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In The Wild

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 here on the Great Plains. Nevertheless, should we wait to turkey hunt until we have those beautiful bluebird-like days with warm sunshine and slight to no wind? If time is not available to do that, we might have to hunt when the weather is dealing …

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Morels Aren’t The Only Edible Mushroom In Spring

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 (Polyporus squamosus) , a.k.a., pheasant’s back mushroom, or hawk’s wing, is …

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Turpin Talks Turkey

Turkey calling. “It gets too much credit when a hunt goes right and too much blame when it doesn’t.” That according Dick Turpin of Lincoln, NE who is among Nebraska’s most veteran and legendary turkey hunters. Turpin, who is 84 years of age, will hunt turkeys for his 57th consecutive year this spring. He has hunted every spring season since it opened in 1964! I think he knows a thing or two about these birds. Turpin, originally from Bassett, NE, …

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The Stuff Growing In Your Yard That You Can Eat

You have just read the title to this blog and you’re thinking ‘Whoa, Wagner is way off base with this one!’ PL-EASE … Allow me to explain. Now that spring has finally sprung, some of the more prolific, more accessible wild edible foods will soon begin to make their initial appearances … in your yard! No kidding! This is the time of year when when edible wild plants emerge and they are their most tender, tastiest stage. Know that your …

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The Addiction of Spring Wild Turkey Hunting in Nebraska

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 wild …

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Early Spring Fishing Tips

There are green shoots of grass sprouting in the front yard of my Omaha lawn. The sandhill crane migration is nearing its peak in Nebraska’s central Platte River valley. Wild turkeys are entering their breeding phase on our family farm in southeast Nebraska. Oh, and what about the fish that swim where I fish? Hmmm … Spring. It may or may not be here on the calendar just yet, but the time for early spring fishing is has arrived. If …

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Anxiously Awaiting The First Morels Of The Season

Tersh Kepler of Omaha, NE is pumped. Really pumped! You see, Tersh is one of the Midwest’s foremost experts on morel mushroom hunting and he says the conditions are aligning for what could be a spectacular morel mushroom hunting year. Even though Nebraska’s landscape has been dry and is still technically in a drought, he highlights three reasons for predicting what might be a banner year for morels. “First, we’re two years after a major flood on river bottoms when …

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

*Blogger’s Note: Once again I am receiving a lot of requests for corned meat recipes because Saint Patrick’s Day is just around the bend. So, I am bringing back my blog about corning beef and wild game. I hope you find it informative and have 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 …

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Think Like a Buck to Find Shed Deer Antlers

A wildlife biologist I once knew used tell me that to be an effective shed deer antler hunter, you must know white-tailed deer biology and “think like a buck” during winter and early spring. I get the biology part, but “think like a buck?” Hmmm … Luke Meduna who’s the Big Game Program Manager for the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, responds to that shed antler hunting strategy by saying: “Yes, to be successful, a shed deer antler hunter needs …

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Winter Scouting For Spring Wild Turkey Hunting

We are still in the icy, frigid grips of winter. Ice fishing activity rules the day. However, the length of daylight is increasing. Deer have begun shedding their antlers. Some sandhill cranes have arrived already along the Platte River in south-central Nebraska. It is calving season on ranches in the Nebraska Sandhills. These are all indicators that spring is just around the bend. For those of us who spring wild turkey hunt, our thoughts are drifting to the woods where …

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