Fall endeavors--hunter's moon, mushrooms, river walleye--lead this Wild Weekend Wandering around Chicago outdoors.
The shot above came on a drive with my wife along a country road Downstate a week ago. The color has improved more, but mainly it just seems like the leaves are dropping from dryness as much as anything.
FALL FULL MOON: For something different, take your kids, or simply yourself, out to a good outdoor spot with a view east about sunset tonight and soak up what should be a spectacular hunter's moon. At least technically, I think the full moon last month was the harvest moon. Either way, it should be a good one. My daughter has been hyped up for the last two nights with how bright the moon has been. It is a way to keep the connect outside.
FALL COLOR: Fall colors peaking around Chicago. I think the dryness has hurt the vividness of color.
Click here for the update from the Morton Arboretum in Lisle.
Another option is our nearby National Park, the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, accessible by car or South Shore train. Click here for info on IDNL.
The Fall Color Report for Wisconsin suggests peak has shifted south.
FALL MUSHROOMS: Good reports just keep coming. Ed Bowen reported finding his first cauliflower mushrooms of the year in the south suburbs. More on that later this weekend.
FALL RIVER WALLEYE: Ken Gortowski posted some pretty good info for fall walleye fishing on the Fox. Click here.
Reports of walleye on the Kankakee are also improving, especially below the dams. That should only get better. As it should through the Kankakee River SP.
WADING: The rivers are so low that those paddling or boating need to be aware. But that kind of fall lowness can be advantageous for fall waders, as long as you are conscious of sun direction and your silhouette, so you don't spook fish.
Click here to check the status of rives around Chicago.
SHORELINE SALMON/TROUT: In Chicago fishing, this remains the top bite. There's a ton of fish being sighted in the harbors, but action is very variable. Wednesday was one of the better days for catching at places like Northerly Island/McCormick Place.
PADDLING: Chicago River Canoe and Kayak offers its Kankakee River Paddle & Crane Viewing in northwest Indiana this weekend. Paddling begins about mid-day, then the crane viewing at Jasper-Pulaski FWA just before dusk. Make reservations for Saturday or Sunday at (773) 704-2663 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
BOWHUNTING DEER I expect this to be an outstanding weekend for bowhunters with the cool-down and drawing nearer to the rut.
As of this morning, the bowhunting totals since Oct. 1 were 15,541. Click here if you're interested in keeping tabs on the running deer totals in Illinois.
FIREARM DEER PERMITS: Remaining resident and non-resident firearm and muzzleloader deer permits are available over-the-counter from IDNR license vendors on a first-come, first-served basis, until quotas are exhausted or the close of the firearm deer season. LATE-WINTER HUNT: Hunters may apply online (dnr.illinois.gov) for site-specific permits for designated IDNR special hunt areas for the late-winter firearm deer hunt, beginning Tuesday.
NORTH ZONE WATERFOWL: I suspect the cooler weather and front that came through should move around more birds. There is frost across much of the area this morning. Otherwise, there are plenty of geese in northeast Illinois. Ducks are a bit scarcer, as reports from local guides, Heidecke Lake and William Powers indicated.
HAWK WATCH: The weather change yesterday was expected to bring a major flight, but that did not materialize. Maybe it will over the weekend.
The Illinois Beach State Park Hawk Watch runs through Nov. 28. At least one counter/observer is there from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. daily (weather permitting). Click here for details.
OWL PROWL: There's an adult owl prowl at North Park Village Nature Center, 5801 N. Pulaski, Chicago, at 7 p.m. Saturday. All skill levels are welcome.
BIRD WALK: The Chicago Park District offers one at Northerly Island from 9-11 a.m. Saturday.
SALMON SNAGGING: There's still some silver fish around for snaggers. Open spots on the Illinois lakefront are the inner and outer harbors at Jackson Park, Lincoln Park Lagoon from the Fullerton Avenue Bridge to the southern end of the Lagoon, Winnetka power plant discharge area and Waukegan Harbor (in North Harbor basin only). No snagging is allowed at any time within 200 feet of a moored watercraft or as posted. Salmon snagging season ends Dec. 31.
TURKEY HUNTING: Firearm season opens Saturday in Illinois. Previous permits are needed.
ARCHERY: Archery Bow Range Chicago offers beginner courses and much more regularly. Click here. I really need to check this place out.
CENTRAL ZONE WATERFOWL: The central zone youth waterfowl hunt is this weekend.
PERSONAL PICKS: Today I am doing a pilot for a different sort of radio show on the outdoors. If it works, you will hear more. Yes, that could be big news, and I am excited. It is something I have kicked around with a friend for years. We will see. . . . I had planned to do some fishing in Wisconsin with old friend Mike Norris, one of the best teachers of fishing around Chicago. But we had to reschedule, probably toward some ice fishing in a month or so. Yes, ice fishing time is coming, sooner rather than later. . . . Unless the weather completely goes to crap, my daughter and I will get in some pond fishing, probably Saturday. . . . Otherwise, I think this is a weekend to store up good will. For the coming next six weeks, just about every weekend has a hunting excursion planned somewhere. . . . And I need to do some scouting and checking of my deer stand.