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In The Wild

The Dire Need for More Milkweed

Seen many milkweeds lately? I didn’t think so. They continue to disappear at a disturbing rate. But, who cares? What’s the big deal? They’re just milkweeds anyway, right? Monarch butterflies, which migrate through Nebraska, cannot survive without the milkweed. Their larvae, caterpillars, will only feed on it. Female monarchs need it to lay their eggs. According to National Geographic, the trouble is not only in Mexico with deforestation, but fewer and fewer monarch butterflies are crossing North America to winter into Mexico, and the …

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Time to Visit Mulberry Lane

Maybe it’s just the kid in me, but I love to pick and eat mulberries. Growing up on the rural western edge of Gretna, NE, my buddies and I would always bug the area farmers for permission to pick and eat ripe mulberries in their woods and along their fence rows this time of year. It marked the start of summer for us. Ah, those were the days … Fast-forward to present-day. Our mulberry trees, at least in the Omaha-metro area, have just started dropping their …

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Reel Therapy: Fishing!

If people concentrated on the really important things in life, there’d be a shortage of fishing poles.  ~Doug Larson Because I know of places where the water seems endless. Because the day is bright and the sand pulse along the shore is warm. Because I enjoy the challenge, pursuit and thrill of the catch (and release).  These are the primary reasons why we anglers wet lines. But there’s more to it. Really, there is. Every angler has his or her …

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8 Great Grilling Tips

With spring here and summer just around the bend, many of us are preparing our grills for a lengthy season of outdoor cooking (and eating). Though I may not cook much (my wife will tell you that), outdoor grilling is one of my favorite pastimes. I declare it “social cooking,” where family and friends come over on the deck or patio to drink cool, refreshing beverages while the smell of burning charcoal and meat being barbecued permeate the air. Below are my top eight tips for getting the most out of cooking on a …

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Food is the Lure to Take Millennials Hunting

Conditions are ripe for the oldest millennial in our family to continue to hunt. Our son, Zach, is at an age (29) where he has transitioned through many life stages — secondary schooling, new career, marriage and a child. You might think the demands of these stages compete for his limited time and resources, but actually, they don’t. These transitions have presented opportunities for tradition and family history within the lifestyle of hunting to emerge and be fostered. You see, Zach is among the millennial generation, also known as Generation Y or those born in the 1980s to the early 2000s. They currently total more than 80 million in the U.S., are the largest group of Americans alive today, and are said to be the largest cohort or group in history. Nevertheless, …

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Try The Float Trip Phenomenon Called Tanking

Want something fun, relaxing and unique to do with your family or friends this spring or summer? Well, well. I have an idea for you. How about floating a slow-moving, meandering, scenic Nebraska river downstream in a round, buoyant livestock watering tank? I know what you’re thinking, trust me, I do. But, let me tell you that this is one of the most amusing, interesting and memorable small group outdoor experiences you can have in Nebraska! Originating in the Sandhills …

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It’s Bird Month; Do You Know Your Birds?

“What wild creature is more accessible to our eyes and ears, as close to us and everyone in the world, as universal as a bird?” – David Attenborough Are Everywhere You Are One thing you cannot help in this world is seeing birds. They are virtually everywhere! Look up, look down, look over there, go to the waters, the woods, the wavy field of grass or watch through the window of your home, you’ll see birds. More than 450 species of birds …

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FUNdamentals of Fishing

He is adorable. He is unpredictable. He is often impatient. He is moving almost nonstop from morning to night. And, from all indicators, he absolutely loved his first fishing experience! He is my grandson, 17-month old Jackson Edward Wagner. For young kids, exposure to something means everything. It’s the make up of young children to touch the very things in their environment that even their parents find somewhat squeamish. University of Chicago research shows that touch is one of the most important senses for developing children because it helps …

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Stalking Nebraska’s Wild Asparagus

Morel mushrooms may be the heart of foraging activity now 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 …

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10 Reasons to Hunt Turkeys in Nebraska this Spring!

Nebraska’s spring wild turkey hunting is tough to beat. It really is. Trust me, I know from firsthand experience! And, we Nebraskans as well as our nonresident visitors have plenty of reasons, ten at least, to take to the woods to call in a bearded bird this year.  1. All counties have turkeys. Wild turkeys thrive in all 93 Nebraska counties where there is suitable habitat. Interestingly, some counties in the state even rank within the top 10 counties in the nation for wild turkey abundance.  2. Variety of …

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