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

WWW Chicago outdoors: Waiting

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Waiting on deer, waiting on perch and waiting on first ice lead this Wild Weekend Wandering around Chicago outdoors.

deerstand11-19-10rs

The biggest event in Illinois outdoors--firearm deer season--started Friday. More than 200,000 hunters will take to the fields and woods. The first firearm season ends Sunday. The second firearm season is Dec. 2-5.

There may be fancier tree stands, but mine (above) does just fine. Even if my hunting has not.

I expect big things from this firearm season. The weather is pretty good--a touch windy yesterday, but otherwise fine--and virtually all the corn is harvested across the state.

As of 7 p.m. Friday, forest wildlife program manager Paul Shelton said call-in deer harvest was running 2,000 ahead of last year. I expect a significantly better season than last year.

PERCH PATIENT: The great wait in Chicago fishing is on. The boaters around the Indiana-Illinois stateline are doing OK, but that should get better as more explore. . . . Chicago shore fishermen have been having very spotty success, mainly for smaller perch. Navy Pier usually starts to go around Thanksgiving. That might be a reach this year.

FIRST ICE: Minocqua guide Kurt Justice of Island Sports thinks there is a chance of smaller lakes locking up next week. Looking at the wunderground.com forecast for Minocqua, I think it might be the Friday or Saturday after Thanksgiving when that happens.

CRANE WATCHING: The sandhill cranes are at Jasper-Pulaski FWA southeast of Valparaiso, Ind. Click here for info and updates.

For the third straight week, the count topped 10,000. On Tuesday, the count was 11,954. The peak is near.

As I said before, I highly recommend an evening or morning trip to see this. It is one of the most impressive sights around Chicago outdoors.

WATERFOWL HUNTING: Fresh birds are arriving. From the forecast, I would think there will be a big push around Thanksgiving. . . . Remember the second Canada goose season in the central zone opens Wednesday. . . . Waterfowl seasons open on Thanksgiving in the south zone.

ILLINOIS HUNTING NOTE: Monday is the last day to apply for deer late-winter, special hunt area lottery.

ARCHERY: Archery Bow Range Chicago offers beginner courses and much more regularly. Click here.

HAWK WATCH: Another year, and another year I didn't make it to the Illinois Beach State Park Hawk Watch. It runs through Nov. 28. There's always next year. At least one counter/observer is there from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. daily (weather permitting). Click here for details.

SALMON SNAGGING: The fish are dark. 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.

PERSONAL PICKS: I was deer hunting, my great joy, yesterday, which is why I am behind posting WWW Chicago outdoors. . . . Today is the dedication of the Palmisano Park. As I wrote a month or so ago, this is the model for modern urban parks. . . . If I am back in time, I hope to spend an hour or two with my daughter on the deer stand. . . . Don't ask me why, but I accidentally applied for a free habitat area hunting permit, the greatest program in Illinois public hunting, on the last day of first season deer hunting. Brain cramp. So of course, that is the date I actually draw a permit. Oh well, it is a new area down past Peoria and I look forward to it. I always have second deer season.

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11 Comments

We are guessing you did not build tree houses as a kid.

Nor am I good at it as an adult either. I think I need the help of an underemployed carpenter.

Anytime Dale but please wear a fall restraint until I get there ! ! !

I was out in the garage yesterday in Crown Point, IN. tying some perch rigs around 2 PM. I would say about 200 Sandhill Cranes flew just overhead heading SE. I had to stop and gaze at them until I could not see them anymore. Awesome!

After seeing that tree stand, I understand why a certain duck blind on the Kankakee has a condemned sign hanging on it.

That blind is too concealed to find. (But honestly, no, I am not an engineering or carpentry genuis by even the slightest margin.

It has a certain bucolic charm.........but you're not actually gonna climb up in that thing are ya? ;-)

I am beginning to think all the underemployed carpenters I know are going to chime in on my building skills. BTW, is the term, ``underemployed carpenter,'' an oxymoron years into this ongoing recession?

I did get my daughter up briefly Saturday and she made a couple remarks about how small it was. Not sure if she completely trusts me to build her the treehouse in the backyard. Maybe that is the right idea on her part.

"Underemployed carpenter" is a redundancy.

"Overemployed carpenter" , these days, would be an oxymoron.

Yore, I bow to your insight. Please check in again. I can spend half an hour hashing over wording like that.

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Dale Bowman published on November 20, 2010 5:09 AM.

Illinois deer hunting: Opening day, up & down was the previous entry in this blog.

Palmisano Park: A celebration is the next entry in this blog.

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