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The Time is Now to Get Permission to Hunt and Here’s How

Maybe it’s because I am a lifelong Nebraskan with deep farm roots and help my brother manage his farm. Maybe it’s because I am a person with an outgoing, assertive, talkative personality who thoroughly enjoys interacting with people. Maybe it’s because of what I do for living and my employer. Maybe it’s because I pride myself on being a legal hunter and an ethical one at that. Maybe it’s because I really work at it. Maybe it’s because I go …

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Mulberries!

Maybe it’s just the kid in me, but I love to pick and eat mulberries! Your blogger enjoys eating ripe mulberries right off of the tree! Photo by Katie Stacey/Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. 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 …

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8 Great Grilling Tips

The warmer weather is here and it’s time to fire up that grill, if you haven’t done so already! Some of us grill meat and other foods year-round, while the rest of us are probably just beginning. Regardless, as the weather improves and becomes more summer-like, it means more home-cooked, barbecued meals for the folks in your household, cabin or campsite. Grilled Nebraska beef steaks. Photo by Greg Wagner/Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. Though I may not cook much (my …

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Going fishing? Here’s 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. 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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Avoiding the Crowds When Going Camping

It’s camping season and friends of mine 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 to an area to where it all will be happening with quite a few people there. Admittedly, I don’t want to be around big crowds …

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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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A Guide to Herping

Try a new outdoor activity this spring. Herping is the practice of searching for reptiles and amphibians. By Monica Macoubrie, Wildlife Education Specialist Looking for ways to get kids outside and away from their screens and tablets? Taking a nature walk or going on a scavenger hunt in the backyard are classic examples. Families with children also love the idea of “firsts”: The first time their children sleep under the stars, the first time they reel in a fish 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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