It seems inevitable, though early, for the first Fall Color Report to arrive from for travelwisconsin.com, but that and other fall doings and signs highlight this Wild Weekend Wandering around Chicago outdoors.
Click here for the initial fall color report for Wisconsin. Obviously, it is early and the peak is several weeks to a month away, even in the far northern areas. The photo above is from late September last year in Hayward area, which is currently rated at 20 percent.
DOVE HUNTING: Dove hunting in Illinois enters its second week tomorrow. Hunting at public sites has slowed dramatically since opening weekend, but the advantage is that you can get on to hunt easily now and many sites go to regular hours after the first five days.
SHORELINE SALMON: Waiting. I'd love to tell you more but it is slow and down right dead.
WADING: It will depend on how much rain we receive, but things are still dry and even a lot of rain will do little to impact the rivers. Last weekend, the Kankakee River basin received two inches or more in many areas and it still kept dropping.
DUCKS UNLIMITED: This is a bit of a last minute notice, but tonight is the South Suburban Sportsman Night Out at Glenwoodie Golf Club in Glenwood. Contact Wally Klopp at (708) 715-5970; or Jeff McClain, (708) 323-0814. . . . On Saturday, the Grundy County banquet is at Chapins East in Minooka. Contact Mike Saltzman at (815) 703-8775.
WILD TOUR: On Saturday, there is an Exploring Kankakee Sands in Illinois and Indiana, the wonderful large The Nature Conservancy project. Indiana Kankakee Sands Native Plant Nursery, 9 a.m.-noon. Illinois Kankakee Sands, hiking and bird watching, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Indiana Kankakee Sands, hiking and exploration, 2-6 p.m. Click here.
HUNTING BITS: Teal season opens Saturday in Illinois. It's always a crap shoot of whether any or many will be around. I know some flights came down Lake Michigan in the last week and I've heard of some around the Indiana/Illinois line (the season is already open in Indiana), but I don't know. . . . Rail (Sora and Virginia only) season also opens Saturday in Illinois. I don't know anybody who hunts them. . . . Early Canada goose season continues. Those with access to water have done best. But I also noticed that corn harvest is well ahead of the five-year average across Illinois, so many more fields are accessible than usual.
INDIANA STREAMS: Not much fresh. There's still some, primarily up Trail Creek, from an earlier surge.
But if you are a gambler that the forecast weekend rains will bring some in, click here for the Indiana DNR's map of Trail Creek access.
ILLINOIS PERMITS: Running through Monday, permit applications are accepted for random daily drawings for 2012 Illinois firearm and muzzleloader deer permits, Click here. . . . Tuesday is the final day for the second lottery for the duck and goose draw. Click here.
SQUIRREL HUNTING: Most nearby public sites are open for the rest of September for squirrel hunting. Cooler weather will help with hunter effort, too. And I sometimes think that opening of dove season just puts hunters into more of a hunting mode. I know I finally put in a couple hours of standing around in the woods last weekend.
PADDLING: Should be another decent weekend with some rain to help flows.
Chicago River Canoe and Kayak holds many trips and outings, especially on the Chicago River. Click here or call (773) 704-2663. Right now, they are running a good deal at Skokie Lagoons, where it is $10 per hour rental after 5 p.m. Week days. Click here.
Reed's Canoe Trips offers rentals for the Kankakee River. I take them about once a year. I still need to do it this year. Click here.
On the lower Fox, Geneva Kayak Center's Yorkville Outdoor Center has many options, including whitewater ones, but also simple tube rentals. Click here.
DALEY DERBY: In September, the species are Chinook and perch for the Richard J. Daley Memorial Sport Fishing Derby. Check fish in at Henry's Sports & Bait. It runs through September with cash prizes for the heaviest three fish from selected species caught around Chicago fishing each month.
PERSONAL PICKS: I may try to sneak in a couple hours of sitting for doves either tonight or tomorrow morning to see if the weather change brings any fresh birds. . . . Or I may opt for squirrel hunting. . . . If the salmon come in, I will need to spend an evening of casting for them. That's a big if and probably not until next week. . . . I do not know what the family hike will be, but I have some ideas. . . . On Sunday morning, I am covering the Chicago Half Marathon for the Sun-Times in Jackson Park. It is always disconcerting for somebody like me to see tens of thousands out for a race while a relative few will be fishing. . . . Still pending on the very exciting change in my work life about which you may hear more very shortly. Heck, I want to know. . . . I am lining up some good shows for my my Outside radio show on WKCC-FM (91.1). I am enjoying pulling shows together. Doing another batch of recordings Monday morning. Listeners have helped with some good guests, including a very special one on Monday. . . . Work nears the end on a writing project. Been saying that for too long without crossing the finish line.