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In The Wild

Never Too Late To Start (Turkey) Hunting

TwoJakes

I have always held the opinion that younger adults are a portion of the population that could be recruited into the lifestyle of hunting. After all, they have time and money to spend on it. They just need someone to guide them through the process of becoming a hunter, and then, of course, to take them to the field. I believe involving younger adults could prove to be one of the quickest and most cost-effective ways to generate a new …

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Roasting the Ultimate Marshmallow

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(BLOGGER’S NOTE: Warning! If you were not hungry for something sweet, you soon will be!) Treasured memories are made around a fire ring. Part of those priceless outdoor moments around that warm fire involve an important food-oriented activity: roasting marshmallows! A popular camping and backyard tradition in spring and summer is the roasting (or toasting) of sugar-based confections known as marshmallows over a campfire or other open flame. A marshmallow is placed on the end of a stick or skewer and carefully held over …

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Tanking

Tanking on the Middle Loup River. Photo courtesy of Glidden Canoe Rental/Sandhills Motel.

Want something fun and relaxing to do with your family this spring or summer? I have an idea for you. How about floating a slow-moving, meandering, scenic Nebraska river in a round livestock watering tank? Originating in the Sandhills area of Nebraska, this unique, river-based float trip activity using a piece of common ranching equipment is referred to as tanking. The activity, heralded by many as good country entertainment, has become wildly popular with folks of all ages on rivers …

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Confessions of a Recreational Birdwatcher

Common blue jay. Photo by Greg Wagner.

I am a recreational birdwatcher, and proud of it! Even if I could get organized enough to keep a life list of birds I’ve seen, I simply enjoy just watching them and attempting to get some decent photos of them to share with you. Birders, or avid birders, as I call them, are easy to identify. They each keep a remarkable log of bird sightings to include the description of the species, numbers of them, date and time seen, as well as habitat and weather conditions along with any bird …

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Wild Asparagus!

Wild asparagus. Photo by Greg Wagner.

Morel mushrooms may be the heart of foraging activity in Nebraska, but the spring gathering of wild plants in the countryside for the table goes well beyond fungi. Consider, wild asparagus. Tender, succulent and with a flavor zest that combines subtle sweetness and slight bitterness, asparagus growing in the countryside doesn’t taste anything like the asparagus from the produce section of your large supermarket! Wild asparagus has high nutritional value. It is about as Paleo as it gets. Whether cooked or eaten raw, it is packed with …

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Searching for the Mighty Morel

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It’s official, Lincoln County is in the books for morel mushrooms this year. This week co-workers of mine found the mighty morel mushrooms at one of our wildlife management areas in southwest Nebraska and today I found more along the river near North Platte. Resent rains along with sunshine and warming temperatures have prompted the mushroom to sprout. This weekend I’m sure many morel collectors will be out hunting the rich, nutty mushroom. The central and western part of the …

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Spring Wild Edibles: There’s More Than Morels!

Wild asparagus. Photo by Greg Wagner.

“A weed is a plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson. The morel mushroom picking season is well underway in Nebraska. But, did you know there are other spring delicacies growing wild in the Cornhusker State’s outdoor scene? Oh yes, there sure are! Nebraska offers an abundance and diversity of edible wild plants that can be harvested in the simplest of locations, especially in the springtime. Many of these can be acquired while on a morel mushroom hunt! The spring season (April/May) truly …

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It’s All About The Gobble

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It invokes such strong feelings of excitement that it escapes words. It is a crazy sound in nature, really, perhaps even a bit comical. The sound, denoting spring, is actually a loud, shrill, descending, throaty jumble of chords that lasts about 1-2 seconds. For those of us who enjoy spring wild turkey hunting, the gobble of the male wild turkey is at its essence. A spring wild turkey hunt is about communicating, interacting and connecting with the North America’s largest upland …

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Top 10 Nebraska State Park Lands

Smith Falls State Park. Smith Falls. Photo courtesy of the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission.

Nebraska is chocked full of wonderful state park lands. From the home of the state’s tallest waterfall to the Ozark-like bluffs along the Missouri River, the state’s 77 state park lands encompassing some 72,165 acres are diverse and have much to offer the park goer.  These public areas serve to show us that natural beauty, spectacular scenery and fun outdoor recreation is not far from any point in the state. Compiling a list of the 10 best state park lands in …

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Time for Tick Talk

Tick. Photo by Greg Wagner.

EEEEK! TICK! The ticks are out! In Nebraska, ticks become active early in the spring and are one of the first biting pests we experience as the weather warms. Ticks are part of Nebraska’s environment, and they shouldn’t stop any of us from pursuing our favorite outdoor activities this time of year — wild turkey hunting, morel mushroom picking, bird watching, tent camping, hiking, fishing, etc. We just need to take the necessary precautions to dissuade these little buggers from crawling on us, embedding …

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