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In The Wild

Fun to pick, good to eat; mulberries offer much summer fun!

Maybe it’s just the kid in me, but I love to pick and eat mulberries! 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 for us. Ah, those were the days … Mulberries on the tree. Photo by Greg Wagner/Nebraska Game and Parks …

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Key things to know before you go river tubing this summer

Ahhh … Leisurely floating on one of Nebraska’s many scenic rivers or streams in an inflated inner tube is a cool, refreshing, relaxing, way to enjoy a hot summer day with family and friends, isn’t it? A small group of tubers take a rest break on their float trip amid the beautiful scenery of the Calamus River near Burwell in the Nebraska Sandhills. Photo courtesy of NEBRASKAland Magazine/Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. Oh, yeah! Tubing on a Nebraska river or …

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Float a Water Trail

Eager to get on the water? Yeah, me, too. Summer is a perfect time to float Nebraska’s water trails. There are many reasons to take a float trip on continuously flowing water. You can do it for the openness and space that it offers and the adventure of going somewhere you have never been. You can do it to make connections and memories with people and nature, re-trace history, see a variety of wildlife species, get some fresh air and …

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Going fishing? Don’t 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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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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Plan to Take ‘Em Fishing and Here’s How

From all indicators, he absolutely loved it! That would describe my young grandson’s first fishing expedition. I loved it, too! So, have you, the avid angler, taken a youth or a newcomer out fishing? Hmmm … You should! Well, let me tell you that there continue to be incentives for you to introduce someone new or someone who hasn’t been out on the water in a while to the lifestyle of fishing. In fact, the incentives offered are part of …

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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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Hunting Turkeys in Foul Weather

Nebraska weather. Don’t like it? Wait a short while. It’ll change, maybe. Reality is rarely so kind. The Cornhusker State’s spring wild turkey hunting seasons are in full swing amid the ever-changing, ever-fluctuating weather patterns and conditions here on the Great Plains. But one unfortunate thing has been fairly consistent this spring: Wind. And lots of it! National Weather Service data since 1960 for eastern Nebraska show that it is averaging its second-windiest year to date and the second-windiest spring …

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Dandelions: They’re What’s For Dinner!

As I glance around my Omaha yard from the mailbox, my eye catches bright yellow blots dotting the front lawn. Hmmm … I know this plant. I know its flowers. I know its leaves. And I can eat them. All of them! What is it? Why, it is the dandelion, of course! No, don’t stop reading the blog, stay with me here, please. Look, I know the dandelion is the scourge of yards, lots, flower beds, gardens and fields this …

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