This summer Michael Neu had some big bucks show up to steal squirrel food in Oak Forest. And one of them earns BOTW: Unplugged honors.
BOTW: Unplugged runs Sundays on the outdoors page of the Sun-Times, and here in an extended online version, either on Saturday or Sunday.
Neu took these photos of bucks stealing squirrel feed in his backyard in Oak Forest, which would get my vote for the Chicago suburb with the biggest bucks.
I would offer this caveat about the feeding of wild animals from the IDNR, because of CWD regulations in llinois:
``It shall be illegal to make available food, salt, mineral blocks or other products for ingestion by wild deer or other wildlife in areas where wild deer are present. Exempted from this Section are the following: a) elevated bird/squirrel feeders providing seed, grain, fruit, worms, or suet for birds or squirrels located within 100 feet of a dwelling devoted to human occupancy;''
Neu assured me that he was not feeding the deer, other than quite unintentionally:
``We have had a family of red squirrels make a nest in one of the oak trees in the backyard. The deer get enough food from my hastas and the plants in the garden.''
BOTW: Unplugged began because I had enough submissions of live notable bucks from Chicago and the suburbs, submitted to the regular BOTW, which is for hunters and their trophy bucks and runs on Wednesdays in the Sun-Times.
I will run BOTW: Unplugged as long as seems appropriate. Submit nominations for BOTW and/or BOTW: Unplugged to firstname.lastname@example.org.