Notes from around Chicago outdoors.

FIELD NOTES

MUSHROOM OF THE WEEK

Things to do before or instead of watching the Bears play.

George Benda of Tinley Park found something worthwhile to do before the Bears opener. He went looking for and finding fall mushrooms, “a nice haul of sheephead.’’

He added, “My wife Cathy definitely out shines the `shrooms but they sure were good eating.’’ That’s Cathy in the photo above.

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

WILD TIMES

HUNTER SAFETY

Sept. 30-Oct. 1: Zion, takeakidhunting@aol.com

Oct. 7-8: Arlington Heights, huntsafely.webs.com

Oct. 8-9: Mokena, (708) 479-1020 or mokenapark.com/registration/

DUCKS UNLIMITED

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

Friday: Orland Park Dinner, Orland Chateau

NORTHERN ILLINOIS HUNTING & FISHING DAYS

Saturday-Sunday: Silver Springs State Fish and Wildlife Area, Yorkville, nihfd.org

WINGSHOOTING

Oct. 15-16: St. Charles Sportsmen’s Club, Elburn, (847) 309-1093 or joemigalla5@gmail.com

DALE’S MAILBAG

starvedrock2016trashEmail: “Only negative, as a nature guy, I was appalled at the amount of garbage on the trails. No littering signs everywhere, and down the trail a bit, sign next to the last garbage can, instructing people to pack litter and bring it back to dispose of it properly. We have become a `Nation of Slobs’ as people just throw anywhere, their water bottles, fast food wrappers and bags, and my favorite sighting, dirty diapers! I imagine someone asking, `I changed the baby, what should I do with the diaper? Just throw it on the ground, let someone else deal with it.’ ‘’ Tom Turek, Bridgeview, on a trip to Starved Rock State Park

A: Starved Rock is Illinois’ most visited park, but that is no excuse for the growing litter, make that trash, problem there.

BIG NUMBER

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

9.98: Pounds of the 23.1-inch smallmouth bass, the Michigan record, caught last Sunday by Robert Bruce Kraemer from Indian River.

Click here for a longer version of his catch of the Michigan record smallmouth.

LAST WORD

“Good news for the upland bird hunter and his or her bird dog: As a whole, pheasant numbers nationwide are comparable to or higher than last season.’’

Pheasants Forever’s 2016 Pheasant Hunting Forecast, lead sentence