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Morels Aren’t the Only Edible Fungus in Spring

Along with finding and picking morel mushrooms, there is another edible wild fungus growing in your moist woodlands that you should know and consider harvesting and making for dinner — the dryad’s saddle. Dryad’s saddle? Say, what? The dryad’s saddle (Polyporus squamosus) , a.k.a., pheasant back’s mushroom, or hawks wing, is a widespread edible wild fungi that is easy to spot beginning in late April and continuing into May. Found east of the Rockies and potentially throughout Nebraska, it is a common basidiomycete bracket fungus …

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Plan To Take ‘Em Fishing

From all indicators, he absolutely loved it! That would describe my young grandson’s first fishing expedition. I loved it, too! So, have you, the avid angler, taken a youth or a newcomer out fishing in the last year or so? Hmmm … Well, let me tell you that there are now more incentives than ever before to introduce someone new or someone who hasn’t been out on the water in a while to the lifestyle of fishing. In fact, the …

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About Morel Mushrooms This Spring

There is no doubt that your morel mushroom hunting grounds along river bottoms and their tributaries in eastern and central Nebraska were greatly impacted by recent catastrophic flooding. This is the most widespread damage the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission has experienced due to a natural disaster. In my 40 years with the agency and growing up near the Platte River, I have never witnessed any natural catastrophe to this magnitude. So, as an outdoor enthusiast, maybe you’ve been thinking: …

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Hunting The Hills For Your Spring Gobblers

So, your spring wild turkey hunting grounds along river bottoms have been flooded, huh? I am sorry to hear that. The turkeys may or may not return to those river bottom grounds on a consistent basis. More than likely, severely flooded areas probably will be void of birds this season. It might be a good idea to do your homework and plan your route for heading for the hills. But maybe you have never hunted the rolling hills, steep grades and …

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Dance Party

Prairie grouse dancing begins in mid-March and will last into May at a prairie near you. Read on for viewing locations. There are some things you just have to see to believe, and others you have to hear. Few provide a treat to both of those senses like watching prairie grouse perform their courtship dances in the spring. Sitting in a blind before first light, you will hear the birds fly into the lek before you can see them. When …

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Flooding Has Affected Us All

Flooding has truly affected us all in one way or another. Flooding has impacted my own family. Below is video from Friday, March 15, 2019 of flood waters going over the access road from Nebraska Highway 30 to  Timberwood Lake just west of the Fremont Lakes State Recreation Area where my daughter and son-in-law reside. Video courtesy of Wayne Preister of Ames, NE. Posted by Greg Wagner on Friday, March 15, 2019 My heartfelt thoughts go out to those who …

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Nebraska History: Bikes, Farmers, and “Good Roads”

It was an unlikely alliance: farmers and bicycle enthusiasts. Both were dissatisfied with the muddy, unimproved roads of the late 1800s. But it would take a lot of tax dollars to build a modern road system, and not everyone wanted to spend the money. And then came a new, noisy, four-wheeled invention … Nebraska’s early roads were unmarked trails across the countryside. Railroads received large government subsidies, but the dirt roads linking farms and towns were seen only as a …

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Photographing East Ash Road

A photographer captures the Pine Ridge’s East Ash Road through the seasons. The first time I laid eyes on this corkscrew turn nestled in the Pine Ridge of the Panhandle, I couldn’t help but question if I had stepped outside the borders of Nebraska. Such a far cry from the familiar geography of the Plains, the Pine Ridge is an area that has continually captivated me and keeps me coming back to discover more. As the seasons pass, the rugged …

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Theft of Black Walnut Trees

I am shaking my head. It is so hard to believe. This scenario has been among the most surprising and shocking in my career as a conservation professional. More on that in a bit. All of us realize that wildlife-related crimes know no boundaries. Just like poaching game and fish, there are unethical, unscrupulous people, motivated purely by greed, who seek to profit without regard for natural resources, private or public property and ecosystem health. But now, valuable woodland habitat is …

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