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.
SHOWTIME: Weather will be perfect for going to a show. And America's Outdoor Show looks like it is turned around and headed in the right direction. The most innovative thing I found on opening day Wednesday was Terry Minix (left) with his The Complete System, a shelter system for quads. The high end model is quite the thing, down to the latest flat-screen TV.
I plan to be back Sunday to hopefully sit in on Mike Iaconelli's sitdown with high school bass teams and to eat some of the wild game and fish from chef/outdoorsman Mike Ventresca (Chef Green Acres), who will be prepping and cooking any and all things wild throughout the show. I think Sunday will feature blackened fish and deer backstraps.
Beside Iaconelli, this is like the old days with big stars: Babe Winkelman, Spence Petros, Jim Saric and Ted Takasaki.
Here's some seminars of note: Muskie on the fly: Robert Tomes, 10:30 a.m. Saturday Smallmouth on the fly: Tim Holsclag 4:30 p.m. today, 3:30 p.m. Sunday. Carp on the fly: Larry Gavin, 9:15 a.m. Saturday
I have to admit that I am most interested in the seminar by Joseph Meyer, he of One More Cast Fly Shop in Countryside, on the Driftless Region, sustainable foods, organic cooking, cheese tasting at 10 a.m. Saturday
There's plenty of kids stuff here too, including beginning fly tying taught and the Oak Brook chapter of Trout Unlimited hosting an education booth.
FAMILY GOING TO THE DOGS: The Morton Arboretum in Lisle has it's ``Dogsled Spectacular'' this weekend. We have never done it, and will not be this weekend either, but it sounds like a cool family time.
ARCHERY: This weekend Chicago Bow Hunters Inc. holds its first 3D shoot of the year in Bolingbrook.
ICE FISHING:Ice is plentiful. Weather has not been overly helpful to the bite. Chicago harbors have firmed up nicely and perch take sorting for keepers.
ILLINOIS HUNTING:This is basically the last weekend for hunting with Sunday being the final day of regular goose season in the central and south zones and for fox hunting statewide.
PERSONAL PICKS: I hope to hit Great Waters, probably Saturday. I really would like to see Meyer's seminar and catch up with my friend Tomes. . . . Don't think I will make Strictly Sail. . . . On Sunday, I plan to be back at America's Outdoor Show for Chef Green Acres and Iaconelli. . . . I really need to ice fish the Chicago harbors, but that will not be this weekend.