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In The Wild

Scouting Increases Success

The calendar indicates that it is obviously still winter. But, the days are getting longer, the spring migration of wild fowl is well underway, a few green shoots of plants have emerged — all pointing out that spring is just around the bend. For those of us who spring wild turkey hunt, our thoughts are drifting to the woods where we stake our blinds and decoys. A walk in the woods where wild turkeys reside or frequent is a refreshing and welcomed activity in late winter on a nice, …

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Springtime Foraging: The Dryad’s Saddle

While there will be more chilly, frosty nights — and yes, most likely, more snow — in the Nebraska countryside over the next several weeks, it is safe to say that spring is coming! So, in advance of those days exhibiting warm sunshine, calm breezes and moist conditions, there is a widespread edible, palatable fungi that you need to know. Along with finding and picking morel mushrooms, there is the dryad’s saddle to harvest in your favorite woodlands. Dryad’s saddle? The Dryad’s saddle (Polyporus squamosus) , a.k.a., pheasant back’s mushroom, or hawks wing, is …

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Respect The Tasty Snows

They are not “sky carp,” “lutefisk with feathers,” “an over-cooked catcher’s mitt,” or trash birds.  Your blogger displays snow geese harvested during a recent Light Goose Conservation Order hunt in south-central Nebraska. Photo by Jim Druliner of Omaha, NE. They are classified as light geese — snow and Ross’s geese to be exact, and they are to be respected and revered like any other natural resource! In fact, they are a worthy adversary of hunters and actually great to eat! Snow and Ross’s geese, …

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Why Walk On Water For Fins

In a casual conversation, whenever the topic of ice fishing is brought up, and I’m visiting with folks who don’t ice fish, predictably many questions arise. The most common one: “Why do you even go ice fishing, it’s not very safe, is it? Then, there are these:  “It looks so cold, why on earth would any reasonable person consider going fishing sitting on a big ice cube?” “I don’t get it, why try to catch fish through the ice in the winter?” And, then there’s this question I had recently: “Have you …

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Hunters: Share Your Bounty

With Nebraska’s 2017-2018 hunting seasons having ended or being close to ending, many of you who hunt probably have a bountiful supply of wild game meat in your freezers, don’t you? I thought so. You know what? That wild game meat offers an opportunity to share some healthy protein and enlighten people about the hunting lifestyle that you thoroughly enjoy! As hunters, we get a lot from nature every season through new memories, insightful lessons, lasting friendships, doing conservation work, and of course, reaping the reward of delicious meat! Therefore, it’s fitting that …

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Is It Time To Begin Looking For Shed Deer Antlers?

Is it too early to go out and try to find shed deer antlers on my hunting lands? After all, there is snow cover and snow drifts in places. On the other hand, I am hearing rumors of bucks dropping their antlers earlier than normal on the Great Plains. So, when should someone venture to their deer woods and fields in search of those prized shed antlers? Beginning in late December and continuing through April, white-tailed and mule deer shed their antlers for regrowth purposes …

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More Than Just Jewelry

We absolutely treasure them. We collect them. We investigate their origins. We tell stories of the hunt about them. We give them places of honor on our call lanyards. But, official waterfowl leg bands are more than just coveted collectibles, more than just “priceless jewelry” to hunters. The information the bands possess is vital to the management of these web footed birds. There are even monetary reward bands. Getting a duck or goose with a reward, or “money” band on it is extra special because they …

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Winter Wild Edibles

Foraging for wild foods on a cold, snowy day in Nebraska’s wintry landscape is an interesting and enjoyable outdoor activity. After all, foraging doesn’t have to be a fair-weather activity, right? But, let’s get this straight: Foraging for wild plant foods in winter is not easy. It’s tough, it’s rough, it’s cold, it’s hard work. Frigid temperatures, snow cover and low-light add to the difficulty. Winter foraging can sometimes be about slim-pickings, too. However, if you have basic knowledge of specific plants, bundle up and put forth the effort …

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No Ice Needed For This Winter Fishing!

If sitting on a five-gallon bucket and then staring at a hole drilled in the ice doesn’t meet your criterion for winter fishing, then take note! There is an open-water fishing option in Nebraska during the coldest part of the year and it involves trout. So, grab the neoprene waders and gloves, layer your clothing and rig the spinning rod, because we are going winter trout stream fishing! Schlagel Creek near Valentine, NE gives up a brown trout on a crankbait during a winter …

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7 New Year’s Resolutions for Hunters

The tradition of making New Year’s resolutions — a promise to do good on acts of self-improvement — has been around for thousands of years on both the eastern and western hemispheres. While many individuals vow to eat better, exercise more, stop smoking and build up their finances, it is far easier to make and fulfill New Year’s resolutions for an activity of which you are passionate, like hunting in Nebraska. So, here are seven suggested hunting-oriented New Year’s resolutions …

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