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: Ice, snow & "Thar she blows"

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The weather casts a long shadow (forgive me, I couldn't help myself) on this Wild Weekend Wandering around Chicago outdoors.


SNOW PLAY: For the second weekend, I think it is one to find something to do in the snow. Find a new hill to sled with your kids. Build a snowman with them. Try cross-country skiing, rent from your park district or a shop. . . . Enjoy the full ambiance of winter Sunday afternoon at Soldier Field.

ICE FISHING: Ice fishing is underway across the entire area. The back channels of the Chain have been the hottest spots. But by this point, you can any neighborhood lake or pond and have fishable ice. At this point too, I don't think major weather will impact it too much either.

PERCH FISHING: This is getting to be the mantra--``It takes lots of sorting''--but that is usual for winter perch fishing for the favorite of Chicago fishing. Navy Pier remains the best spot for keepers. But there's been action at Montrose and Burnham/Northerly Island, too. Mik-Lurch said there are some up the river around 95th, too. I think the weekend weather will impact this.

CRANE WATCHING: Sandhill cranes remain loaded at Jasper-Pulaski FWA southeast of Valparaiso, Ind. so far this fall. Tuesday's count was 15,772. I have no idea if a good snowfall will help or hurt viewing them. My instincts say it should be a more spectacular experience. I repeat, an evening or morning trip to see this is a must. It is one of the most impressive sights around Chicago outdoors.

Click here for info and updates.

WATERFOWL HUNTING: If you have open water or a good field, you should have good goose hunting and duck hunting. Remember duck season ends in the north zone on Tuesday.

HUNTING NOTES: Muzzleloader-only deer season in Illinois runs through Sunday. . . . On Tuesday, late-winter and special CWD deer county permits become available over the counter.

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

PERSONAL PICKS: The kids and I will get in some serious snow play. We have been doing a lot already, sledding once, snowball battles several times and sledding once. . . . Cutting our own tree was pushed back to Saturday, before the weather arrives. Some day I will give my extended pompous explanation why we cut our own. . . . I had planned to do a bunch of waterfowl hunting, but I just got back and the ice is so thick on the Kankakee that we couldn't get out to the blind. . . . Oh, there is that little thing late Sunday afternoon.

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This page contains a single entry by Dale Bowman published on December 10, 2010 2:10 PM.

Illinois hunting: Expanded controlled pheasant hunting was the previous entry in this blog.

Buck of the Week: Out of the snow is the next entry in this blog.

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