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In The Wild

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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Time for Tick Talk

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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Creating and Maintaining the Tradition of Hunting

Our traditions are a major part of us. They help to shape who we are. Indeed, when it comes to the hunting lifestyle, they are at the very core of what we are. The wild places, the game animals and birds we seek, how we do that, when we do that, and with whom we do that, all sculpt our outdoor lives. Whenever I think about creating a new hunting tradition I always find myself in kind of a quandary. The word tradition really isn’t about the new, it’s about the old, isn’t it? Or, …

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March Means Migration Near You (Even in the City)

When I was kid, I always looked forward to taking a drive with my grandparents during the March thaw to see the spring migration of birds in Sarpy County, Nebraska. We never had to travel very far from our homes in Gretna to see the migrating birds either. It’s those drives that helped to develop my appreciation for birds. Truth is, you still do not have to venture far at all to enjoy the spectacular March migration of birds in Nebraska. Extraordinary spring migration bird watching awaits you in …

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The Addiction: Spring Wild Turkey Hunting

Truth be told, I’m finding it difficult to cope as I wait anxiously for Nebraska’s spring wild turkey hunting seasons to arrive. The days are getting longer, we’ve had some of those abnormally warm winter days, and hints of green are emerging on my lawn! Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m really looking forward to experiencing the spring migration of waterfowl and sandhill cranes, in addition to hunting snow geese, but it’s hard not to not think about wild turkeys in the springtime when there is …

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Purposes of Camo

As I was rooting through my camouflaged clothing the other day in the Wagner basement/outdoor cave looking for a particular garment, some questions came to mind. Does all of this camouflaged clothing really matter? I am using each of these? What purposes does camouflaged clothing really serve? Why do I end up wearing it much of the time yet I’m not entirely outside? Whether for function or fashion, whether heading to the ground blind or golf course, I do not truly believe that camouflage is ever off-trend or out …

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Sharing the Bounty

I like to share some of the treasured wild game I harvest with others for consumption. Why? Some of you may be asking. I know, I know, I should keep it all for myself, right? After all, it is so healthy and delicious! Well, I like to breakdown stereotypes in the lifestyle of hunting with others, especially when it comes to dining on wild game meat. What I continually find is that some folks are fearful of preparing, cooking and, more so, …

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