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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!

A Dozen Reasons to Appreciate Hunting in Nebraska

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Hunting is a quiet dampness on a frosty morning. Hunting is the ease of camaraderie. Hunting is the familiarity of a good dog. Hunting is the flash of iridescent reds, golds and bronzes, when a rooster pheasant is spotted in a snow-covered landscape. But, hunting is so much more. Really, it is. It is part of our history. It benefits nature. It offers an understanding of wildlife. It boosts our economy. It provides funding for conservation and wildlife management. It …

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Fish not biting? Go bullfrogging!

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It’s truly an adventure. It’s quite unusual. It’s a challenge. It’s entertainment value is high. And, it will create memories like no other outdoor experience! This is a one-of-a-kind outdoor activity that allows individuals to fully see nature, day or night! Getting to spend those late hours under the stars and the moon, listening to insects a buzz over a pond or wetland, feeling a cool summer breeze, and perhaps acquiring some fresh, delicious wild fare for the dinner table …

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Can I get permission to hunt on your land?

Private land with good quality wildlife habitat in Nebraska where your blogger has secured permission to hunt. Photo by Greg Wagner.

Maybe it’s because I am a lifelong Nebraskan with deep farm roots. Maybe it’s because I am a person with an outgoing, assertive personality who thoroughly enjoys interacting with people. Maybe it’s because of what I do for living and my employer. Maybe it’s because I am a legal hunter, an ethical hunter. I don’t know for sure. But honestly, I have never had difficulty acquiring permission to hunt on private land with good habitat. Over the years, I’ve developed …

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Nature’s Fruit Market is Open!

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Who needs to buy fruit at the supermarket, when nature’s fruit market is open for business, at no charge, right? In Nebraska, from a general standpoint, we are either at or nearing the time when many edible wild, native fruits and berries, packed with vitamins and antioxidants, are ready to be picked! There are so many things you can do with wild fruits and berries. They can be eaten directly in the field, or taken home and used as toppings on …

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Safety First with Campfires, and then Marshmallows, Hot Dogs

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A camping trip is not complete without spending some time around a campfire in the evening. Swapping stories and roasting marshmallows to make s’mores is all part of it! There is no question that a campfire provides the backdrop for lots of outdoor fun and camaraderie. But, if folks are careless, those campfires can ignite a damaging wildfire or severely injury a person. So, what do you need to know about campfires? First, we have some ground to cover (no …

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Seven Reasons to Tackle Bluegill

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Maybe it’s the kid in me, I don’t know. But, at 53 years of age (approaching 54), I still enjoy catching bluegill from the bank in summer, how about you? I know, I know, the lowly bluegill, a sunfish family member with more nicknames than a popular sports figure, is a prey species that doesn’t get very big. Why would I waste my time along the shoreline or on a pier catching and releasing THIS FISH? Let me tell you. In my view, bluegill …

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Six River Tuber Reminders

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Leisurely floating in an inner tube on one of Nebraska’s many scenic river water trails is a cool, refreshing, fun way to kick back and pass a hot summer day with family and friends, isn’t it? I completely agree! But, some tubers on rivers get into trouble and actually end up spoiling the reputation of other law-abiding, ethical tubers! So, I wanted to do a quick blog post to remind those of you planning to float Nebraska rivers on inner tubes this …

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Float a Water Trail!

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“They connect us. They run through us. Our bodies are roughly 60 percent water. Newborn babies are 78 percent. Is it any wonder we are drawn to rivers, is it any wonder we want to return to them again and again?” –  Amy Souers Kober.  Floating one of Nebraska’s various water trails in the summer is great for so many reasons! You can do it for the adventure of going somewhere you’ve never been. You can do it to make connections and …

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Go Off the Grid in the Sandhills

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“There is delight in the hardy life of the open.” – Theodore Roosevelt. My, my we are all are so reliant on the ‘grid’ of modern technology. With computers, the Internet, Smart phones, IPads and even the computerized sensors and chips that make our motor vehicles run, every move we make it seems cannot be done without entering the technological sphere. Oh, and let’s not forget about the convenience of electricity either.  All of this high-tech gadgetry is a positive thing in our daily lives, right? But wouldn’t it be nice to disconnect and take …

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Those Gloves

Nebraska Conservation Officer Rich Berggren of Waterloo wearing  rubber fish handling gloves holding a nice-sized channel catfish he landed, then released. Photo by Greg Wagner.

I have been called a “sissie” and a wimp because I wear them. I have been labeled an “inadequate angler” since I have donned on them.  I have been told that I have lost my “bravado” and “edge” when it comes to fishing because I am handling fish while wearing gloves. It was even conveyed to my fishing partner, Nebraska Conservation Officer Rich Berggren of Waterloo, that “real game wardens don’t wear gloves to handle fish!” REALLY! Rich and I …

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