In the Wild with Greg Wagner


ASK THE CONSERVATION OFFICER by Greg Wagner

Get your Nebraska outdoor law and regulation questions ready for Conservation Officer Jeff Clauson of Waterloo when he joins me for this Saturday’s Great Outdoor Radio Show airing on Omaha’s ESPN Radio 1620 AM from 9-10 a.m. CDT. The show can also be heard live on www.1620thezone.com 

The phone numbers to call where you can ask your questions, are :

Locally 951-1620

Toll-Free, Nationwide 1-877-951-1620

Don’t be bashful. When it comes to outdoor activities, Jeff and I always say this: “There’s no such thing as a dumb question, only dumb mistakes made by not asking that dumb question.”  Perhaps you have a question about some of the new deer hunting regulations here in Nebraska.

We look forward to chatting with you on the air!



HEY, OUTDOORS-WOMAN EVENT HAS OPENINGS! by Greg Wagner

   

The popular Becoming an Outdoors-Woman (B.O.W.) event coming up on Oct. 1-3 at the Nebraska State 4-H Camp near Halsey has some openings!  

This annual B.O.W. gathering offers an opportunity for women to learn about and experience various outdoor activities in an easy-going, hands-on fashion. 

The event is filled with camaraderie! 

A fly fishing session at the event.

Click the link below to get all the details:  

http://outdoornebraska.ne.gov/Education/programs/bow/pdf/halsey/BOW_at_HALSEY_2010.pdf  

Might see you out there! Have fun ladies and enjoy the scenery!  

The Nebraska 4-H Camp near Halsey.



A DAY AT THE MISSOURI RIVER OUTDOOR EXPO by Greg Wagner

Wait, wait … Nope, it’s not Greg Wagner blogging … It’s Ponca State Park Superintendent Jeff Fields writing about spending a day at the park’s popular Missouri River Outdoor Expo this weekend of Sept. 18th and 19th … Let’s see what he has to say and why we should attend it …    

    Sometime around the beginning of September an internal clock chimes within the hearts and minds of many happy families, staff, volunteers, etc.  – the Missouri River Outdoor Expo at Ponca State Park next to the friendly town of Ponca, NE is almost here again!  I’m not sure what exactly triggers this.   Maybe it’s the slight hint of crimson in the sumac, the cool crisp evenings, the scenic Missouri River at sunrise or sunset,

or the giant heap of papers, sticky notes, clipboards, coffee cups, and half-eaten food on my desk. Maybe it’s the large piles of signs, tents, food, shotgun shells, clay pigeons, bows, arrows, Dutch ovens… that form a tunnel down our office hallway.  Nonetheless, it’s EXPO time!

   To those that have never attended the Missouri River Outdoor Expo, let me walk you through a day at the event.  Upon arrival (get here early by the way because there is way more than you can do in a day), you’ll be directed to a parking area in the back 40.  From this parking lot, a shuttle equipped with genuine bales of hay and a friendly Expo shuttle guide will take you to the site of your first adventure – the Resource and Education Center.

    For starters, at the Resource and Education Center you can see jumping dogs, crawling critters, birds being banded, giant elk antlers, slithering snakes, the camper of your dreams, kids catching trout, wood carvers, and a live bald eagle.  After grabbing a chili dog, nachos, and two ice cream bars, you’ll catch another shuttle to your next adventure – the Riverfront.

   Upon arriving at the Riverfront you’ll be greeted by a potpourri of fragrances including the signature aroma of the Missouri River, wood smoke, funnel cakes, trapping lure, barbecue, fried fish, and mules.  The atmosphere of the Riverfront can best be described as a blend of a county fair, a sport show, a rendezvous,

and a family vacation.  At the Riverfront, you can paddle a kayak,

climb a rock wall, eat a funnel cake, ride in a flat bottom boat, try your hand casting a fly rod, pack a mule, and get licked by puppy. After grabbing a bag of Kettle Korn, it’s time to head to our next adventure – the Shooter’s Village.

   As you sit on the shuttle headed to the Shooter’s Village, you might ask yourself “What is there to do at the Shooter’s Village?”   A better answer to this question might be “What can’t I do the Shooter’s Village”.  You can shoot a bow and arrow,

a clay pigeon with a shotgun, a metal gong with a muzzleloader, a spinning target with a .22, a paper target with a pellet gun, and tin can with a sling shot.   After grabbing a turkey leg and snow cone, unfortunately it’s time to leave. 

   On the way home the family will be talking about their favorite Expo experiences and making plans for future outdoor adventures.  Aside from your excessive food purchases, a cool camouflage Expo cap, and a box of decoys, you’ve pretty much got through the day with your wallet unopened.   The total package value of a day at the Missouri River Outdoor Expo at  Ponca State Park – PRICELESS!!! See you out here, at the expo!!! Click this link for more details about Ponca State Park’s fun Missouri River Outdoor Expo:

http://outdoornebraska.ne.gov/Parks/poncaexpo/About_Missouri_expo.asp



BANDS AND WINGS by Greg Wagner

A mourning dove being banded.

Nebraska’s dove hunting season opener is fast approaching! It is this Wednesday, September 1st. At Game and Parks, we want to remind you 14,000 dove hunters who harvest some 320,000 doves during the season annually, that you are the critical link in assuring the success of dove banding studies. By reporting any banded doves harvested, you add valuable information which will help us manage this important migratory bird resource.  

Note the leg band.

If you harvest a banded dove, please call 1-800-327-BAND (1-800-327-2263) to report the band number. Bands can also be reported by accessing the U.S. Geological Survey Bird Banding Laboratory web site at www.reportband.gov. You can keep the bands and will be provided a certificate identifying the age and sex of the bird, as well as the date and location the bird was banded.  

Some of you who hunt doves will be asked to provide us with some dove wings. This is also very important.    

  

Wings from harvested doves can be used to determine the age ratio of doves in the fall population. This ratio, expressed as the number of juveniles per adult, allows biologists to determine an index to recruitment, or breeding season success, of doves. A high level of recruitment is necessary for mourning doves to maintain stable populations.  

We thank you for helping the dove resource by furnishing band info and, if requested, wings from doves you harvest. Enjoy your dove hunt! Shells, yes shells, bring lots of shells. 

 

See you out there!



NOT ON THE BANK, IN THE BIN by Greg Wagner

Discarded fishing line has always been and continues to be a big problem for the environment and a massive threat to an array of wildlife along the shoreline. 

Birds like the cormorant pictured below often get tangled up in it, look! 

 

 However, now a viable option exists where Nebraska anglers can put that balled up mess of monofilament line — in specialized bins to be recycled provided by the fantastic folks – the volunteers – at the nonprofit Nebraska Fish & Game Association (NEFGA) @ www.nefga.org  

Photo from Nebraska Fish & Game Association @ http://www.nefga.org

Here is a link directly to the organization’s Fishing Line Recycling Bin program: http://www.nefga.org/web/recycling_bins.php  

Thanks to efforts of the NEFGA and a contribution from Whitehead Oil of Lincoln, the group recently installed bins at one of my favorite honey holes to fish – Memphis Lake State Recreation Area in Saunders County.  

Photo from Nebraska Fish & Game Association @ http://www.nefga.org

If I’m not mistaken, the NEFGA has bins in place on nearly 30 waters here in the Husker State (and counting), WOW! 

Photo from Nebraska Fish & Game Association @ http://www.nefga.org

 

We can’t thank you enough guys and gals in the NEFGA, for cleaning up our environment, helping wildlife and making the Nebraska outdoor scene an even better place to enjoy!  

See you out there, utilizing the recycling bins for old and tattered fishing line! 

Photo from Nebraska Fish & Game Association @ http://www.nefga.org



GAME AND PARKS HIRING FOUR NEW CONSERVATION OFFICERS by Greg Wagner

 This note comes to us from Ted Blume of our Game and Parks Law Enforcement Division …  

All:  

As you may have heard, we have initiated a hiring process to fill four of our current Conservation Officer vacancies. 

Conservation officers Bill Krause (left) and Mike Luben (right) checking anglers. Photo courtesy of Duane Arp.

As is always the case, other agency staff may receive questions regarding the hiring process or may know of individuals who are interested in applying.  

Conservation officer Russ Mort inspecting a taxidermy business. Photo courtesy of Duane Arp.

To that end and in light of the new requirements for online applications exclusively we ask that you direct anyone who asks about the application process or who might be interested to the website www.statejobs.nebraska.gov under Job Title: Game and Parks Conservation Officer and Job Code: 201000677 for information on the selection process, examples of work, and knowledge, skills and abilities applicable to the positions: 

  • www.statejobs.nebraska.gov
  • Select “External Job Opportunities”
  • Scroll to bottom of page and enter “Conservation Officer” in the “Key words” search box
  • The job listing will be pulled up at the bottom of the next page which can be clicked on to access the position information page on which there is also a link to “Apply”

Conservation officer Jeff Clauson delivers an educational program to a civic organization.

Thank you for your assistance with the Conservation Officer hiring process…………..  

Ted  

Ted Blume  

Administrator  

Law Enforcement Division  

Nebraska Game and Parks Commission  

E-mail:  Ted.Blume@nebraska.gov  

Phone:  (402)471-5531  

FAX:  (402)471-5590



THE WASP IN MY YARD by Greg Wagner

It’s the time of year for the cicada killer wasp to be very apparent around your yard feeding on cicadas   

A cicada killer wasp feeding on a cicada.

and burrowing in yards around the Omaha area like the Wagner’s in Dundee.  

A cicada killer wasp nest.

Curious to know more information about this unique wasp and if it is a threat to us? Then, click here: http://www.masterbeekeeper.org/stinging/sting_pdf/cicadakiller.pdf  

Now you know what that wasp-like creature is that’s flying around your yard and what critter made that small depression in the lawn.See you out there. Always learning more about nature, even if it’s in your own backyard!