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Jellyfish ice, sturgeon & sheds: Chicago outdoor notes

Led by WILD OF THE WEEK, Sunday notes from the Sun-Times outdoors page.

FIELD NOTES

WILD OF THE WEEK

Marcus Benesch photographed an icy “River Jelly Fish’’ while paddling the Des Plaines River in January.

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

HUNTER SAFETY

Feb. 27-28: Essex, (815) 458-3568

March 5-6: Joliet, (815) 727-4811

FISH GATHERINGS

Tuesday: Lake St. Clair guide Matt Firestein, Chicagoland Muskie Hunters, Giuseppe’s La Cantina, Des Plaines, 7:30 p.m., (847) 256-9322 or chicagolandmuskiehunters@hotmail.com

Tuesday: Capt. Ralph Steiger, Salmon Unlimited, Elk Grove Village VFW,, 7 p.m., salmonunlimitedinc.com

Wednesday: Guide Tony Grant, Fox River Valley chapter of Muskies Inc., Schaumburg Golf Club, 7 p.m., frvmuskie.com

Thursday: Capt. Pat Harrison, Riverside Fishing Club, LaGrange American Legion, 6:30 p.m., RiversideFishingClub.com

DALE’S MAILBAG

Q: “This morning on our way to work, we saw several bucks bedded down near the road . . . and they were still sporting antlers; maybe I’m not too late. This weekend could be as good as any for finding a few sheds.’’ Pete

A: It’s the right time for that. In 2013, forest wildlife program manager Paul Shelton emailed, “In a study done years ago in southern Illinois, about 1.5 percent of bucks had shed before mid-January, about 50 percent by mid-February, 87 percent by mid-March, and virtually all by mid-April.’’

BIG NUMBER

92: Percentage of cause of death in fawns caused by coyotes in rural areas in an analysis by Ball State University

LAST WORD

“It will be more difficult for spearers to see fish, but we still anticipate that many spearers will take to the ice and renew the traditions of sturgeon spearing while in search of a trophy lake sturgeon.’’

Ryan Koenigs, senior fisheries biologist for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, on the lowest water clarity on the Winnebago chain since 2006 for sturgeon spearing season, which opens Saturday, Feb. 13