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In The Wild

Celebrating Bird Month With Turkey Talk

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 the gobble of a male wild turkey. https://www.nwtf.org/_resources/dyn/files/1475676z54066659/_fn/Gobbling.mp3 For those of us who enjoy being outdoors during spring in the Nebraska countryside, whether bird watching, turkey hunting or doing …

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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. Sure enough, I was right! Wild asparagus has many varieties and is a popular spring wild edible in Nebraska. To me, wild asparagus is one of the earliest signs of winter’s final end and the beginning of a new growing season. Asparagus growing rogue and freely in the countryside is no different from the cultivated kind, except that it has a fresher, …

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Wild Foods In Your Backyard

As the trees bud, the lawns green and the flowers bloom, did you know that may have food growing in your yard, lot, garden or field? I bet you do! Now that spring has finally sprung, some of the more prolific, more accessible wild edible foods make their initial appearances. It’s when edible wild plants are at their most tender, tastiest stage. And your own backyard, garden, vacant lot, alleyway or patch of woods or prairie, could very well be the closest and most productive place you’ll find to forage this time of …

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Spring Turkey Hunters: Why Not Take A Jake!

You have a current Nebraska spring wild turkey hunting permit and habitat stamp. You go hunting. You set up along a field edge bordering old-growth, open woodland habitat. You strike your slate call: “Yelp, yelp, yelp.” You pause for a moment. A gobble echoes nearby. It sounds like a jake, a nearly one-year old  male wild turkey born the previous spring. A few minutes pass. All of the sudden, here it comes running right toward the decoys, with its bright blue, red and white head, small, …

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Anxiously Awaiting The First Morels Of The Season

Tersh Kepler of Omaha, NE is closely monitoring his yard for the appearance of dandelions. Why? Because, that will be his sign that morel mushrooms have popped up in his river bottom woods. Many folks in Nebraska are getting antsy to head to their morel mushroom picking spots along river and creek woodlands. But, when will the morels emerge? Kepler says the sprouting of dandelions in his Omaha yard will be the indicator, however,  he knows there is more to it. Whether vigilant for dandelion flowers, tree buds, blooming lilacs or flowering woodland …

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The Rise Of The Modern Crossbow

Nebraska’s popular archery spring wild turkey hunting season is in full swing, and seemingly a growing number of hunters have added another piece of legal archery equipment to their repertoire  — the modern crossbow. The word — crossbow — can stir up a very heated debate in conventional bow hunting circles. Consider that a similar debate also took place when the compound bow was first introduced into the hunting scene many years ago. Some folks will be quick to let you know that a crossbow or arbalest is …

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15 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 many years of firsthand experience hunting throughout the state! And, I continue to hunt wild turkeys in the springtime from the Missouri River bottom woodlands of Washington County all the way to Platte River bottom woodlands of Dawson County. We Nebraskans as well as our nonresident visitors have plenty of reasons,15 at least, to enjoy the state and take to the woods to call in a bearded bird this year. An adult …

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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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