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greg wagner

A native of Gretna, NE, a graduate of Gretna High School and Bellevue University, Greg Wagner currently serves as the Public Information Officer and Manager for the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission's Service Center in Omaha. On a weekly basis, Wagner can be heard on a number of radio stations, seen on local television in Omaha, and on social media sites, creatively conveying natural resource conservation messages as well as promoting outdoor activities and destinations in Nebraska. Wagner, whose career at Game and Parks began in 1979, walks, talks, lives, breathes and blogs about Nebraska’s outdoors. He grew up in rural Gretna, building forts in the woods, hunting, fishing, collecting leaves, and generally thriving on constant outdoor activity. One of the primary goals of his blog is to get people, especially young ones, to have fun and spend time outside!

Ten Tips For Tubers

Leisurely floating on one of Nebraska’s many scenic rivers or streams in an inflated inner tube is a cool, refreshing, relaxing, way to enjoy a hot summer day with family and friends, isn’t it? Tubers take a break from floating the waters of the Niobrara River east of Valentine, NE. Photo courtesy of Daryl Bauer/Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. Oh, yes! Summer river tubing is awesome! There is nothing like free-floating a river on an inflated inner tube just about the water level …

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Cool Cliff Swallows (Of The Big Papio And Beyond)

You can’t miss them. You really can’t. Around bridges over rivers or creeks this time of year, they immediately snatch your attention. Maybe it’s their sheer numbers (hundreds, if not thousands of them) and their extreme aerial acrobatics that catch your eye. Or, maybe it’s them coming in and out of their clusters of gourd-like mud nests clinging to the walls beneath bridge overhangs that capture your awareness. Or, perhaps it is the throng of bird activity along the muddy bank of a stream or mud hole …

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Roasting The Perfect Marshmallow At Your Campsite

Roasting marshmallows over a campfire is one of the highlights of a camping trip or an outdoor gathering, especially to a state park area. No question. You would think roasting a marshmallow over the coals and embers in that furnished fire ring may seem like the easiest thing to do, right? Not necessarily. How many times have you seen someone pull their stick from the fire to reveal a perfectly roasted marshmallow? That’s right, not very often. What you normally see is somebody quickly removing their …

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How To Not Let The Big One Get Away

All of us who love to fish have a story or two about the one that got away, don’t we? Invariably, the tale involves hooking the fish of a lifetime and losing it to unforeseen circumstances. Without question, these stories, however embellished, are actually devastating to those who have a passion for wetting lines. For as many wild and crazy occurrences that aren’t preventable when you lose a large fish, there are a number of things you can control that …

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What Is R.A.W.A. And Why Should I Support It?

You’re a hunter. You’re an angler. Or, perhaps you’re both like me. Maybe, you’re even a trapper. You know that you are the principal contributor, the main backer of wildlife conservation, management, habitat enhancement and protection in our country. You know that hunters and anglers were the driving forces behind the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation, a set of wildlife management and conservation principles established more than a century ago that declare fish and wildlife belong to all Americans, and that they need to be scientifically managed in a way …

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Celebrating Bird Month With Turkey Talk

It invokes such strong feelings of excitement that it escapes words. It is a crazy sound in nature, really, perhaps even a bit comical. The sound, made by a wild bird and denoting spring, is actually a loud, shrill, descending, gurgling, throaty jumble of chords that lasts about 1-2 seconds. This the gobble of a male wild turkey. https://www.nwtf.org/_resources/dyn/files/1475676z54066659/_fn/Gobbling.mp3 For those of us who enjoy being outdoors during spring in the Nebraska countryside, whether bird watching, turkey hunting or doing …

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Time To Stalk Nebraska’s Wild Asparagus

Shrubs are flowering. Apple blossoms have emerged. Reliable indicators that tell me I now will find one of my most valued vegetables in Nebraska’s rural landscape — wild asparagus. Sure enough, I was right! Wild asparagus has many varieties and is a popular spring wild edible in Nebraska. To me, wild asparagus is one of the earliest signs of winter’s final end and the beginning of a new growing season. Asparagus growing rogue and freely in the countryside is no different from the cultivated kind, except that it has a fresher, …

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Wild Foods In Your Backyard

As the trees bud, the lawns green and the flowers bloom, did you know that may have food growing in your yard, lot, garden or field? I bet you do! Now that spring has finally sprung, some of the more prolific, more accessible wild edible foods make their initial appearances. It’s when edible wild plants are at their most tender, tastiest stage. And your own backyard, garden, vacant lot, alleyway or patch of woods or prairie, could very well be the closest and most productive place you’ll find to forage this time of …

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Spring Turkey Hunters: Why Not Take A Jake!

You have a current Nebraska spring wild turkey hunting permit and habitat stamp. You go hunting. You set up along a field edge bordering old-growth, open woodland habitat. You strike your slate call: “Yelp, yelp, yelp.” You pause for a moment. A gobble echoes nearby. It sounds like a jake, a nearly one-year old  male wild turkey born the previous spring. A few minutes pass. All of the sudden, here it comes running right toward the decoys, with its bright blue, red and white head, small, …

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Anxiously Awaiting The First Morels Of The Season

Tersh Kepler of Omaha, NE is closely monitoring his yard for the appearance of dandelions. Why? Because, that will be his sign that morel mushrooms have popped up in his river bottom woods. Many folks in Nebraska are getting antsy to head to their morel mushroom picking spots along river and creek woodlands. But, when will the morels emerge? Kepler says the sprouting of dandelions in his Omaha yard will be the indicator, however,  he knows there is more to it. Whether vigilant for dandelion flowers, tree buds, blooming lilacs or flowering woodland …

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