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In The Wild

No Excuse for not Wearing a Life Jacket

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. In my 42 years at the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, I have seen my share of boating tragedies. I have seen the victims of boating fatalities who were not wearing their life jackets. You never, ever forget them. Often the victims died right in front of close family members and good friends …

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A Thorough Guide for Tubing on Nebraska Rivers

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! Summer river or stream tubing is …

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Why Wear Rubber Gloves When Handling Fish?

I continue to be called bad names for wearing them. Most recently, I was called a “super wimp” for having them on my hands. I have been labeled an “inadequate angler” since I have donned on them. I have been told that my “bravado” and “edge” have been lost when it comes to fishing because I am handling fish while wearing rubber gloves. Ah yes, THOSE GLOVES. People have also had their curiosity piqued by those of us who wear rubber …

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How to Avoid the Crowds When Going Camping

My neighbors told me the other day that they were 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 to plan a summer camping …

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Out-of-the-(Tackle) Box Tips for Catching Channel Catfish

“Dang, I thought I had a big bass! Hey, it’s a big channel cat.” The channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus), Nebraska’s official state fish, sometimes gets misunderstood, particularly it seems, by those who exclusively fish for bass and walleye. Catfish, especially the channel cats, have a reputation as bottom feeders that just lazily swim around sucking up stinky, dead stuff from the bottom. And that is not entirely true! I asked Chris Pokorny of Elkhorn, NE, who’s among Nebraska’s most avid …

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Try Tanking: A Fun Float Trip!

Want something fun, relaxing and unique to do with your family or friends this spring or summer? Well, well. I have an idea for you. How about floating a slow-moving, meandering, scenic Nebraska river downstream in a round, buoyant livestock watering tank? Tank floating on the picturesque Middle Loup River near Mullen, NE. Photo courtesy of Glidden Canoe Rental/The Sandhills Motel. I know what you’re thinking, trust me, I do. But, let me tell you that this is one of …

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Late Season Turkey Tips: Gettin’ That Gobbler

We are in the latter part of the season for spring wild turkey hunting in Nebraska. Using a baseball analogy, it is the bottom of the 9th inning, your team is behind, the bases are loaded, there two outs and you are up to bat! I don’t think there is any doubt about it, spring wild turkey hunting late in the season is challenging. However, there are still plenty of gobbles to be heard and birds to be worked plus …

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Stalking 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. Apple blossoms. Photo by Greg Wagner/Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. Sure enough, I was right! Wild asparagus emerging in early May in eastern Nebraska. Photo by Greg Wagner/Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. Wild asparagus, a hardy plant that comes back from the same root system every …

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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. Without question, these stories, however embellished, can be devastating to those who have a passion for wetting lines. For as many wild and crazy occurrences …

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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 here on the Great Plains. Nevertheless, should we wait to turkey hunt until we have those beautiful bluebird-like days with warm sunshine and slight to no wind? If time is not available to do that, we might have to hunt when the weather is dealing …

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