Grouse, bobcats, badgers: Notes around Chicago outdoors

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Notes from around Chicago outdoors.

FIELD NOTES

WILD OF THE WEEK

Howard Bass photographed the grouse in the top photo near the mouth of the Brule River on Lake Superior. “I am trying to get `behavior’ or habitat when taking bird pics otherwise I can go to the internet and see a bazillion shots of pretty birds on a branch,’’ he explained.

He is doing a nice job of that.

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

ILLINOIS SEASONS

Now: Remaining firearm and muzzleloader-only deer permits are available over the counter

FISH GATHERING

HUNTER SAFETY

(Click here for full package of northeast Illinois hunter safety classes)

DUCKS UNLIMITED

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

Friday: Northeast Illinois banquet, Midlane Country Club, Wadsworth. Click here

PHEASANTS FOREVER

(Click here for general list of Illinois PF events)

NATIONAL WILD TURKEY FEDERATION

(Click here for general list of banquets and events)

ILLINOIS SEASONS

Saturday, Nov. 5: Rabbit, pheasant, quail and partridge seasons open . . . White-fronted geese season, central zone, opens . . . Raccoon and opossum hunting opens . . . North zone trapping for beaver, river otter, raccoon, opossum, skunk, weasel, mink, muskrat, fox (red and gray), coyote, badger opens

DALE’S MAILBAG

Q: “On the border of Oswego and Montgomery, a couple of weeks ago, I thought I saw what looked like a bobcat that was hit by a car. Right shape but wrong color. Is that possible? I have no idea where their territories are.’’ Matt Farrell

A: Yes, it’s possible, but would be a rare sighting. Bobcats, estimated at 5,000 in Illinois, are more common Downstate than in northeastern Illinois. Bobcats are notoriously shy and reclusive.

BIG NUMBER

10-15 mph: Top running speed of badgers, according to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. Badgers can enter their holes frontwards or backwards, and are good swimmers. Click here for the IDNR page on badgers.

LAST WORD

“The Byway unites more than 100 nature-based destinations throughout the Illinois River Valley, beginning in Ottawa and ending 140 miles south in Havana.’’

A good description of Illinois River Road National Scenic Byway, on enjoyillinois.com; now is the time to make the drive

Signs along the Illinois River Road National Scenic Byway.<br>Credit: Dale Bowman

Signs along the Illinois River Road National Scenic Byway.
Credit: Dale Bowman


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