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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 Public Information Officer 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 sites, 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!

Wild Game Cooking: The Heart of the Matter

I have eaten deer heart for as long as I can remember. I like it a lot. It is among my favorite wild game entrees and a tradition in our family to cook and eat during the Nebraska firearm deer hunting season. Since my initial blog about deer heart a year ago, I have received many requests to share it, once again. So, with that in mind, here it is. Deer hunters, save the heart from the deer you harvest this season! No, no, don’t just toss it in the gut pile …

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How to take respectful deer harvest photos

You are a deer hunter, and you have just harvested a very nice white-tailed buck, or perhaps a gorgeous doe. Now, you have the opportunity to capture the moment for all of your friends and family to see. With due diligence, you can ensure the special moment is highlighted in a quality harvest photo. The photo likely will be taken with your smartphone, iPhone, iPad or similar device to immediately share with everyone on social media. How much care will …

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Pay Attention To Nature’s Sounds When Deer Hunting

Picture yourself harnessed in a tree stand for deer hunting. You are losing light. It’s nearing sunset. The prime time for deer movement. Suddenly, you hear a squirrel bark and chatter. Then even closer to you, from the same direction, you hear curiosity putts from some wild turkeys. Within a few minutes you hear another squirrel bark and chatter by your location. Then, you hear the guttural grunt of a buck. Out of nowhere appears an adult white-tailed deer doe with pair of fawns being followed by an …

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The Year to Become a Quailer

It is like no other form of hunting. It is exhilarating, action-packed, and humbling to even the most practiced shotgun shooter! I should know. I grew up with it on our southeastern Nebraska farm. What kind of hunting is it? IT is hunting the northern bobwhite quail. Have you ever hunted quail? It’s awesome! You need to try it. And, their numbers this year look outstanding! Flushing a covey of quail is as exciting as any outdoor activity gets! However, from years of first-hand experience I will …

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Nebraska’s Fall Colors

It’s mid to late October in Nebraska. Pumpkin spice lattes are being served in coffee shops. Halloween supplies are being purchased at stores. High School football playoffs are just around the corner. The crop harvest is well underway. And, the leaves are turning color. It is a certainly a wonderful time of the year in Nebraska to enjoy the various colors of fall foliage. We can find trees, shrubs, vines and grasses in green, yellow, orange, red, brown, and even some purple all virtually at about the same time. …

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How Do I Cook Wild Game?

Autumn brings lots of things to dining room tables: apples, cider, pumpkins, and in many homes — wild game. But with so many options for cooking wild game meat, it can be difficult to know where to start. No matter what the scenario is, any professional chef will tell you there’s nothing magical or mystical about preparing a delicious wild game dinner. Anyone who can cook at all can serve a savory supper using wild game birds and animals that …

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Foraging for Fall Fungi

It’s very unfair. Spring and its morel mushrooms get all the limelight, but hard-core nature enthusiasts in Nebraska know that autumn rains deliver a mushroom bounty in the woods that’s far more diverse, robust and rewarding. Fall mushroom hunting offers a bunch of benefits, and not just for fairy tale goblins and witches! It offers a refreshing, cool walk in the woods amid fall foliage colors, a chance to better understand forest ecology, and an opportunity to see a variety of woodland wildlife, as …

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Nebraska Oranges

Say what? Nebraska has oranges? Well, no, not really. But, kind of. Osage orange isn’t an orange though it may look like a yellow-green, grapefruit-sized, brainy-looking type of orange fruit. It is a fruit, of the Osage orange tree, that is. However, the tree is more closely related to the mulberry tree. Enter its primary nicknames; hedge apple, hedge ball, and mock orange. Confused? A bit perplexed, are you? Allow me to continue. I bet you’ve seen these wrinkled, softball-sized …

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Go Wild, Go Nuts!

The air is crisp and clean. Nature’s color show is just getting underway. The forest floor is being permeated with the musty scents of early autumn leaf matter as well as something else — nuts! One of the reasons to take a long walk in the woods during autumn is to gather some delicious, nutritious, wild or homegrown nuts, especially, black walnuts, pecans and hickories. I am “nuts” for nuts! Black walnut in husk on forest floor amid grass and leaf matter in southeastern …

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Fall Into The Great Outdoors

Unquestionably, fall in Nebraska is one of the best times of the year to spend outdoors! The days are getting shorter and the summer heat is waning: the air is crisp; the leaves and other foliage are transforming into canopies of deep orange, bright yellow, and brilliant red; and the fall gardens are abundant with brightly colored fruits and vegetables. If you are looking for new and different opportunities to have fun, burn calories, acquire more Vitamin D, remain active, and maintain …

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