It's a wonderfully diverse Wild Weekend Wanderings around Chicago outdoors.
That's one of my favorite shots from Braidwood, dawn on opening morning as seen from the hot side two years ago.
Braidwood Lake reopens to fishing on Monday. That is the big one for me. The March 1 opener on Braidwood after a winter like this feels like a sort of promise from the earth that winter will end.
Bass look more promising than in recent years, while catfish and bluegill should be about the same, OK numbers and fair or small size.
For Braidwood info, click here. Hours are 6 a.m. to sunset daily.
SHOWTIME: It's a busy weekend for an eclectic batch of shows. The Chicago Maritime Festival is at the Chicago History Museum on Saturday. There is something for virtually any and all tastes, and all ages. Info is at chicagomaritimefestival.org . . . Chris Kiernan's big 37-point buck from Kendall County, the pending Illinois non-typical record, should highlight the Illinois Deer & Turkey Classic at the Interstate Center in Bloomington through Sunday. For info, go to deerinfo.com/illinoishome.asp . . . The Northwest Indiana Steelheaders Spring Fever Outdoor Show is this weekend at the Expo Center in Valparaiso, Ind. For info, go to nwisteelheaders.org . . . The Spring Fishing Classic is at Bass Pro Shops from through March 14. for info go to basspro.com/classic. . . . Then there is the Blue Island Firefighters Club's 44th sports show is at Bourbon Street in Merrionette Park from 1-6 p.m. Sunday. Call Jim Klinker at (708) 396-7072 or stop by Fire Station No. 1 at 2450 W. Vermont, Blue Island. Cost is $35, or $40 at the door.
SWEET FAMILY: There is a ton of maple-syrup related activities scheduled at many park and forest preserve districts over the next few weeks. This is something I highly recommend. There are so many that I suggest checking with your local or county district. I will probably mention a couple of our favorites as they come up.
HUNTING NOTES: Crow hunting ends statewide on Sunday. I really don't know how many people do it. . . . On Tuesday, over-the-counter sales of county permits for the resident spring youth wild turkey season begin.
ARCHERY: Chicago Bowhunters Club has its Frozen Foot 3D shoot this weekend. . . . On Sunday, there's a 600 rd tournament by the Chicago Archery Club at Hamilton Park. Open practice begins 9 a.m.. Go to lincolnparkarcheryclub.org/events.html
FOSSIL HUNTING: Fossil hunting opens Monday at Mazonia-Braidwood SFWA. Get permits at the site office. I've done it once, and it is something else.
GUN DOG SERIES: Sunday is the regional for the gun-dog series at Rooster Heaven Hunt Club in Forrest. Go to roosterheaven.com.
PERSONAL PICKS: I plan to fish at least the morning on the hot-side riprap at Braidwood Monday. I may focus on catfish and bluegill this year for a change. Though it is hard for me to resist trying to catch my first fish of the year on a topwater. . . . Otherwise, I will be doing Hustle Up the Hancock on Sunday and anybody who wishes to donate to my cause, please click here. BTW, thanks to everybody who already donated. I already crossed my goal with a couple people who don't like donating online sending checks. I truly appreciate it. . . . As a family, we are probably doing the Lincoln Park Zoo on Saturday, but we might squeeze in a hike on the lakefront or at North Park Village Nature Center.