In the Wild with Greg Wagner


It was a good opening weekend in the field for me and my hunting partner to do our part for deer management with our centerfire rifles during Nebraska’s special October Antlerless Deer Hunting Season targeting whitetail does. Did you participate in this season? How’d you do? Give us an update if you feel inclined. For us, despite crops still standing in the field, deer movement was good, better than expected, actually. I shot the two young whitetail does pictured below during the late afternoon session yesterday, October 3rd on a relative’s farm next door to ours in Sarpy County. The does come out of big, broad area of timber onto a grassy pasture and were making their way to  adjacent unharvested soy bean fields.

My hunting partner Andre also had success and shot this adult whitetail doe yesterday morning, October 3rd with his rifle. He took this nice doe along a well-used deer trail in woods leading to a core bedding area for the whitetails.

Get specific information for yourself and your hunting partner(s) on the October Antlerless Deer Hunting Season (which continues through October 11th in more than half of the state) by reading over a copy of the 2010 Big Game Guide. It’s accessible by clicking here:

Take care, might see you in the office. Well, probably not. I’ll be heading back to the deer blind soon to harvest more antlerless whitetails. I hunt from a unique deer hunting blind, more on that in the coming days … Stay tuned!!!



I just purchased my resident $11.00 October Antlerless Deer Hunting Season Permit to harvest two antlerless whitetail deer with any legal weapon in the open management unit from Oct. 2-11. What a bargain!

Are you a deer hunter? Look at the map below, do you have any land within the management unit boundaries where you deer hunt?

Why not take advantage of this early season opportunity to do(e) your part for the landowner, the motorist, the wildlife manager and more so, for the overall health of the whitetail herds in these respective areas.

Remember, you can actually buy as many of these October Antlerless Deer Hunting Season Permits as you want!  In case you’re wondering, the nonresident price for the October permit is $55 (still a bargain). Here’s where you go to purchase your permit (and current habitat stamp if you don’t have one already):

Don’t forget your blaze orange cap and vest in the field. See you out there, do(e)ing your part!


 My good friend and avid outdoorsman David Hendee, Outdoor Writer for the Omaha World-Herald newspaper, put together his annual hunting special in today’s edition (Sunday, September 19th edition) of the paper in the sports section. Nicely done, David! Buy a copy at your local newsstand (I’m old-school, I like to have a cup of coffee and read the paper in-hand). 


Of course, you can also view the series of articles that David wrote here at this link, including his byline:    

Here David Hendee and I prepare to judge a wild game cooking competition.

  See you out there, or perhaps at your local coffee shop, reading the paper.


So, when is the absolute best time to go hunting or fishing in the fall here in Nebraska? I’ll tell ya’. There’s no debating the answer. It’s when the Nebraska Cornhusker football team is playing a game during the day on television(amid legal shooting hours for game animals/birds). Home games at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln even take more people away from the field or our waters here in Nebraska. 


Now, don’t get me wrong here, I’m just about as big a Big Red fan as they come! 


However, I am not as big a fan as Daryl Bauer in our Fisheries Division is. Check out the fan attire gone overboard. I’m not sitting next to him if he’s wearing those coveralls either! Sorry DB. 


 When asked if a Husker football game ever interferes with major Saturday hunting season openers such as firearm deer, my answer pointedly is “NO!” I’m in the field with my sons, brothers, nephews, cousins, friends, etc. Listen, if I would have forewent time in the field in 2008 during the firearm deer hunting season opener when Nebraska played K-State on Nov. 15th, my young son Noah would not have shot his first deer – this nice whitetail buck. 


See you out there, DVR-ing the game, and not having to contend with many folks in the field or on the water! 

Where is everyone on this WMA marsh? Oh, that's right, it's a Husker game day.

 Go Big Red! Click here for the official Cornhusker football schedule:


Come join Conservation Officer Mike Luben of Colon, NE and myself at a fun-filled deer event on Oct. 2nd in Wahoo. See the post card below. This event is well attended by deer hunters and landowners. Thanks Charlie for inviting us! See you all there and bring your appetites!  


 I’ve always said that I greatly appreciate media folks who get out and hunt and fish in Nebraska. I am continually promoting and fostering those outdoor activities and others within the ranks of the press corp in the Omaha-metro.   



That means I greatly appreciate longtime area meteorologist and broadcaster Jim Flowers of Omaha, NE! Jim is the Chief Meteorologist at Omaha’s NBC affiliate which is WOWT-TV/Channel 6.  He can also be heard on Omaha’s news radio station 1110 AM/KFAB. Jim is married to Barb, with two boys, Brian and Patrick, and for relaxation enjoys fishing, hunting, camping, and of course, the weather. 

As you can see, Jim is very passionate about his hunting and fishing endeavors.  

Jim with a Master Angler channel catfish caught and released from the Summit Lake SRA near Tekamah, NE.

Jim Flowers with one of the many nice largemouth bass he has caught and released at the Louisville Lakes SRA near Louisville, NE.

In fact, he blogs about his outdoor adventures frequently on the station’s website (  

Look closely, a pic of whitetail buck he took from his deer stand in eastern Nebraska last year.

Beautiful Nebraska whitetail buck Jim!

Rooster pheasants are among the upland game birds Jim likes to pursue with his canine buddy.

Click here for the latest blog entry regarding his outdoor experiences in the Cornhusker State:  

See you out there, greatly appreciating a member of the Omaha media who thoroughly understands, enjoys and relishes time spent outdoors! Now, about that weather forecast for tomorrow, Jim …  

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 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!