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greg wagner

A native of Gretna, NE, a graduate of Gretna High School and Bellevue University, Greg Wagner currently serves as the Communications and Marketing Specialist and Manager for the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission's Service Center in Omaha. On a weekly basis, Wagner can be heard on a number of radio stations, seen on local television in Omaha, and on social media channels, creatively conveying natural resource conservation messages as well as promoting outdoor activities and destinations in Nebraska. Wagner, whose career at Game and Parks began in 1979, walks, talks, lives, breathes and blogs about Nebraska’s outdoors. He grew up in rural Gretna, building forts in the woods, hunting, fishing, collecting leaves, and generally thriving on constant outdoor activity. One of the primary goals of his blog is to get people, especially young ones, to have fun and spend time outside!

Foraging for Wild Fruits and Berries in Nebraska

I always get rather impatient this time of year. Is it because of the weather being erratic, if not so hot, humid and hazy at times? No. is it that sweet corn picking season is almost here. No. Is it that the hunting seasons are just around the bend? No. Then, why? Well, I am a gatherer, a prairie wanderer, and I am anxiously waiting to harvest elderberries during these dog days of summer. However, it’s not quite time yet. …

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Spirit of the Shack

Flattered … Humbled … Thrilled … These are just a few words that describe how I felt with an unexpected, major award I recently received. Called “Spirit of the Shack,” this unique conservation award is a significant one in the world of natural resources conservation. Past award winners constitute a who’s who (prominent persons list) in the conservation profession. The “Spirit of the Shack” Achievement Award is given by the Midwest Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies (MAFWA) to the …

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Summer Checklist for Hunters

Summer is here. It’s hot. It’s humid. Tomatoes are ripening. Early ears of sweet corn are being harvested. Boating, swimming, tubing and fishing are being widely enjoyed now. But, wait a second. Hold on for a moment. For those of us who are avidly involved in the hunting lifestyle and its year-round process, summer means a myriad of things to do if we are to have a safe and successful fall hunt. I don’t know about you, but in summer, …

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On Top With Your Summer Fishing

Chug bug. Jitterbug. Hula popper. Creek chub knuckle-head. Zara spook. They all have very creative names and designs by the companies that manufacture them. They imitate every conceivable critter that could be on, around or just under the surface of the water in a wild environment from baitfish or bugs to mice or lizards to frogs, toads or even small flying mammals. They are the “go-to” fishing lures of summer. They are top water lures or surface lures, some call …

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There’s no excuse for not wearing a life jacket on the water!

It bothers me to no end that people have such cavalier excuses regarding why they don’t want to wear life jackets on the water in a boat. For instance, this year, with higher water conditions, faster currents and more debris in the water, why would you even think of not wearing a life jacket if you’re planning on boating (where there are not flood watches or warnings)? I just don’t understand it! What excuses are you going to give us? …

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Bluegill are a great catch in summer

It’s hot. It’s humid. Whew! Yeah, it’s summer alright. Hey, has your fishing success slowed with the conditions? I though so. Well, one fish leads the way with lots of action for anglers in the good, old summertime — bluegill. A male bluegill stands guard on its nest in a southern Nebraska pond. Underwater photo courtesy of NEBRASKAland Magazine/Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. Maybe it’s the kid in me, I don’t know. But, at 61 years of age (approaching 62), …

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The Time is Now to Get Permission to Hunt and Here’s How

Maybe it’s because I am a lifelong Nebraskan with deep farm roots and help my brother manage his farm. Maybe it’s because I am a person with an outgoing, assertive, talkative personality who thoroughly enjoys interacting with people. Maybe it’s because of what I do for living and my employer. Maybe it’s because I pride myself on being a legal hunter and an ethical one at that. Maybe it’s because I really work at it. Maybe it’s because I go …

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Mulberries!

Maybe it’s just the kid in me, but I love to pick and eat mulberries! Your blogger enjoys eating ripe mulberries right off of the tree! Photo by Katie Stacey/Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. Growing up on the rural western edge of Gretna, NE, my buddies and I would always bug the area neighbors and farmers for permission to pick and eat ripe mulberries along their woodland edges and fencelines this time of year. It marked the start of summer …

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8 Great Grilling Tips

The warmer weather is here and it’s time to fire up that grill, if you haven’t done so already! Some of us grill meat and other foods year-round, while the rest of us are probably just beginning. Regardless, as the weather improves and becomes more summer-like, it means more home-cooked, barbecued meals for the folks in your household, cabin or campsite. Grilled Nebraska beef steaks. Photo by Greg Wagner/Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. Though I may not cook much (my …

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Going fishing? Here’s how to not let the big one get away!

All of us who love to fish have a story or two about the one that got away, don’t we? Invariably, the tale involves hooking the fish of a lifetime and losing it to unforeseen circumstances or mistakes. Trust me, I have made my share of mistakes when it comes to large, prized game fish. Your blogger mishandling a nice-sized channel catfish. Photo by Rich Berggren/Conservation Officer with the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. Without question, these stories, however embellished, …

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