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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!

Can I get permission to hunt your land?

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. I feel the quest for private …

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Wild about Nebraska Fruits and Berries

Who needs to buy fruit at the store, 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, and tasty to the tongue, 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 …

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8 Reasons to Tackle Bluegill this Summer

Maybe it’s the kid in me, I don’t know. But, at 54 years of age (approaching 55), 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 why. In my view, …

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Big Catfish Manifesto

Never in my outdoor life have I ever endured so much negativity, so much criticism, and taken so much flak for an action. It all was the result of a photo and video I shared recently on my personal social media accounts. Both were of a large, master angler-sized flathead catfish that I caught in an eastern Nebraska sandpit lake and then duly released back into it. Here are the photo and short video clip shot by my fishing partner, Rich Berggren of Waterloo, NE. Alright, I know what you’re thinking: “Nice fish, good job on the release,” …

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8 Important Reminders for River 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? Oh, yes! Summer river tubing is fun, there is nothing like it! However, some recreational tubers on rivers get into trouble and actually end up spoiling their own float trip as well as the reputation of other law-abiding, ethical tubers on rivers! In addition, river tubing often provides the first …

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Give CPR to Big Catfish

Did you see that? She released that big catfish back in the water! But, why? She should have taken that big fish home, cleaned it and ate it! Why do some people get perplexed when they see someone release a massive, master angler-sized catfish? After all, catfish, especially larger ones, sure taste good, don’t they? So why is it every time we see an angler report or post a mention or picture of a large catfish they have put back in the water, …

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The Dire Need for More Milkweed

Seen many milkweeds lately? I didn’t think so. They continue to disappear at a disturbing rate. But, who cares? What’s the big deal? They’re just milkweeds anyway, right? Monarch butterflies, which migrate through Nebraska, cannot survive without the milkweed. Their larvae, caterpillars, will only feed on it. Female monarchs need it to lay their eggs. According to National Geographic, the trouble is not only in Mexico with deforestation, but fewer and fewer monarch butterflies are crossing North America to winter into Mexico, and the …

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Time to Visit Mulberry Lane

Maybe it’s just the kid in me, but I love to pick and eat mulberries. Growing up on the rural western edge of Gretna, NE, my buddies and I would always bug the area farmers for permission to pick and eat ripe mulberries in their woods and along their fence rows this time of year. It marked the start of summer for us. Ah, those were the days … Fast-forward to present-day. Our mulberry trees, at least in the Omaha-metro area, have just started dropping their …

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Reel Therapy: Fishing!

If people concentrated on the really important things in life, there’d be a shortage of fishing poles.  ~Doug Larson Because I know of places where the water seems endless. Because the day is bright and the sand pulse along the shore is warm. Because I enjoy the challenge, pursuit and thrill of the catch (and release).  These are the primary reasons why we anglers wet lines. But there’s more to it. Really, there is. Every angler has his or her …

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8 Great Grilling Tips

With spring here and summer just around the bend, many of us are preparing our grills for a lengthy season of outdoor cooking (and eating). Though I may not cook much (my wife will tell you that), outdoor grilling is one of my favorite pastimes. I declare it “social cooking,” where family and friends come over on the deck or patio to drink cool, refreshing beverages while the smell of burning charcoal and meat being barbecued permeate the air. Below are my top eight tips for getting the most out of cooking on a …

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