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: Shed hunting, salmon & swapping

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My highlight for this Wild Weekend Wandering around Chicago outdoors will be hunting for shed antlers, but there's plenty of other options, inside and out.

SHED HUNTING: Last weekend, Jeff Norris noticed the deer he had been following had mostly dropped their antlers and called. I plan to meet him today. We'll put in a couple hours. We'll see.

COHO: The great spring tradition of Chicago fishing is underway, big time. A couple blow days mid-week slowed it for boaters. Looking at the forecast, I suspect that at least a few boaters will be out this weekend from Waukegan around to St. Joseph, Mich.

But shore fishermen, especially in Indiana at East Chicago Marina and Hammond Marina, are doing well, too. Powerliners are picking them up at multiple spots in Chicago, North Side and South Side, but best at Montrose. Casters and those floating bait are catching some in Chicago. Waukegan has some browns and steelhead mixed in with the coho. Michigan City piers have been good for weeks.

BRAIDWOOD LAKE: The cooling lake in the southwest corner of Will County is open for shore and boat fishing (well, the blow this week limited boating), and reports have been good, especially for bass by boaters.

FISHING FLEA MARKET: On Saturday, Chicagoland Muskie Hunters chapter of Muskies Inc. holds its 13th annual Indoor Fishing Flea Market at Rolling Meadows High School. I have always enjoyed this when I could attend. If you're a person who enjoys the stuff of fishing, this is the place for you.

SHOWTIME: The Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 27 Fishing and Sports Show is at 115 Bourbon Street in Merrionette Park tonight. It is $20 in advance at Evergreen Park Police Station or $25 at door. It runs 7-11 p.m.

The big Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Sports Show runs through Sunday at the Wisconsin State Fair Park in West Allis, Wis.

For paddlers, the big show is Canoecopia at Alliant Energy Center in Madison, Wis.

The Spring Fishing Classic is at the Bass Pro Shops (Gurnee, Bolingbrook and Portage, Ind.) through March 11.

KANKAKEE CLASS: On Saturday, Sportsman's Letter editor Ed Mullady, his son Matt and grandson Rex teach what I think is Mullady's 175th Kankakee River Fishing Class at the Mokena Park District. Pre-registration is required, so get moving and contact Mullady at (815) 932-7285 or

MAPLE SYRUP: Check your local park districts and forest preserves as many begin holding maple syrup events this month.

WOMEN OUTSIDE: On Monday, registration begins for the ``Becoming an Outdoors Woman Workshop'' on June 8-10 at Lorado Taft Field Campus in Oregon, Ill. Click here.

ILLINOIS HUNTING PERMITS: Random daily drawings for spring turkey permits in Illinois begin Friday. Click here . . . Resident Illinois deer hunters may begin applying online on Tuesday for firearm and muzzleloader permits. Click the ``Online Services'' tab at

ARCHERY: Archery Bow Range Chicago offers instruction.

PERSONAL PICKS: I am off for shed hunting shortly this morning. . . . Not sure what we will do for the family hike yet, but it will have to be Saturday, because I am again covering Beat The Champs for the Sun-Times on Sunday. If I find a maple syrup event with the right timing, we will be there. . . . I am back into the swing of my Outside radio show on WKCC-FM (91.1). I am enjoying pulling shows together. Some good ones are coming up. . . . Work grinds on on a writing project.

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This page contains a single entry by Dale Bowman published on March 9, 2012 6:15 AM.

Chicago outdoors: Showtime was the previous entry in this blog.

Sheds: Finally is the next entry in this blog.

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