Winter lurching in: Ice fishing, duck hunting, life, Chicago outdoors

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lady12_12_17.jpg

Even Lady, our family’s mutt, hesitates understanding the state of ice right now as winter lurches in around Chicago outdoors.
Credit: Dale Bowman

Winter lurches in like aholidayparty goer with an extra glass of glogg or eggnog down the gullet.

With theweather shift,ice fishing begins as unsteadily. It kindofdepends where you live or how far you’re willing to drive.

Duck hunters in Illinois’north zone, where duck season ends Tuesday, will lose a few days at most, maybe none, to ice-up.

The launching bay at Heidecke Lake was iced up Tuesday with an inch, but site staff expected waterfowlers would be able to get out this week.Much the same at Wolf Lake.

As to ice fishing nearby . . . well.

“If God keeps it cold enough, we will have ice fishing,eventually,’’said Wayne Krcmar, proprietor of Hemann’sLowlifeBar and Grill on Nielsen’s Channel, where no one was ice fishing Tuesday morning.

On Monday, Greg Dickson, proprietor of Triangle Sports and Marine in Antioch said they had started ice fishing over the Wisconsin line on Camp Lake. He expected ice fishing on the Chain O’Lakes backwaters this week.

Fran Connelly, the Des Plaines man who sharpens auger blades, messaged, “Auger blades are starting to come in hot and heavy. This cold spell has got the`hard water’guyz pumped.. . .Remind people that your auger is a precision tool and should be treated as such.’’

Reach Connelly fran.connelly@comcast.net or on Facebook at Ice Auger Sharpening.

General ice fishing regs and a few early Chain access suggestions are in the Midwest Fishing Report.

Sun-Times file photo

Sun-Times file photo

ILLINOIS DEER: During muzzleloader season, hunters harvested3,700deer, up from3,308 in 2016. Archery harvest, though Sunday, of52,650deerremained ahead of the48,228for the same period in 2016. Click here for more details.

CPO GO: TheIllinois Conservation Policestartthe testing process forCPO trainees in January.ACMS-100 applicationmust be completed. For more information, contactLt. Curt Lewis atcurt.lewis@illinois.gov or (217)-785-8407; or go to https://www.dnr.illinois.gov/LawEnforcement/Pages/ConservationPoliceOfficerCareerOpportunities.aspx.

WATERFOWL: Tuesday is the final day for duck hunting in Illinois’ north zone. The last day for duck hunters at Wolf and Heideckelakesis Sunday.At Heidecke, 41 boats took 177 ducks last week; Wolf Lake was slow.

WILD THINGS:The irruption of snowy owls reaches epic proportions. A note tonovices, snowys are out of their element here and stressed, do not flush or otherwise impact unduly.

STRAY CAST:Charles Barkley is to politics what certified scales are to fish stories.


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