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In The Wild

Plan ahead and stay safe when having fun on the water

The Nebraska state park system offers some fantastic beaches for swimming and wading, and they’re open now! More than two dozen state recreation areas offer a chance for everyone to catch some rays, play in the sand and cool off in the water of lakes and reservoirs during hot days, as long as COVID-19 health guidelines and measures are followed. Beach swimming is blast! My family and I really enjoy it. However, drowning in dark water is a real danger. Even …

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What is that mushroom? Is it edible?

*BLOGGER’S NOTE: I have been inundated with inquiries and questions about the dryad’s saddle or pheasant’s back mushroom this spring. So I wanted to bring back and repurpose a blog I wrote a little more than one-year ago about this edible, wild woodland fungi. I hope you find it helpful and informative. Enjoy your time in the woods! GW. Along with finding and picking morel mushrooms, there is another edible wild fungi growing in your moist woodlands that you should …

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Reel Therapy: Fishing!

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected all of us in one way or another. We have been staying at home for the most part with trips pretty much only being made to the grocery store, gas station or nearby trail for exercise. One activity though that has been very popular in Nebraska throughout this unprecedented time: Fishing! Recreational fishing is a legitimate outdoor lifestyle activity solidly rooted in science. Fisheries conservation and management balance the needs of people with consideration for …

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8 Great Grilling Tips

The warmer weather is here and it’s time to fire up that grill, if you haven’t done so already! Some of us grill meat and other foods year-round, while the rest of us are probably just beginning. Regardless, as the weather improves and becomes more summer-like, it means more home-cooked, barbecued meals for the folks in your household. Grilled Nebraska steaks. Photo by Greg Wagner/Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. Though I may not cook much (my wife will tell you …

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Late Season Turkey Tips: Gettin’ That Gobbler

We are in the late season for spring wild turkey hunting in Nebraska. Using a baseball analogy, it is the bottom of the 9th inning, your team is behind, the bases are loaded, there are two outs and you are up to bat! I don’t think there is any doubt about it, spring turkey hunting late in the season is challenging. However, there are still plenty of gobbles to be heard and birds to be worked plus amazing experiences to …

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Time To Stalk Nebraska’s Wild Asparagus

Shrubs are flowering. Apple blossoms have emerged. Reliable indicators that tell me I now will find one of my most valued vegetables in Nebraska’s rural landscape — wild asparagus. Apple blossoms. Photo by Greg Wagner/Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. Sure enough, I was right! Wild asparagus emerging in early May in eastern Nebraska. Photo by Greg Wagner/Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. Wild asparagus, a hardy plant that comes back from the same root system every year, has many varieties and is a popular spring wild …

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The Great Jake Debate Continues

*BLOGGER’S NOTE: The National Wild Turkey Federation calls it: The Great Jake Debate. And, it  has surfaced again. It is the continual debate regarding whether or not to shoot a jake (a juvenile or nearly one-year old  male wild turkey) during a spring wild turkey hunting season, if legal. In Nebraska, it is allowable to shoot jakes during the spring turkey season. But let me tell you there is much misinformation floating around hunting circles about this ongoing discussion. In …

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Go Fish, and Take the Kids In Your Household!

Through the COVID-19 pandemic it’s hard to find things to do with the family and others in your household, especially when the weather is nice. Have you ever considered going fishing? Kids love it! Look, we all must follow CDC, state and local health guidelines and regulations, but if there ever was a time to legally, allowably wet a line in Nebraska, it is now in the springtime! In fact, May is the best fishing month of the year when …

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The Gobble

It is the primary reason I hunt wild turkeys in the spring. 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, made by a wild bird and denoting spring, is actually a loud, shrill, descending, gurgling, throaty jumble of chords that lasts about 1-2 seconds. This is the gobble of a male wild turkey. Gil-obble-obble-obble. For those of us who enjoy being outdoors …

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Go Through Your Outdoor Gear

Those of us who enjoy outdoor activities such as hunting, fishing, boating and camping are spending an awful of time around the house, aren’t we? Nevertheless as you plan your next outdoor trip, this is an opportune time to go through your gear – cleaning, repairing, restoring and organizing various items that most likely were shelved, locked in a cabinet or safe or  neglected. You have the time to do this, trust me. I do. Keep in mind money can …

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