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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 Communications and Marketing Specialist 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 channels, 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!

It’s Time to Stalk Nebraska’s Wild Asparagus

The apple blossoms have emerged. Why is that important? It is a reliable indicator that tells me I now will find one of my most valued vegetables in Nebraska’s rural landscape — wild asparagus. The wild asparagus harvest season almost always overlaps with the emergence of apple blossoms in my eastern Nebraska area. Apple blossoms. Photo by Greg Wagner/Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. Sure enough, I was right! Wild asparagus emerging in mid May in eastern Nebraska. Photo by Greg …

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Plan to Take ‘Em Fishing and Here’s How

From all indicators, he absolutely loved it! That would describe my young grandson’s first fishing expedition. I loved it, too! So, have you, the avid angler, taken a youth or a newcomer out fishing? Hmmm … You should! Well, let me tell you that there continue to be incentives for you to introduce someone new or someone who hasn’t been out on the water in a while to the lifestyle of fishing. In fact, the incentives offered are part of …

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What to know about the morel mushroom hunting season that has begun

Good news … The morel mushroom hunting season has begun! Morels are now being found near dead and decaying hardwood trees like cottonwoods and elms in moist eastern Nebraska river bottom woodlands. Tersh Kepler of Omaha is Nebraska’s morel mushroom hunting expert with more than 50 years of experience and he points out there are some important things to know about morel mushroom hunting before venturing to the woods. Kepler found early season morels with the arrival of May and …

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Hunting Turkeys in Foul Weather

Nebraska weather. Don’t like it? Wait a short while. It’ll change, maybe. Reality is rarely so kind. The Cornhusker State’s spring wild turkey hunting seasons are in full swing amid the ever-changing, ever-fluctuating weather patterns and conditions here on the Great Plains. But one unfortunate thing has been fairly consistent this spring: Wind. And lots of it! National Weather Service data since 1960 for eastern Nebraska show that it is averaging its second-windiest year to date and the second-windiest spring …

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Dandelions: They’re What’s For Dinner!

As I glance around my Omaha yard from the mailbox, my eye catches bright yellow blots dotting the front lawn. Hmmm … I know this plant. I know its flowers. I know its leaves. And I can eat them. All of them! What is it? Why, it is the dandelion, of course! No, don’t stop reading the blog, stay with me here, please. Look, I know the dandelion is the scourge of yards, lots, flower beds, gardens and fields this …

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Spring’s Other Tasty Edible Mushroom: The Dryad’s Saddle

Topside photo of a dryad’s saddle, a.k.a. pheasant’s back or hawks wing, in Nebraska. Photo by Greg Wagner/Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. Hey, what’s that mushroom? Hmmm … Wonder if it’s edible? Along with finding and picking morel mushrooms, there is another edible wild fungi growing in your moist woodlands that you should know and consider harvesting and making for dinner — the dryad’s saddle. Dryad’s saddle? The dryad’s saddle (Cerioporus squamosus, formerly known as Polyporus squamosus), and referred to as …

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Turkey Talk with a Top Caller

Spring wild turkey hunting all about the “talk.” Really, it is about communication. You, the turkey hunter, make the sounds of a sexually appealing hen and the interested, aroused toms gobble back. Very simply, you are talking to that bird.  Now, what you are saying, how you are saying it and when you are saying it is the source of much discussion in turkey hunting circles. So, that being stated, I reached out to Douglas Herman of Wahoo, NE, a renown, …

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When to Expect the First Morel Mushrooms of the Season

Tersh Kepler of Omaha, NE, one of the Midwest’s foremost morel mushroom hunting experts, is hoping for two things these early spring days: More what he calls “liquid gold” and rays from BOB in the sky. The “liquid gold” would be more measurable precipitation in the form of rain and the rays from BOB would be warmth provided by the big orange ball in the sky, the sun. Kepler says the conditions are still dry at this point in Nebraska …

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Spring Forward With These Outdoor Activities

Spring. It has arrived on the calendar. The amount daylight is increasing. The weather is warming. In Nebraska, there are a multitude of activities that you can do in early spring. Here are several to encourage you to step outside. View Early Spring Birds. A wide variety of opportunities await Nebraska bird watchers in early spring. The migration of wild fowl is truly something to behold! The spring spectacle of the sandhill crane migration along the Platte River in south-central …

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Spring Wild Turkey Hunting: Addiction, Obsession, Passion

Noted turkey hunter and outdoor writer Tom Kelly once wrote, “I do not hunt turkeys because I want to. I hunt them because I have to. I would, really, rather not. But I am helpless in the grip of my compulsion.” I completely agree! Anyone who has ever spent a gorgeous Nebraska spring morning with their back leaning against the base of a mature hardwood tree or sitting in a camouflaged blind, using a call and decoys to lure a …

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