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: Beyond Black Friday

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We will get beyond Black Friday for this Wild Weekend Wandering around Chicago outdoors.

I find the idea of Black Friday fascinating as a social event. So maybe somebody blogging/YouTubing about it like above is probably the best way to record it.

I do know most of the big box outdoor retailers have something going on today or started already last night. More power to them, we live in America.

I prefer my post-Thanksgiving outdoors served a bit differently.

A buddy invited me out for a traditional, work-up-an-appetite, pheasant hunt yesterday morning, but I was too busy trying to catch up on work. A Thanksgiving hunt has been one of my favorites since my dad used to take us as kids.

I keep checking the forecast for this weekend to see if there is any chance to have enough snow on Sunday to actually stick and whiten the ground. Doesn't look that way.

LAKEFRONT PERCH: There's still the smattering of reports, but finding keepers is tough, even at the usual spots around Chicago fishing like Navy Pier and Montrose. . . . Best bet might be around the Indiana/Illinois line, especially for boaters. Some of the most consistent spots have been inside the river around 92nd and in the slips near the front. At least with the nice weather, I expect this to be the final weekend for a big hurrah with a flotilla of boats trying around Cal Harbor and out of East Chicago.

HENRY'S ICE EVENT: Henry's Sports and Bait has Henry's Ice Fishing Extravaganza on Saturday. My favorite part is the Italian sausage and jambalaya lunch. Ice fishing seminars will be given by Tony Boshold (10 a.m.) and Don Dziedzina (12:45 p.m.).

SANDHILL CRANES: Tuesday's count of sandhill cranes at Jasper-Pulaski FWA near Medaryville, Ind. topped 9,000 for the first time. This should be a good weekend to see them.

If you have never gone to the site southeast of Valparaiso, Ind., I highly recommend a fall trip. The sight and sounds of the cranes is something to behold. Best viewing is sunrise or sunset at Goose Pasture Viewing Area. But I find it worth touring the area to watch the sandhills in the surrounding fields, too. Click here to see, listen and learn details of the site.

DEER HUNTING: The fields and woods of Illinois once again belong to the bowhunters. I will be curious to see what numbers will be like after the weekend. On Thursday, many of us firearm hunters will be back into the stand for second firearm season. I keep checking the weather forecast in hopes that we have a chance of at least a dusting of snow.

WATERFOWL HUNTING: I would expect Sunday to be the better day of the weekend for ducks. Braidwood/Mazonia had another solid week last week. I didn't check how they did yesterday.

INDIANA STREAMS FOR STEELHEAD: Some steelhead keep coming in or staying in Salt, Trail and the Little Cal. For those without experience on the Indiana streams, click here for access points on Salt, Trail and the Little Cal. . . . Probably should add the St. Joseph River, Lake Michigan fisheries biologist Brian Breidert pointed out there is still some steelhead coming into the St. Joe, but it is winding down. Click here for updates.

UPLAND HUNTING: It could be interesting, if any of the flurries or snow showers actually stick Sunday. Click here for the annual prospects put out by the Illinois DNR.

ILLINOIS PERMITS/SEASONS: Monday is the last day to apply for site-specific permits for special hunt areas for the late-winter firearm and CWD deer hunts. . . . Applications are open online for late-winter deer special hunt area permits.

ARCHERY: Archery Bow Range Chicago offers instruction.

SALMON SNAGGING: The fish are dark, to be polite. Snagging for chinook and coho is open on the Illinois lakefront at four locations only: Lincoln Park Lagoon south of Fullerton Avenue, Waukegan Harbor (North Harbor Basin only); Winnetka Power Plant discharge area and Jackson Park Harbor (inner and outer harbors). No snagging is allowed at any time within 200 feet of a moored watercraft or as posted.

PERSONAL PICKS: The kids and I will hike Palmisano Park today. I find it has one of the top views in the city, plus it is just a wonderful piece of political history in Chicago, too. . . . I may try to sneak in a morning of duck hunting this weekend. Sunday would probably be the better day, but that may be tougher to swing. . . . . I also need to remember to get in my permit applications for spring turkey and site specific deer hunting. . . . Otherwise, work continues on an ongoing writing project. Hope to grab some people home on break this weekend.

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No lines or parking hassles out wading, had the river to myself. had some basstake a weighted fluke.

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Dale Bowman published on November 25, 2011 6:32 AM.

Ramble with Storm: Squirrel, Spider-Man, Children's Memorial & thanks was the previous entry in this blog.

Wild of the Week: Mudpuppy at Navy Pier is the next entry in this blog.

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