There's a mix of frozen surf, turf and air for this Wild Weekend Wandering around Chicago outdoors.
I hope to see more than just sunrises and sunsets over the next few days, although I didn't have much luck this morning on opening day of second firearm deer season in Illinois.
In another four hours or so, which is why this is going up late Thursday night rather than Friday morning, I hope to be back on the deer stand. I keep checking the radar hoping that little band of snow makes it here.
There's won't be the 200,000 or so who took to the fields and woods during first firearm season, but there will be hunters all over again. Weather forecast looks reasonable.
ICE HUNTING: For those who are dying to get on the ice, there's some in northern Wisconsin, but it is iffy and just starting. On Thursday afternoon, Christy Justice of Kurt's Island Sport Shop in Minocqua, Wis., said, ``Actually had some people go out. Not that we are actually recommending it. It is supposed to be real cold. So there is a possibility of two or three inches [by the weekend].'' Looking at the forecast, I think by mid-week next week, there might even be some adventuresome ones going out around the Chain O'Lakes and the northern counties.
LIV'S HUNT FOR A CURE: The 10th Liv's Hunt for a Cure, one of the great charity events in Chicago outdoors, will be the final one of the annual fundraiser for research on cystic fibrosis. The event, which draws some of the top waterfowlers and guides in Illinois, is in the north suburbs this weekend. I know it is late notice, but click here and I bet they will fit you in.
SANDHILL CRANES: Tuesday's count of sandhill cranes at Jasper-Pulaski FWA near Medaryville, Ind. topped 10,000 for the first time this fall. This may be the best weekend of 2011 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.
LAKEFRONT PERCH: I think Navy Pier will be the best bet for water to clear the fastest. I am sure some boaters, those who haven't put them away, may try to sneak in a last run in the river around 95th or 92nd or even try out of East Chicago Marina in Indiana.
WATERFOWL HUNTING: I am not sure if the big push has already gone through, or if the big freeze building up north will bring them over the next week.
INDIANA STREAMS FOR STEELHEAD: Streams should be clearing by the weekend and plenty of steelhead remain in them. For those without experience on the Indiana streams, click here for access points on Salt, Trail and the Little Cal. . . . Click here for updates on the steelhead on the St. Joseph River in Indiana.
UPLAND HUNTING: It could be interesting, if any snow sticks. Click here for the annual prospects put out by the Illinois DNR.
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: I am deer hunting every chance I get. . . . If I get a deer, I will sneak in some duck hunting. . . . Otherwise, work continues on an ongoing writing project. OK, that work continues when I am not deer hunting.