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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!

Go Bonkers for Bobwhites!

An upland game bird hunter in Nebraska  attempts to down a flushed northern bobwhite quail. Photo courtesy of Mark Davis.

The dog is crouched low, back straight, one foreleg slightly bent and eyes locked forward. The dog’s owner steadies him with quiet words. The handful of hunters, clad in blaze orange caps and vests and walking with shotguns in hand, see the dog go on point. They slowly and carefully approach. They position themselves just behind and appropriately spaced on either side of the motionless pointing dog preparing for the group of small, fist-sized game birds to erupt from the …

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A Good Hunting Knife


There is no other piece of equipment needed to perform as many tasks, in as many ways, under as many conditions, as the knife, especially in hunting. It can do everything from field dress and skin an animal in the field to cut cord and help spark a fire in a survival situation. A good knife is a quintessential tool for any outdoor enthusiast, but particularly for the hunter. For those of us who hunt, that knife is an icon, …

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Nuts for Nuts!


The air is crisp and clean. It is permeated with the musty scent of autumn. The leaves of the hardwood trees are changing into their brilliant fall plumage. There is no better time to be in the woods, really. Just ask Mike Groenwold, Park Horticulturist at the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. He says one of the reasons to take a long walk in the woods during autumn is to gather some delicious, nutritious, wild nuts. I wholeheartedly agree! And yes, we …

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Fall for Fungi


There is a different kind of hunting that can be done in the fall. It is not the hunting of game (wildlife) that quickly comes to mind. It is a quieter, mellower form of hunting. It could be included in the fun tales of witches and goblins in the woods during the Halloween season. It is a hunt though for a more mysterious wild delicacy that arrives with autumn’s cool rains. It is edible wild fungi! Autumn mushroom hunting in …

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Husker Bananas

Pawpaws on tree in wooded Missouri River bluffs of rural Otoe County, NE. Photo by Greg Wagner/Nebraska Game and Parks Commission.

Nebraska has a banana. Well, sort of. If you are not familiar with the “Husker banana” as it is also known, the pawpaw or common pawpaw is an oblong-shaped fruit, yellow-green to brown in color, averaging the size of a standard supermarket potato. It produces the largest edible fruit indigenous to North America and is the hardiest member of the custard-apple family. And, guess what? In Nebraska, the highly aromatic, sweet-smelling fruits ripen about now (late September or early October), if …

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A Different Kind of “Apple”

Fruit of Osage-orange on the ground. Photo by Greg Wagner/Nebraska game and Parks Commission.

You see the yellow-green, grapefruit-sized, brainy-looking fruit at grocery stores, farmer’s markets, garden centers, and other locations this time of year. Maybe you’ve seen them scattered about the ground along the edge of an old shelter belt or fence line while hunting or hiking? Whatever the scenario may be, look closely at the fruit. It sure is strange, isn’t it? Hedge apple in hand. Photo by Greg Wagner/Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. But, what exactly is it? Where does it …

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Got Milkweeds? Let us know!


It is not just a “weed.” Monarch butterflies, which are currently migrating through Nebraska, cannot survive without it. Their larvae, caterpillars, will only feed on it. Female monarchs need it to lay their eggs. It is a very important group of wildflowers that produce a key nectar source for pollinating insects and animals critical to our environment, food supply and economy. It is also an essential habitat component for birds like the ring-necked pheasant with its broad leaves, seed production …

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Two Dozen Reasons to Hunt Turkeys in the Fall


I know, I know. There is nothing like spring wild turkey hunting in Nebraska, and the fall hunting season for wild turkeys, well, it just doesn’t rise to that level. Or, does it? I don’t think you can call yourself a true turkey hunter until you have willingly and eagerly accepted the fun challenge and vivid excitement of hunting North America’s largest upland game bird during the fall season in Nebraska. Hunters who have never experienced fall hunting are missing …

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Accessible Outdoors; A Letter to Tyler


About 56.7 million people — 19 percent of the population — have a disability, according to the the latest U.S. Census done in 2010. It revealed that nearly one in every five people in the United States, has a disability that significantly limits one or more major life activities such as walking, seeing, hearing, breathing, thinking, and so forth. Furthermore, the population of the United States is aging. By the year 2030, 110 million people will be older than 55. …

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A Dozen Reasons to Appreciate Hunting in Nebraska


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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