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Extremely Grateful

The season for gratitude and reflection is upon us. Thanksgiving week is when we remind our families, friends and close associates how much they mean to us and express our sincere appreciation for what positive things we have been given in life. While you are considering what you are thankful for, don’t forget about Nebraska’s outdoor scene. During the nine days of the recent firearm deer hunting season here in Cornhusker State, I selected a dozen key elements to be …

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What the Nebraska Deer Hunting Experience is Like

The morning air is crisp and cold. The stalks of corn stubble and hardwood trees along the river bottom stand as stalwarts; motionless and silent. The scene offers a picturesque postcard setting against the slowly lightening predawn sky. The sounds of wildlife awakening for the day can now be heard along the river bottom. A raucous calamity of crows is off in the distance. Two fox squirrels squabble amid the leaves on the woodland floor along the edge of the cornfield. A dark-eyed junco captures the attention …

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What you need to know for the firearm deer hunting season

As Nebraska’s largest hunt by participation – the firearm deer hunting season – comes into view from Nov. 12-20, visions of antlers and venison tenderloins can make the mind wander a bit. So before you take to your stand or blind, please read over these deer hunting safety tips and regulation reminders to keep yourself focused, safe, ethical and within the rules. With 43 years at the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission and as a rural land manager and longtime …

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How to Take the Best Photos of You with Your Harvested Deer

One would think in this age of cell phone and digital cameras that it would be pretty easy for hunters to get a good quality photo of them with their harvested deer. But, think again. Whether it is the excitement of the moment or the rush to get the animal field dressed, many hunters just flat out fail to successfully capture the cool hunting images of the day. The opportunity is there though for you to properly document the moment …

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A Deeper Meaning to Deer Hunting

Someone once said: “Deer hunting is a lot about nothing.” “Nothing,” seriously? In my view, that statement is so far from the truth. It is the time of year for archery deer hunters and soon, firearm deer hunters, to be on their stands or in their blinds all day long, up to 12 hours … alone. During part of a day off, Nebraska Conservation Officer Rich Berggren of Waterloo allows a photo to be taken before he enters his firearm …

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A Trophy Deer is Truly in the Eye of the Beholder

The deer harvested by a hunter prompted celebration but other hunters on social media certainly did not think so. You see, it was a smaller, younger white-tailed buck. It was a beautiful animal and a great photo of the proud hunter and his deer. I was one of the initial people to “like” the post on Facebook. However, it did not take long for the naysayers to chastise and ridicule the individual for shooting a basket-racked buck. Seriously? A trophy …

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Nebraska’s Varied and Vibrant Colors of October

Booo! … It’s the month when Halloween festivities and candy are aplenty. It’s the month when combines dot the rural landscape for the crop harvest. It is the month when the smell of wood smoke from fireplaces and backyard fire pits permeates the air. And, it’s the month when leaves turn color here in the Cornhusker State. Eastern cottonwood tree leaves beginning to turn their pretty yellow color along the Platte River near Gretna, NE. Photo by Greg Wagner/Nebraska Game …

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6 Favorite Wild Foods of Fall

It’s autumn. It’s heavy sweatshirt weather. It’s the season for football and pumpkin-spiced everything. And, it’s time to pick pumpkins and harvest the last of the tender crops from your vegetable garden. But, did you know that beyond the pumpkins, the squash and the tomatoes, fall marks the time of year for gathering and preparing tasty fare from wild places? Sure does. The landscape that surrounds us in Nebraska is actually more lush with wild edible material during autumn than …

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A Personal Perspective on National Hunting and Fishing Day

National Hunting and Fishing Day is this Saturday, Sept. 24. This is a significant day. No, this is not just another one of those celebratory days, not by a long shot. I grew up hunting and fishing in rural Nebraska. My hunting heritage began 53 years ago this fall as a “quail dog” for my dad and his friend, Jim on our family farm in southeast Nebraska. I am eternally grateful to my dad for taking me hunting! Photo courtesy …

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Hedge Apples, Hedge Balls, Mock Oranges … What are they exactly and are they good for anything?

They have all sorts of names: Hedge Apples, Hedge Balls, Mock Oranges and others. You’ve probably seen them. But, what really are they? Spider/insect repellents? Hmmm … Dang, they are sure strange looking. What is this bright yellow to yellow-green, grapefruit-sized, brainy-looking fruit-like thing? Fruit? Well, this is actually fruit of the Osage orange tree, an inedible fruit to humans, I might add. Hedge apple, hedge ball or mock orange, in hand. Photo by Greg Wagner/Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. …

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