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Plains Onion

The Not So Plain Plains Onion Of our state’s six species of native onion, the Plains onion, though small in stature, has the largest, and in my opinion, most elegant flowers. Unlike the other onions, its flowers are scented, a sweet fragrance reminiscent of hyacinths or cloves. Unfortunately, hidden among the prairie grasses, this uncommon little onion is rarely seen, except when exposed by its colorful May blooms. Rose-colored Petals Aptly named, the Plains onion (Allium perdulce) grows throughout the …

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This is hunting

“Other than family and close friends, this is what I love and had made me who I am.” – Scott Smathers, Nebraska Sportsmen’s Foundation When Scott Smathers’ social post came in front of me, it resonated. He’d shared a hunting poem that has been circulating on Facebook since at least 2018, but the original author has not been tagged in those shares. However, the author’s words are worth reading and sharing, and that’s why I share them below.  Because this …

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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 nature. During the nine days of the recent firearm deer hunting season here in Cornhusker State, I selected a dozen key elements to be extremely grateful for …

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Firearm Deer Season: Enjoying the Experience

Nebraska’s most popular hunt is the 9-day firearm deer season (Nov. 14 through Nov. 22). This is one of the absolute best times of year to be outside and participate in it with the deer breeding period called “rut” happening. My lovely wife of well over 30 years, Polly Wagner, says that everything comes to a grinding halt in the Wagner family with the “rifle deer season.” It’s a terrific event, though. For many of us in the hunting lifestyle, …

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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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How to take a quality photo with your deer

You are a deer hunter and you’re mentoring a new, young hunter in the field. The young deer hunter has just successfully shot their first deer. Congratulations! Knuckle bumps and high fives! Now, the opportunity is there for you to photographically capture the moment with the young hunter and their deer for all your friends and family members to see and to upload a pic to the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission’s website for the Take ‘Em Hunting challenge and …

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Ahead of Their Time

There might be a few high school kids who hunted more than Blaine Dorn and Kobe Clevenger. Or harder. Or more passionately. But there can’t be many. From the start of the archery deer season in September through duck and goose seasons to the end of goose season in February, these two members of the Chase County High School class of 2020 in Imperial hunted every chance they could. They were back in the field for the spring turkey season, …

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Finding the Right Duck Call

I remember getting my first “real” duck call. It was a gift from a friend, and I couldn’t wait to give it a try. After several failed attempts to make it sound like a duck, I realized that maybe it wasn’t the right call for me or maybe I just wasn’t very good at blowing it. It was then that I went on a search to find the right call for my skill level and my budget. I forged ahead …

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Reflecting on the Crown-tipped Coral

One morning last July, I was riding in a UTV down a trail at Indian Cave State Park with ecologist Krista Lang, when I blurted out “Stop, stop, stop!” What had I seen? What had so excited this botanist? There, deep in the oak woods, growing on a log, was a beautiful crown-tipped coral mushroom. One of our missions that day was to photograph mushrooms, and this was a perfect specimen — fresh, big and immaculately shaped. But there was …

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Five Wingshooting Tips

‘Tis the wingshooter’s favorite time of the year. With quail, pheasant and waterfowl seasons open, why wouldn’t it be? Keep these tips in mind this month: Know the loads you’re shooting. Pellet count, energy and velocity are big deals when wingshooting. The more you know about what you’re firing from your gun, the better you can make adjustments when you’re afield. It’s much easier to diagnose your problems of the day when you know what loads you’re firing. Shoot the …

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