Notes from around Chicago outdoors.

FIELD NOTES

WILD OF THE WEEK

John Kudia found rare Soapwort Gentian (Gentiana saponaria) at a small lot by Sandburg High School in Orland Park. Click here for more info on them.

Wild of the Week, a celebration of wild scenes around Chicago outdoors runs on Sundays on the Sun-Times outdoors page as warranted. Send nominations by Facebook (Dale Bowman), Twitter (@BowmanOutside) or email (straycasts@sbcglobal.net).

WILD TIMES

HUNTER SAFETY

(Click here for full package of northeast Illinois safety clases)

Oct. 28-29: Elmhurst, hotshottrainingacademy.com/schedule.php

Nov. 5-6: Morris, rainbowcouncil.org, click Event Registration

DUCKS UNLIMITED
(Click here for the general list of Illinois DU events)

PHEASANTS FOREVER
(Click here for general list of Illinois PF events)

NATIONAL WILD TURKEY FEDERATION
(Click here for general list of banquets and events)

FISH GATHERING

Tuesday, Oct. 18: Tod Todd on ice fishing and new equipment, Arlington Anglers Fishing Club, Cabela’s, Hoffman Estates,6:30 p.m, arlingtonanglers.com

ILLINOIS SEASONS

Tuesday, Oct. 18: Remaining firearm and muzzleloader-only deer permits become available over the counter

Saturday, Oct. 22:  Duck and Canada goose seasons, central zone, open

DALE’S MAILBAG

E: “The cold weather is definitely coming soon, had the first juncos of the season at one of my feeders today. There is also a black squirrel running around Hillside. I saw it on two different occasions with two other gray squirrels.’’ Jim Hantak

A: Yes, the inevitable march to the near-death of winter nears. I find it interesting were the black gray squirrels take root and where they do not. BTW, winter is not a good time for black squirrels.

BIG NUMBER

4,526: Sandhill cranes counted Wednesday at Jasper-Pulaski Fish and Wildlife Area, southeast of Valparaiso, Ind., where the count was more than double the first one on Oct. 4. Stay updated at in.gov/dnr/fishwild/3109.htm

LAST WORD

“BTW, the Division gets at least a call a month from people that catch bowfin and are concerned that they have caught snakehead. It’s a very common mistake.’’

Dan Stephenson, fisheries chief for the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, responding to Wednesday’s bowfin story

FYI, years ago, veteran fisheries biologist Frank Jakubicek sent me the graphic below for comparing/contrasing snakeheads and bowfin

bowfin-vs-snakehead