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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!

Corn Your Own Wild Game or Beef for St. Paddy’s Day

Blogger’s Note: By popular demand and because it is Saint Patrick’s Day week, I am bringing back my blog about corning beef and wild game. I hope you enjoy it and find the time to try one of these delicious recipes. I raise my glass to you and exclaim: “Sláinte!” (slawn-cha), which is an Irish Gaelic term meaning “health.” Happy Saint Patrick’s Day! GW. Saint Patrick’s Day is one of the greatest food holidays of all time! All of the savory, salty corned beef you can eat, scrumptiously …

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Good For You: Stocked Trout

They strike often, fight strongly, are easy to clean and cook, and taste great! Nevertheless, a significant asset to many of its excellent qualities as a game fish is the fact that few foods are as nutritious as a stocked trout from Nebraska waters! And, get this: More than 36,000 skillet-sized rainbow and tiger trout are in the process of being stocked in a number of waters around the state for your spring fishing! Trout are a cold-water species that will not survive the warm months in many of the ponds and …

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Scouting Increases Success

The calendar indicates that it is obviously still winter. But, the days are getting longer, the spring migration of wild fowl is well underway, a few green shoots of plants have emerged — all pointing out that spring is just around the bend. For those of us who spring wild turkey hunt, our thoughts are drifting to the woods where we stake our blinds and decoys. A walk in the woods where wild turkeys reside or frequent is a refreshing and welcomed activity in late winter on a nice, …

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Springtime Foraging: The Dryad’s Saddle

While there will be more chilly, frosty nights — and yes, most likely, more snow — in the Nebraska countryside over the next several weeks, it is safe to say that spring is coming! So, in advance of those days exhibiting warm sunshine, calm breezes and moist conditions, there is a widespread edible, palatable fungi that you need to know. Along with finding and picking morel mushrooms, there is the dryad’s saddle to harvest in your favorite woodlands. Dryad’s saddle? The Dryad’s saddle (Polyporus squamosus) , a.k.a., pheasant back’s mushroom, or hawks wing, is …

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Respect The Tasty Snows

They are not “sky carp,” “lutefisk with feathers,” “an over-cooked catcher’s mitt,” or trash birds.  Your blogger displays snow geese harvested during a recent Light Goose Conservation Order hunt in south-central Nebraska. Photo by Jim Druliner of Omaha, NE. They are classified as light geese — snow and Ross’s geese to be exact, and they are to be respected and revered like any other natural resource! In fact, they are a worthy adversary of hunters and actually great to eat! Snow and Ross’s geese, …

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Why Walk On Water For Fins

In a casual conversation, whenever the topic of ice fishing is brought up, and I’m visiting with folks who don’t ice fish, predictably many questions arise. The most common one: “Why do you even go ice fishing, it’s not very safe, is it? Then, there are these:  “It looks so cold, why on earth would any reasonable person consider going fishing sitting on a big ice cube?” “I don’t get it, why try to catch fish through the ice in the winter?” And, then there’s this question I had recently: “Have you …

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Hunters: Share Your Bounty

With Nebraska’s 2017-2018 hunting seasons having ended or being close to ending, many of you who hunt probably have a bountiful supply of wild game meat in your freezers, don’t you? I thought so. You know what? That wild game meat offers an opportunity to share some healthy protein and enlighten people about the hunting lifestyle that you thoroughly enjoy! As hunters, we get a lot from nature every season through new memories, insightful lessons, lasting friendships, doing conservation work, and of course, reaping the reward of delicious meat! Therefore, it’s fitting that …

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Is It Time To Begin Looking For Shed Deer Antlers?

Is it too early to go out and try to find shed deer antlers on my hunting lands? After all, there is snow cover and snow drifts in places. On the other hand, I am hearing rumors of bucks dropping their antlers earlier than normal on the Great Plains. So, when should someone venture to their deer woods and fields in search of those prized shed antlers? Beginning in late December and continuing through April, white-tailed and mule deer shed their antlers for regrowth purposes …

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More Than Just Jewelry

We absolutely treasure them. We collect them. We investigate their origins. We tell stories of the hunt about them. We give them places of honor on our call lanyards. But, official waterfowl leg bands are more than just coveted collectibles, more than just “priceless jewelry” to hunters. The information the bands possess is vital to the management of these web footed birds. There are even monetary reward bands. Getting a duck or goose with a reward, or “money” band on it is extra special because they …

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Winter Wild Edibles

Foraging for wild foods on a cold, snowy day in Nebraska’s wintry landscape is an interesting and enjoyable outdoor activity. After all, foraging doesn’t have to be a fair-weather activity, right? But, let’s get this straight: Foraging for wild plant foods in winter is not easy. It’s tough, it’s rough, it’s cold, it’s hard work. Frigid temperatures, snow cover and low-light add to the difficulty. Winter foraging can sometimes be about slim-pickings, too. However, if you have basic knowledge of specific plants, bundle up and put forth the effort …

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