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In The Wild

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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Waiting for Morels? Try Dandelions!

While you’re waiting for those succulent morel mushrooms to pop up in size and number, there’s another spring wild edible nearby that you should harvest and eat. What is it? Well, it’s growing in your yard. Any ideas? It is the dandelion! No, don’t stop reading the blog, bear with me here, please. Look, I know that dandelion is the scourge of yards, lots, flower beds, gardens and fields this time of year here in Nebraska. But that scourge – (Taraxacum officinale) – …

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Take Your Tyke on a Hike

The little one in your family is getting bigger. They’re walking. They’re running. They’re climbing. They’re grabbing things. They’re examining things. And yes, they’re even tasting things. The toddler in your family is bubbling over with personality and propelling themselves with their own two legs! Enter the toddler in our family, my grandson, Jackson. He is a restless little ball of energy and doesn’t want to miss anything! Jackson, at 16 months of age, prefers to get down and explore. He is inherently busy …

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Early Season Morels

It is the time of year when folklore and science start to collide. But, about what?  I’ll tell you what. Morel mushrooms! The two aspects of nature begin to clash bout the emergence of the prized, delectable morel mushroom. So, let the coffee shop conversations and the biological banter move forward! Morel mushroom in Elkhorn River bottom woodlands in Sarpy County, NE. Photo by Greg Wagner/Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. These are just some of nature’s triggers that prompt longtime gatherers of the succulent …

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Corn Your Own Wild Game or Beef for St. Paddy’s Day

Saint Patrick’s Day is one of the greatest food holidays of all time! All of the savory, salty corned beef you can eat, scrumptiously moist cabbage, hearty Irish soda bread, ice cold Irish beer, leprechauns and shamrocks. What could be better? The Feast of Saint Patrick comes around every year without fail. I love everything about it because I am of Irish-American heritage, but most of us celebrate with the same old corned beef and cabbage recipe, don’t we? This year I …

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A Fan of the State Tree

As Nebraska celebrates its 150th year of statehood, an iconic, representative symbol of the state is the official tree — the native cottonwood. The 1972 legislature named the cottonwood (Populus deltoides) as the state tree, replacing the original selection made in 1937 — the American elm (Ulmus Americana L.). The cottonwood was chosen because many elm trees had been killed by Dutch elm disease and it is rooted in Nebraska’s pioneer history. I have great admiration for the cottonwood tree. I can …

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How To Cook Your Goose: Tasty Light Geese

Hey, who says that snow and Ross’s geese are not good to eat, huh? No, they’re not cat food, garden fertilizer, “sky carp,” “bad lutefisk with feathers,” “over-cooked catcher’s mitts,” or any other derogatory  names you want to call them! With these geese, it’s just the opposite! Please don’t roll your eyes. Bear with me. Snow geese and Ross’s geese, defined as light geese,  have dark, richly flavored meat. They can be quite delicious, if, and I mean, if, you take adequate care of them in the field, prepare them …

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