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

January 2010 Archives

Probably the neatest story I found at America's Outdoor Show was the story about how this guy, Dan Badur figured out how to go fishing despite being a quadriplegic since he was 15.

The northern suburbs gave us this Buck of the Week: Unplugged.

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I thought I had already posted this photo, but here it is a week late.

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There's more than just shows, but obviously this is the big week for shows, and that leads this Wild Weekend Wandering around Chicago outdoors.

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Preident Obama will have some bigwigs meet with several governors on the Asian carp issue on Feb. 8..

Here are some new things I found at America's Outdoor Show yesterday.

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Labs remain the most popular dog. That's not a surprise, but there were a couple surprises in the top breeds for Chicago, in figures from 2009 pulled together by the American Kennel Club. Notably, bulldogs were third, John Drummond..

As I hit Panda Express at the Hinsdale Oasis for a late supper after ``The Rosemont Show,'' a friend called and simply askedi, ``Was it an outdoor show or a flea market?''

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Ice fishing should lead this Midwest Fishing Report, but let's hash out the opening day and other matters at LaSalle Lake.

It only seems apt to run the Stray Cast here.

The thought of giant cranes putting boats into Navy Pier appealed to me.

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There's a reality to deer hunting in Illinois that has nothing to do with the hype of hunting in the best big-buck state/province in the world. Though Illinois is that.For most of us, a truly big buck is a dream too often glimpsed as the white flash of a tail disappears without a shot. Then there are stories like that of David Lien and his Buck of the Week.

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Well, I asked for ice-fishing nominations for Fish of the Week. And leading a number of them was this 36 1/2-inch, 13-pound northern pike, caught by Bruce Singleton from Willow Slough just across the state line in Indiana on Jan. 16.

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I am somewhat surprised by this, but Salmon Unlimited has come out in supoort of closing the Chicago-area locks as a stop-gap measure to prevent the spread of Asian carp into the Great Lakes.

The question has been the one I most often received about the massive fish kill on the Rock River in June of 2009: Are they going to restock flatheads?

Asian carp: Tracking eDNA

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I had a fascinating talk with Lindsay Chadderton on Wednesday about how he went about doing the eDNA testing for Asian carp around Chicago waterways.

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Jim Kidd wanted the bucks of Crete represented for Buck of the Week: Unplugged. And this one did just fine.

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What bothers me about the use or misue of LaSalle Lake is that it indicates far greater problems, an utter misunderstanding of what role LaSalle should have in the outdoors of northern Illinois. And it reflects very poorly on current IDNR director Marc Miller, as a friend outlined well below:

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Now here's something different as we head into Week 3 of show season, which again leads this Wild Weekend Wanderings around Chicago outdoors.

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Some days, things just converge, like questions and speculation on Asian carp and bald eagles.
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IDNR spokesman Chris McCloud said the decision has been made to open LaSalle Lake to fishing on March 17.

A ``Fridge'' sighting, sorta, and more on Riverview Marine becoming Time on the Water Outdoors highlight this ``Guys, gossip & gals'' in Chicago outdoors.

With archery and late-winter/CWD deer hunting seasons ended on Sunday, the preliminary totals (189,277) are in for all deer hunting during 2009-10 in Illinois. And they're about the same as '08-09 overall (188,901).

As a family, we try for at least one eagle-watching day or weekend in the winter, sometimes combined with a getaway to a water park or weekend overnight stay. Not so far this year.

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It only seems apt to run the Stray Cast here.

[UPDATED ADD} Word now is the decision has been made to reopen LaSalle Lake as usual on March 17.

Springfield stupid leads this Midwest Fishing Report. As in, it looks like the reopening of LaSalle Lake to fishing may be pushed back to April 1.

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Jason Molenaar doubled up while ice fishing at Belmont harbor Saturday afternoon. The second fish, a 34-inch northern pike, earned him Fish of the Week. [Update on sores was added at bottom]

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This may be the last Buck of the Week for the 2009-10 season and it goes a tather-and-son combo from Beecher, Brian and Austin Hoekstra, 11.

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Here comes more eDNA finds of Asian carp, these reported in Cal Harbor area.

My faith in our government is restored. The Supreme Court denied Michigan the injunction to shut the locks on Chicago waterways to prevent the spread of Asian carp to the Great Lakes.

World-record carp?

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The Angling Times is reporting the catch of a world-record carp, a mirror carp of 94 pounds, in France. Click here.

Sometimes in putting together a column, there's juicy tidbits that are cut away. it happened last week while tracking down information for last Wednesday's column on the possible sighting of a wolf by Jeff Berg in Winthrop Harbor.

The best part of the yesterday came after I made the rounds of the All-Canada Show and the Chicago Boat Show when I was roped into two wonderful visits, first to see the collection of a lure collector, then of a boat motor collector.

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Carl Simmons nabbed this Buck of the Week: Unplugged on Seventh Street in Winthrop Harbor, pilfering plants, on Dec. 12.

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A side serving of squirrel always catches my eye, but more obviously Week 2 of show season tops this Wild Weekend Wanderings around Chicago outdoors.

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Let's go back to Ralph Grasso's original idea: Make the spring fishing event at Northerly Island the ``Harrison Ford Fishing Derby.''

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Club members and leaders of IHSA-related fishing clubs will have a special chance for a separate meeting with champion fisherman Mike Iaconelli at America's Outdoor Show on Jan. 31.

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Our family's favorite outdoor show opens this afternoon.

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It only seems apt to run the Stray Cast here.

One theme ran through the fishing reports I collected the last two days--anticipation of a major weekend for ice fishing. That hope, fueled by a forecast of very reasonable winter weather, leads this Midwest Fishing Report.

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Steve Statland had a Hall of a reach. And Steve Sarley is talking big, Martha.

Vito Abbinant is no stranger to big bucks, but the one he bagged in Jo Daviess County on Oct. 18 is extra special, and Buck of the Week.

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It seems apt to have a muskie as Fish of the Week after this weekend of the Muskie Show, and Rich Carlson submitted this one earlier this fall.

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A rumored push for a fourth waterfowl zone leads this Illinois Hunting Report.

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Through Monday, Illinois bowhunters reported 62,801 deer, compared to last year's total of 63,620 at the same time, according to Paul Shelton, forest wildlife program manager.

Here's the first of a couple wild animal stories from around Chicago outdoors. We start with this from Rick Towner of a red fox walking down the street in Chicago Ridge.

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Frank Hyla has added another gig. frankhyla
And Woodridge's Gary Dew has a good story.garydewmuskie


Some quick notes and photos from the Chicago Muskie Show on Saturday.

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Being from Michigan, Rob Leary is used to seeing deer, but even he was surprised by the big bucks he spotted around Palos Heights on a Christmas visit, and took a couple nice photos to earn Buck of the Week: Unplugged honors.

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I love the nervous laughter in the background while Japan's Manabu Kurita weighs in his world-record tying largemouth bass.

Here's the formal word on Japan's Manabu Kurita tying George Perry for the most hallowed of fishing records, the one for largemouth bass.

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Manabu Kurita, 32, of Aichi, Japan, tied fishing's most hallowed record--the one for largemouth bass--on a technicality, the International Game Fish Association announced Friday afternoon.

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Just in time for the first real storm of the winter, show season opens and leads this Wild Weekend Wanderings around Chicago outdoors.

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The decision by the International Game Fish Association on the possible world-record tying largemouth bass, caught in Japan on July 2, will come at 12;30 p.m. Friday and be televised live.

One of the great things about the Chicago Muskie Show, at Harper College in Palatine Friday through Sunday, is the concentration of muskie minds brought to Chicago. And bless the muskie clubs in the area for being smart enough to tap into that brain power.

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The Boone and Crockett Club, keeper of big-game hunting records, did a fascinating study of what was used to bag trophies in the three-year period of 2007-2009. No. 1 was surprising enough, but No. 2 was even larger statement on where hunting it headed.

It only seems apt to run the Stray Cast here.

Don Schwartz is a pioneer in documenting muskies underwater.

{opening changed] In this cold, (my Christmas-present high-low thermometer had six straight days of 0 or below) this winter is beginning to drag on like 1979, back when I was like a junior or so in college. No mistake, ice fishing leads the Midwest Fishing Report.

Cady Walsh nominated stepdad Henry Campbell for Buck of the Week with this 10-point from Cook County, on Christmas Eve.

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Paul Pezalla nabbed his second Fish of the Week with this 15-pound, 13-ounce carp caught on New Year's Day, which marked a significant personal mark.

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Hunting is winding down, and looking back, I have done less than I would have liked. And we're nearing the end for the Illinois Hunting Reports for 2009-10.

Des Plaines birder Alan Anderson sends along tidbits from time to time.

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By a couple degrees, Paul Shelton wasn't as surprised as I was by the more than 9,000 deer bagged by hunters during the first split portion of the late-winter/CWD seasons, which ended Sunday.

During the the initial first four-day split of the late winter/CWD deer hunting seasons in Illinois, which ended Sunday, hunters harvested a preliminary total of 9,491 deer. I am not sure what to make of that number, since it is the first time for it, but seems higher than what I might have expected.

Through Sunday, bowhunters harvested a preliminary total of 61,567 deer, just below the comparable 2008 season total of 61,734, according to forest wildlife program manager Paul Shelton.


Show season begins this week for Chicago outdoors with the Chicago Muskie Show at Harper College Friday through Sunday. Below is the list of shows Ifor 2010.

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So things are just different, say fly-fishing for muskie.

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Linda Weaver sent this nomination for Buck of the Week: Unplugged.

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Frank Hyla dwarfs fish.

At some point, you have to give in and just go with the frozen assets and slide into Wild Weekend Wanderings around Chicago outdoors.

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It only seems apt to run the Stray Cast here.

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About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from January 2010 listed from newest to oldest.

December 2009 is the previous archive.

February 2010 is the next archive.

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