Chicago Sun-Times
Stray Casts will intelligently report and observe, hopefully with a touch of wit, on daily occurrences, reports and releases related to Chicago-area outdoors from bucks to bass to birds to bugs

March 2008 Archives

I'm guessing most people thinking of woodpeckers would picture a pileated.

Not because they've seen one, but because woodpeckers in our time have been defined by the cartoon character Woody Woodpecker as much as anything they've seen in the wild.

I find that a depressing thought.

All in all, I'm satisfied that I have my priorities in life ordered well. Only a few important things interrupt my sleep.

Tucked a couple branches up on an old conifer in a cemetery, the saw-whet owl stared back at us as intently as we did it this morning. It was a lifer for me.

I am disappearing for a few days, and expect to be away from the Web until Sunday night, so there will likely be no postings or updating of comments, after Weekender 3-20-08.

IHSA bass news

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I have been around high school sports and outdoor stuff for a long time. And nothing has triggered the reaction caused by the Illinois High School Association's plans to make Illinois the first state to sanction a statewide bass fishing tournament in the spring of 2009.

Hunters who want to address budget issues may voice their opinions at town hall meetings around the state listed below. Gov. Blagojevich's proposal to cut the pheasant hunting program has ignited action from many hunters about ongoing problems with IDNR funding. These are a chance to be heard.

So, I'm in a tough spot. A black squirrel, a melanistic gray, has been raiding our backyard bird feeders.


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A budget directive from the Gov. Blagojevich's office of management and budget could end the state's put-and-take pheasant hunting at state sites.

I call it croaking. The more sophisticated folks at Cornell Lab of Ornithology in ``All About Birds'' describe the sound of sandhill cranes as ``a deep, rolling trumpet and rattling.'' Decide for yourself.

Anxious deer hunters may begin filing online applications for 2008 resident-only firearm and muzzleloader deer permits first lotteries.

So I can't find Bill Heavey for our scheduled interview Friday. Two hours later, he calls back apologizing profusely: he had been scavenging in suburban Washington D.C. with a woman he once did a column on about suburban deer poachers.

Here's facts to back up the impression we were seeing more bald eagles this winter. On Tuesday, the Illinois Audubon Society reported the 2008 Midwinter Bald Eagle Count of 4,292 was 2,372 more than in 2007.

Fish falling from the sky last week reminded me of squirrels knocking themselves out, smallmouth bass jumping in a canoe, a buck leaping our car hood and flying squirrels in southern rain.

Good/bad news bucks

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The good news? The Illinois Deer & Turkey Classic saw an upswing in Boone & Crockett Club qualifiers after two down years. The bad news? Add a seventh Illinois county, Stephenson, to those with a confirmed case of chronic wasting disease.

I'll take small victories in life, even if Braidwood Lake could use a big one.

The regalness of eagles and wolves brings out readers.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from March 2008 listed from newest to oldest.

February 2008 is the previous archive.

April 2008 is the next archive.

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