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In The Wild

How to Hunt Nebraska’s Wild Turkeys in Winter

I truly love wild turkeys and it’s no secret that I am a hardcore wild turkey hunter. I hunt wild turkeys in spring, fall and yes, in winter. I believe hunting the wild turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) in the various seasons makes you a better, more knowledgeable, well-rounded turkey hunter and outdoor enthusiast because you gain intimate knowledge of the bird’s behavior. I know what you’re thinking. What kind of crazed hunter sets up for wild turkeys in the frigid, snow-covered …

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There Is No Ice Required For This Winter Fishing

If the mild weather in Nebraska has you, the avid angler, singing the ice fishing blues, then take note! There is an open-water fishing option in Nebraska during the coldest part of the year. It involves trout and would give you the chance to work on completing the Trout Slam challenge. So, grab the neoprene waders and gloves, and rig the spinning rod, it is time to go winter trout stream fishing! Schlagel Creek near Valentine, NE gives up a …

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What You Need To Know For Late Season Deer Hunting In Nebraska

Sadly, it’s the time of year when many deer hunters start hanging up their gear for the season. Perhaps they have already harvested deer (or two), or are tired of trying to do so with their bow, crossbow or muzzleloader, or are just not interested in taking a doe during the deep-freeze weather of the late season. Whatever the case may be, that deer hunting gear should not be put away! Hunters should not let the word ‘late’ make them …

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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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Tons of Tips for Hunting Public Lands

Hunting public lands. It can be a real challenge. Why? In a state like Nebraska the overwhelming majority of our total land acreage is privately owned (97%) with only a small percentage of it open to the public (3%). However, Nebraska’s array of public lands offer a wide variety of opportunities for hunting different game species. And there is some good news. John Laux, Upland Habitat and Access Program Manager for the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission’s Wildlife Division, points …

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12 Tips For Archery Deer Hunting During the Rut

It’s a magical time of year, really. As daylight wanes, the temperature begins to drop, frost appears on the pumpkin, leaves turn color and start toppling to the ground, and experienced bowhunters know the deer rut or breeding period is beginning. Buck rubs on trees and scrapes on the ground are apparent. A buck rub on an eastern cedar tree in rural Sarpy County, NE. Photo by Greg Wagner/Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. Deer movement is picking up and the …

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