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In The Wild

Tips for Gettin’ that Gobbler Later in the Season

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, you say? Well, 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 early May in eastern Nebraska. …

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That Other Edible, Tasty Spring Mushroom: The Dryad’s Saddle

Topside photo of a dryad’s saddle, a.k.a. pheasant’s back or hawks wing, in Nebraska. Photo by Greg Wagner/Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. Along with finding and picking morel mushrooms, there is another edible wild fungus growing in your moist woodlands that you should know and consider harvesting and making for dinner — the dryad’s saddle. The Dryad’s saddle. What the heck is that? The dryad’s saddle (Cerioporus squamosus, formerly known as Polyporus squamosus), and referred to as the pheasant’s back or …

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What to know about morel mushroom hunting

The morel mushroom hunting season is literally upon us. We’re on the cusp of it along river bottoms in eastern Nebraska. A few morels have been found. The Nebraska Morels Facebook Page indicates that some morels are also being found. This is the beginning of the morel mushroom harvest season in Nebraska! So how do we really know when morels will emerge? Among the primary indicators of morels emerging are dandelion flowers, garlic mustard seedlings, tree buds, plum blossoms, and …

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There Are Plants Growing In Your Yard That You Can Eat (No Kidding!)

You have just read the title to this blog and you’re thinking ‘Whoa! What? Wagner is way off base with this one!’ PL-EASE … Allow me, the avid forager, to explain. Now that spring has sprung and while you wait for your morel mushrooms to emerge, some of the more prolific, more accessible wild edible foods are making their initial appearances … in your yard! No kidding! This is the time of year when when edible wild plants emerge and …

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How to Spring Wild Turkey Hunt in Foul (No pun intended) 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 archery wild turkey hunting season is in full swing and soon the spring shotgun wild turkey hunting seasons will be getting underway (Youth – April 6 and Regular Shotgun – April 13). These seasons for turkey take place in the spring amid the ever-changing, ever-fluctuating, and sometimes unpredictable weather patterns and conditions we deal with here in Nebraska.  But …

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Prep your equipment for spring outdoor activities

Those of us who enjoy outdoor activities such as hunting, fishing, boating and camping are spending an awful of time around the house when there is inclement outside. Nevertheless as you think of or plan your next outdoor trip, those conditions offer an opportune time to go through your equipment – cleaning, repairing, restoring and organizing various items that most likely were shelved, locked in a cabinet or safe or neglected. You have the time to do this, trust me. …

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Spring Wild Turkey Hunting: Addiction, Obsession, Passion

Noted turkey hunter and outdoor writer Tom Kelly once wrote, “I do not hunt turkeys because I want to. I hunt them because I have to. I would, really, rather not. But I am helpless in the grip of my compulsion.” I completely agree! And the grip of my compulsion begins on March 25 with the opening of the spring archery wild turkey hunting season here in Nebraska. You know, some hunters describe spring wild turkey hunting as a cross …

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A Fan of the State Tree

As Nebraska celebrates its 157th year of statehood, an iconic, representative symbol of the state is the official tree — the native eastern cottonwood. The 1972 legislature named the eastern cottonwood (Populus deltoides) as the state tree, replacing the original selection made in 1937 — the American elm (Ulmus Americana L.). The eastern cottonwood was chosen because many elm trees had been killed by Dutch elm disease and it is rooted in Nebraska’s pioneer history. The cottonwoods are large deciduous …

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Tips for Early Open-Water Fishing

Green grass shoots are sprouting in my Elkhorn, NE yard. The days are getting longer. Water temperatures are warming. The time is now to get ready for some early open-water fishing action! Emma Wagner-Nichols, your blogger’s daughter, caught this crappie in chilly, sunny early spring weather in a private sandpit lake in Dodge County, NE. Photo courtesy of Emma Wagner-Nichols of Elkhorn, NE Have you put new line on your reels? Have you gone through your tackle box yet? Sharpened …

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