It's a holiday weekend and there's plenty of good options for Wild Weekend Wanderings around Chicago outdoors.
DOVE HUNTING: Dove hunting goes on with many public sites still on the noon-5 p.m. schedule for the first five days. Private landowners I talked to were still holding good birds, though many are wondering whether the weather today will push birds on.
WADING: I don't think anywhere received enough rain to drastically negatively impact wading. For a change, the water may be warmer than the air, at least until Monday or so. This should be a good weekend for wading.
Ken Gortowski sent this note on the Fox a few minutes ago:
River came up to 1600 cfs, no big deal, and is already dropping. No rain in the forecast for days. This could be a good weekend. And if the fish aren't biting at least it's going to be some pleasant days on the water.
The Kankakee remains extremely low. Rains may be enough to add some color, but that should be about it.
Click here to check the status of rives around Chicago.
SHORELINE SALMON: A smattering of reports of shoreline salmon continue to come in. Ray Hinton texted a photo of a nice 14-pounder caught on the South Side yesterday. He's been finding some this week. Action has been spotty, but we are at the point where it will bust loose some night in one of the great annual events in Chicago fishing.
WISCONSIN STURGEON: Wisconsin's September hook and line sturgeon season opens Saturday. Minimum length for harvest is 60 inches for the fourth consecutive year. This is one of my favorite seasons. I haven't been up in a couple years, but I love doing it. Usually, a buddy and I stay at River's Edge near the Wisconsin Dells, then go night fishing for them. It's not rocket science, it's basically a gob of crawlers on a hook fished in a deep hole. I'm not sure if I will make it up this September or not. Time tends to slip away. Click here for more.
HAWK WATCH: Today or tomorrow might be a day worth joining the Illinois Beach State Park Hawk Watch, which runs through Nov. 28, to catch some of the earlier migrators. At least one counter/observer is there from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. daily (weather permitting). Click here for details.
SQUIRREL HUNTING: Today and tomorrow are the first true fall-like days since squirrel hunting opened on August 1st. Iroquois County SWA, Matthiessen State Park and Marseilles SFWA (open this holiday week, but ordinarily only Monday through Thursday. Silver Springs SFWA, Momence Wetlands and Kankakee River SP open Tuesday.
GOOSE HUNTING: Early goose season runs through Sept. 15. Unlike central Illinois, where corn harvest is well underway, there's still very few harvested fields in northeast Illinois. I haven't heard much from hunters. But I know flocks were moving greatly this morning. This could be a bust out day and weekend.
PADDLING: As might be expected on a holiday weekend, Chicago River Canoe & Kayak has a packed weekend. For all events, you need reservations, so call (773) 704-2663 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tonight is First Friday Kayak Races Sunset Sprint beginning at 7 p.m. It's for new or experienced paddlers. . . . Sunday is the Chicago River Canoe and Kayak Skyscraper Canyon Trip beginning at 5:30 p.m. This is not recommended for beginners. . . . On Monday, there's the Chicago River Canoe and Kayak Hidden River Trip, which leaves from Forestway Drive just north of Willow Road at 9:30 a.m. This is a rarely paddled section of the upper North Branch. This is a family option trip, with possibilities for a shorter trip.
TEAL HUNTING: Teal season opens Saturday. This is always a variable event and with the weather change today it will be even more variable. Whether that means good or bad, I don't know. Earlier this week, Stan Duzan, site super at Shelbyville SFWA, said they were holding decent numbers of teal. On Tuesday, a hunter reported seeing several bunches on the Chain O'Lakes. Whether they will hold for Saturday, I have no idea.
ARCHERY: Archery Bow Range Chicago offers beginner courses regularly. Click here.
GREAT BEAR WILDERNESS: The Brookfield Zoo's good exhibit of the Great Bear Wilderness keeps going. This was probably the family weekend to catch it, but I don't think we can. Click here for details.
PERSONAL PICKS: My plans to hunt doves today are gone. I do have an invitation to hunt some private land on Monday where the owner is very dedicated about how he plants and works his sunflowers. That will depend on if the doves hold. . . . Slight chance I will sneak in some wading Monday, but that's doubtful. . . . The kids and I will do a hike of some sort today since they have an unexpected day off. Where depends where we are and when. (Apparently Gertrude Stein took over my typing for a sentence.) . . . Probably next week, I need to sneak in an evening of casting for shoreline salmon.