The quick arrival of ice fishing and the other usual winter sports lead this week's Wild Weekend Wanderings around Chicago outdoors.
I plan to beat the two old-timers in town to putting the first holes in this idyllic scene today or tomorrow.
ICE FISHING: It started on the Chain O'Lakes channels and at Nielsen's Channel off the Fox River at Port Barrington on Thursday. With little additional snow forecast, ice should be thickening and expanding across the area.
Obviously, use caution, especially in those areas to the north and west of the city, where significant snowfalls make impact safety.
For Chain updates, I would check with Triangle Sports--(847) 395-0813--and for Nielsen's, Hermann's (847-639-9644)
GOOSE FUNDRAISER: I know it is last moment, but there was a major influx of geese over the last couple days. It should be an explosively good Liv's Hunt for a Cure tomorrow. The festivities begin this evening with an extensive silent auction and other activities. The waterfowling fundraiser raises money for research on cystic fibrosis, and is one of the neatest events of its kind in the Chicago area. Go to livforacure.org, or maybe at this late point it is better to call (847) 224-8235.
MUZZLELOADER-ONLY DEER SEASON: The season runs through Sunday. At least in this end of the state, today is nearly unhuntable. But I suspect totals should still be solid with Saturday and Sunday looking like good winter hunting weather.
PERCH FISHING: It's been going with better fish at Navy Pier, but even there it takes sorting for keepers. Weather has limited effort the last couple days, but that should loosen up for the weekend.
WINTER SPORTS UP NORTH: Wisconsin's snow update yesterday reveled in the weather with this:
``Halleluiah winter sports fans! Old Man Winter waved his magic wand on Wednesday and sent Wisconsin its first major blizzard of the season. It looks like we'll get 8-14 inches across the southern half of the state, with more snow later in the week.''
Go to travelwisconsin.com/snow_report.aspx for updates on skiing and snowmobiling up north.
Snowmobiling opens in the Eagle River area on Tuesday: Here's the word on that and other snow-related activities in that area from Naomi Shapiro:
NEW: EAGLE RIVER, WISCONSIN SNOW REPORT, as of December 10, 2009.
(For lovers of snowmobiling, X-C skiing, and snowshoeing).
*EAGLE RIVER, WISCONSIN, Snowmobile Capital of the World.®
Trails in the Eagle River, Wisconsin area are set to open on Tuesday,
December 15, 2009. Plenty of snow. Trailer those sleds, pack up those skis
and snowshoes, and come on up to Eagle River!
Eagle River is consistently ranked as "The best overall snowmobiling
vacation destination," as well as "number one" for best trail riding, best
trail signing, best area catering to families, best area snowmobile service
facilities, and best for weekends or daytrips. Come and enjoy "The Eagle
River 500" - - 500 miles of the greatest snowmobile trails anywhere.
Perfectly groomed and inspected. Enjoy pristine beauty, welcoming and
helpful people, and all the needed accommodations, services, infrastructure,
food, beverage and entertainment for any and all tastes.
The "Proud Groomers of the Snowmobile Capital of the World®", the
Sno-Eagles, Inc." continue to groom the trails. "It's a great year to be a
sledder," says the website.
Information: Recorded trail update: 715-479-5185; Eagle River Chamber of
Commerce and Visitors Center ; 800-359-6315; 715-479-6400; web:
PHEASANT HUNTING: With corn harvest finally moving forward, pheasant hunting is expanding. In fact I had to turn down a hunt this morning because of babysitting duties.
YOUTH GOOSE HUNT: Today is the deadline to apply for the 10th annual Central Illinois Youth Goose Hunt on Dec. 27-28. Call (217) 785-8060.
PERSONAL PICKS: I plan to get in some ice fishing today or tomorrow, then hit Navy Pier or Montrose for perch sometime over the next few days.