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Tag Archives: General Outdoors

How to Avoid the Crowds When Going Camping

It’s camping season and my neighbors told me the other day they were thinking of heading out on a Friday night to camp at a popular state recreation area in order to “get away from it all” on a nice weekend. Hmmm … I wanted to tell them that most likely, they were heading an area to where it all will be happening with quite a few people there. But how do you steer clear of crowds when you’re trying …

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It’s Time to Stalk Nebraska’s Wild Asparagus

The apple blossoms have emerged. Why is that important? It is a reliable indicator that tells me I now will find one of my most valued vegetables in Nebraska’s rural landscape — wild asparagus. The wild asparagus harvest season almost always overlaps with the emergence of apple blossoms in my eastern Nebraska area. Apple blossoms. Photo by Greg Wagner/Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. Sure enough, I was right! Wild asparagus emerging in mid May in eastern Nebraska. Photo by Greg …

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What to know about the morel mushroom hunting season that has begun

Good news … The morel mushroom hunting season has begun! Morels are now being found near dead and decaying hardwood trees like cottonwoods and elms in moist eastern Nebraska river bottom woodlands. Tersh Kepler of Omaha is Nebraska’s morel mushroom hunting expert with more than 50 years of experience and he points out there are some important things to know about morel mushroom hunting before venturing to the woods. Kepler found early season morels with the arrival of May and …

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Spring’s Other Tasty Edible Mushroom: The Dryad’s Saddle

Topside photo of a dryad’s saddle, a.k.a. pheasant’s back or hawks wing, in Nebraska. Photo by Greg Wagner/Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. Hey, what’s that mushroom? Hmmm … Wonder if it’s edible? Along with finding and picking morel mushrooms, there is another edible wild fungi growing in your moist woodlands that you should know and consider harvesting and making for dinner — the dryad’s saddle. Dryad’s saddle? The dryad’s saddle (Cerioporus squamosus, formerly known as Polyporus squamosus), and referred to as …

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Spring Wild Turkey Hunting: Addiction, Obsession, Passion

Noted turkey hunter and outdoor writer Tom Kelly once wrote, “I do not hunt turkeys because I want to. I hunt them because I have to. I would, really, rather not. But I am helpless in the grip of my compulsion.” I completely agree! Anyone who has ever spent a gorgeous Nebraska spring morning with their back leaning against the base of a mature hardwood tree or sitting in a camouflaged blind, using a call and decoys to lure a …

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Early Spring, Ice-Out Fishing Tips

The sandhill crane migration is well underway in Nebraska’s central Platte River valley. Flocks of snow geese have been heard and seen already flying high above my house. Wild turkeys have entered their breeding phase on our family farm in southeast Nebraska. Oh, and what about the fish that swim where I fish? Hmmm … Emma Wagner-Nichols, your blogger’s daughter, caught this crappie in chilly, sunny weather in a private sandpit lake in Dodge County, NE. Photo courtesy of Emma …

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March Means Migration Near You (Even in the City)

When I was kid, I always looked forward to taking a drive with my grandparents during the March thaw to see the spring migration of birds along the Platte River in rural Sarpy County, Nebraska. We never had to travel very far from our homes in Gretna to see the migrating birds either. It’s those drives that helped develop my appreciation for birds. Truth is, you still do not have to venture far at all to enjoy the spectacular spring migration of birds …

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15 Ways to Cure Cabin Fever

It’s winter. The daylight is short. The nights are long and dreary. Air temperatures outside are cold, downright frigid at times. There’s probably some snow cover. We are all spending more a lot of time indoors this season, aren’t we? It is that time of year when we get that cooped-up, restless, nothing-to-do feeling that is referred to as “cabin fever.” Stuck inside, too many of us get weary and lethargic and spend long, endless hours watching TV re-runs, binge-watching …

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Foraging for Winter Wild Edibles in Nebraska

Gathering wild foods in Nebraska is not just a spring, summer or fall outdoor activity, it can be done in winter. What? Winter! Seriously. Don’t stop reading. Stay with me here. But let’s get this straight: Foraging for wild plant foods in winter is not easy. It’s tough, it’s rough, it’s cold, it’s hard work. It’s challenging, to say the least. Frigid temperatures, snow cover and low-light add to the difficulty. Winter foraging can sometimes be about slim-pickings, too. However, …

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Going Outdoors Alone in Winter: Survival and Splendor

I treasure my time spent alone in nature or in a rural setting, especially this time of year in Nebraska. If I don’t get some alone time in the great outdoors, I end up getting a little restless, grumpy and cabin fever-like (just ask my wife, Polly). Alone time is essential with the hustle and bustle of the season and all that is happening in this world. Sure, it is safer and more fun to share your outdoor adventures with …

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