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In The Wild

Safety First with Campfires, and then Marshmallows, Hot Dogs

A camping trip is not complete without spending some time around a campfire in the evening. Swapping stories and roasting marshmallows to make s’mores is all part of it! There is no question that a campfire provides the backdrop for lots of outdoor fun and camaraderie. But, if folks are careless, those campfires can ignite a damaging wildfire or severely injury a person. So, what do you need to know about campfires? First, we have some ground to cover (no …

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Float a Water Trail!

“They connect us. They run through us. Our bodies are roughly 60 percent water. Newborn babies are 78 percent. Is it any wonder we are drawn to rivers, is it any wonder we want to return to them again and again?” –  Amy Souers Kober.  Floating one of Nebraska’s various water trails in the summer is great for so many reasons! You can do it for the adventure of going somewhere you’ve never been. You can do it to make connections and …

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Go Off the Grid in the Sandhills

“There is delight in the hardy life of the open.” – Theodore Roosevelt. My, my we are all are so reliant on the ‘grid’ of modern technology. With computers, the Internet, Smart phones, IPads and even the computerized sensors and chips that make our motor vehicles run, every move we make it seems cannot be done without entering the technological sphere. Oh, and let’s not forget about the convenience of electricity either.  All of this high-tech gadgetry is a positive thing in our daily lives, right? But wouldn’t it be nice to disconnect and take …

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Those Gloves

I have been called a “sissie” and a wimp because I wear them. I have been labeled an “inadequate angler” since I have donned on them.  I have been told that I have lost my “bravado” and “edge” when it comes to fishing because I am handling fish while wearing gloves. It was even conveyed to my fishing partner, Nebraska Conservation Officer Rich Berggren of Waterloo, that “real game wardens don’t wear gloves to handle fish!” REALLY! Rich and I …

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Wildflower Power: Inviting the Pollinators

I’m a lover of wildflowers. Seeing, smelling, identifying and just being amid native wildflowers are on my list of my favorite outdoor pursuits in Nebraska’s landscape. And, you know what? Those wildflowers are more important than ever! No, scratch that. Indirectly, those native wildflowers are vital to all life on our planet Earth! Allow me to explain. For one out of every three bites of food you eat, you need to thank a bee, butterfly, beetle, bat, bird or other animal transferring pollen from one native wildflower to another! In fact, these animals on …

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Never Too Late To Start (Turkey) Hunting

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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Confessions of a Recreational Birdwatcher

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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Searching for the Mighty Morel

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!

“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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Top 10 Nebraska State Park Lands

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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