Eager to get on the water? Yeah, me, too. Summer (Post-Memorial Day) is a perfect time to float Nebraska’s many miles of water trails. There are many reasons to take a float trip on continuously flowing water. You can do it for the openness and space that it offers and the adventure of going somewhere you have never been. You can do it to make connections and memories with people and nature, re-trace history, experience wetlands, see a variety of …Read More »
How to Avoid the Crowds When Going Camping
It’s camping season and my neighbors told me the other day they were thinking of heading out on a Friday night to camp at a popular state recreation area in order to “get away from it all” on a nice weekend. Hmmm … I wanted to tell them that most likely, they were heading to an area to where it all will be happening with quite a few people there. Admittedly, I don’t want to be around big crowds when …Read More »
Going Fishing? Don’t Let The Big One Get Away!
All of us who love to fish have a story or two about the one that got away, don’t we? Invariably, the tale involves hooking the fish of a lifetime and losing it to unforeseen circumstances or mistakes. Trust me, I have made my share of mistakes when it comes to large, prized game fish. Your blogger mishandling a nice-sized channel catfish. Photo by Rich Berggren/Conservation Officer with the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. Without question, these stories, however embellished, …Read More »
There’s no excuse for not wearing a life jacket on the water!
With the assistance of an adult relative, a youth greatly anticipates catching another bluegill from a boat in a Midwestern lake on a summer day. Photo by Rich Wynne. It bothers me to no end that people have such cavalier excuses regarding why they don’t want to wear life jackets on the water in a boat. In my 44 years at the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, I have seen my share of boating tragedies. I have seen the victims …Read More »
Stalking Nebraska’s Wild Asparagus
The apple blossoms have emerged. Why is that important, you say? Well, 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 early May in eastern Nebraska. …Read More »
Strategies for Turkey Hunting 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, sometimes unpredictable weather patterns and conditions. But one unfortunate thing has been fairly consistent this spring: Wind. And we’ve lots of it! Nevertheless, should we wait to turkey hunt until we have calm to no wind and those beautiful bluebird-like days with warm sunshine? If time is …Read More »
The Plants Growing In Your Yard That You Can Eat (No Kidding!)
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 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 own …Read More »
What is it going to take for morel mushrooms to emerge?
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 warm rays from BOB in the sky. The “liquid gold” would be more measurable precipitation in the form of rain and the warm rays from BOB would be the heat provided by the big orange ball in the sky, the sun. Kepler says the conditions have been very windy and …Read More »
Early Spring Fishing Tips
We are in the first portion of spring on the calendar. Green grass shoots are sprouting in my Omaha, NE yard. The days are getting longer. Water temperatures are warming. The time is now to get ready for some early spring fishing action! Emma Wagner-Nichols, your blogger’s daughter, caught this crappie in chilly, sunny weather in a private sandpit lake in Dodge County, NE. Photo courtesy of Emma Wagner-Nichols of Elkhorn, NE Have you put new line on your reels? …Read More »
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 stunning 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 …Read More »