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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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Stalking Nebraska’s Wild Asparagus

Morel mushrooms may be the heart of foraging activity now in Nebraska, but the spring gathering of wild plants in the countryside for the table goes well beyond fungi. Consider, wild asparagus. Tender, succulent and with a flavor zest that combines subtle sweetness and slight bitterness, asparagus growing in the countryside doesn’t taste anything like the asparagus from the produce section of your large supermarket! Wild asparagus has high nutritional value. It is about as Paleo as it gets. Whether cooked or eaten raw, it is …

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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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It’s All About the Gobble

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, denoting spring, is actually a loud, shrill, descending, throaty jumble of chords that lasts about 1-2 seconds. http://www.nwtf.org/_resources/dyn/files/1475676z54066659/_fn/Gobbling.mp3 For those of us who enjoy spring wild turkey hunting, the gobble of the male wild turkey is at its essence. A spring wild turkey hunt is about communicating, interacting and connecting with the North America’s largest …

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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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Take boater safety course before season begins

LINCOLN, Neb. – While boating season still is months away, the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission suggests that now is the time to take a boater safety course. A list of boating safety classes is available at boatsafenebraska.org. The list includes six-hour classroom courses and three-hour home-study review and test courses. More classes will be added to the list during the year. Persons born after Dec. 31, 1985, who operate a motorboat or personal watercraft in Nebraska, must have successfully …

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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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Nebraska’s 150th Anniversary: Bursting with Pioneer Pride

They were immigrants who braved the unknown to carve out new lives in a strange new land among native inhabitants. They were about determination, perseverance, strong backs and an unwavering faith in their religion. They never recognized the impossible. They fought and endured a Civil War. They loaded up their belongings and themselves in covered wagons and came here in search of a better life in which to claim land to farm, hunt, fish and raise their children. Along the …

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