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: Christmas shopping?

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Looks like one of those Wild Weekend Wanderings around Chicago outdoors where Christmas shopping might be the best option, you know, build up some good will for busier weekends.

Thought I might try to spark snow karma if I had Dean Martin crooning, ``Let It Snow.'' If you are looking for shopping suggestions, forget it.

DUCK HUNTING: Tuesday is the final day in the north zone, and conditions look favorable for some fresh birds. This might be one strong point for the weekend.

PERCH FISHING: Plenty of smaller perch are being caught from shore in Chicago, Montrose, Belmont, Diversey, Navy Pier, the pipe at Burnham and even 31st Street.

A few boaters were able to get out Thursday in Indiana, out of Portage. The perch should still be there, it is just a matter of getting out for them.

ICE FISHING: It is starting up north in Wisconsin in areas like Minocqua and Eagle River. Looking at the forecast, I think it will be 2013 before we are ice fishing around here.

INDIANA STREAMS: The hope is that the rain on Saturday will finally bring in fresh winter steelhead.

Click here for the Indiana DNR's map of Trail Creek access.

YOUTH TURKEY PERMITS: Youth (younger than 16 years old before turkey season) may apply now for outdoors access for youth turkey hunting in one of 23 counties. Click here.

WATCHING SANDHILL CRANES: Peak of sandhills passed, but plenty are still at Jasper-Pulaski Fish and Wildlife Area, southeast of Valparaiso, Ind. The best times to view them and fully grasp the wonder of them is near dawn or dusk. I realize this is a trek, so take some time to explore Valparaiso, just a wonderful town, or do a leisurely drive on back roads through the Indiana countryside.

UPLAND HUNTING: Hunting for pheasants, rabbits, quail and gray partridge is underway. We need snow.

ARCHERY: There is a 600 round robin tournament by the Chicago Archery Club at Hamilton Park on beginning at 10 a.m. Sunday. Contact Bill Munson at . . . Archery Bow Range Chicago offers instruction.

BUCK OF THE WEEK: Buck of the Week, the celebration of big bucks taken around Chicago outdoors, runs Wednesdays on the Sun-Times outdoors page. Send nominations to

CHICAGO PIER PASSES: Considering the arrival of the perch bite, now is a good time for a reminder that the $6 pier passes for Chicago harbors, except 31st, are available now at Henry's Sports and Bait, 3130 S. Canal.

PERSONAL PICKS: On Wednesday, I am using my free pheasant hunt permit at a new site. Can't wait. . . . I hope to do the perch fishing from shore in Chicago this weekend or next week. . . . We will have a family hike this weekend, maybe the lakefront. . . . On the radio front, I need to get some holiday shows piled up, doing that today, for my Outside radio show on WKCC-FM (91.1). I am enjoying pulling shows together.

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This page contains a single entry by Dale Bowman published on December 14, 2012 6:40 AM.

Fish of the Week: Laker caught perch fishing at Navy Pier was the previous entry in this blog.

Ed Mullady: An appreciation is the next entry in this blog.

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