important to keep in mind the harshness of the winter months, which can affect shed hunting. If the winter has been particularly harsh, wildlife might be stressed and shed hunting should be avoided until the weather gets warmer. Please keep wildlife in mind first. Some agencies and wildlife preserves also have regulations and seasons when it comes to shed hunting. In Nevada, shed hunting is closed from January 1-April 30 in Elko, Eureka, Lander, Lincoln, Nye, and White Pine Counties. This allows deer and elk to use their winter habitats without being disturbed.

Even if you aren’t a hunter, shed hunting is a great way to get outside, exercise, and collect a cool item from nature. It’s also a great opportunity to get kids outside, and the reward of finding a shed is appealing to adults and kids alike. 

Good luck and happy hunting!

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Outdoor Adventuring with Little Ones

When I found out that I was pregnant in September, one of the first things I had promised myself is that I would not allow having a child to dramatically alter our lifestyle. We will still travel,  hike and camp, and do all of the things that my husband and I enjoy, but as a family of three now (five counting the dogs) instead of two. I’m committed. In fact, one of the first things that we purchased in preparation for a baby was a nice hiking carrier. 

This week my husband informed me that he had been selected for the half dome lottery in Yosemite for October 8th. My husband and I are both very experienced campers but until now, I had not put too much thought into what camping with a baby actually looked like logistically.  I suddenly found myself planning a camping trip around a baby who hasn’t even arrived yet. 

My first thought was that the temperatures in Yosemite in early October can range greatly, and keeping baby warm at night was going to be a top priority.  I took to the internet to find out what suggestions people had for camping with a little one. I found tons of great suggestions not only for keeping baby warm, but also entertained, and well rested. I think the coolest thing that I learned was how many great online groups and forums there are, dedicated to helping people travel and adventure as a family.  These groups and sites are wealth of information, and folks who follow them are eager to weigh in on any questions that you have.  Some of the groups I found helpful where; Tiny Globe Trotters: Travel the World With Kids (Facebook), Back Packing With Babies and Kids (Facebook), (and Facebook), and REI’s expert advice page. 

As my due date approaches, the reality that I will soon have another human being to care for who cannot communicate with me gets more real, and scarier. The more prepared you are the more fun everyone will be able to have on their trip, it is reassuring to me that there are so many resources out there that will help me share something that I love with my child. 

Happy Trails!