Winter buck, winter birds, winter surfers: Notes around Chicago outdoors

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Notes from around Chicago outdoors.

FIELD NOTES

WILD OF THE WEEK

Michael Dodd photographed this buck in December in Homewood.

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

BIG NUMBER

5; 5; 8

People hired by Illinois fisheries chief Dan Stephenson in 2017; people in the hiring process; people ‘‘waiting in the wings to go to our HR.’’ This comes after years in which fisheries shrank from 146 staffers to 54 (plus 10 in the Asian carp crew). Click here for the complete year-end recap of fisheries.

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DALE’S MAILBAG

Email: ‘‘[On Dec. 30 in Kane County], I saw small mixed groups of Lapland longspurs [photo above] and horned larks. These birds, often in the company of snow buntings, cluster at side of the road after a snowfall.’’ — Dr. Elizabeth Pector

A: On country drives in winter, you’ll see those clusters. I always wonder what they’re eating in the snowy landscape.

LAST WORD

‘‘I see these two guys putting their surfboards on their cars [last] Sunday. And I thought I was nuts. I told the guy he was crazy.’’

Arden Katz,watching surfers while ice fishing in Kenosha, Wisconsin

WILD TIMES

FISH GATHERINGS

Tuesday: Jeff Van Remortel on northern Wisconsin, Chicagoland Muskie Hunters chapter of Muskies Inc.,7:30 p.m., North Branch Pizza & Burger Co., Glenview,chicagolandmuskiehunters.org.

Tuesday: Biologist Dan Makauskas, Salmon Unlimited,7 p.m., Elk Grove Village VFW,salmonunlimitedinc.com.

Wednesday:Steve Herbeckon Eagle Lake, Fox River Valley chapter of Muskies Inc.,7 p.m., Schaumburg Golf Club,frvmuskie.com.

Thursday: Capt. Russ Clark on the St. Joseph system, Riverside Fishing Club, La Grange American Legion,6:30 p.m., —RiversideFishingClub.com.

SHOWTIME

(Click here for the complete list of shows)

Wednesday–Sunday: Chicago Boat, RV and Sail Show, McCormick Place South, ChicagoBoatShow.com.

Thursday–Sunday: All-Canada Show, Pheasant Run, St. Charles, allcanada.com.

Saturday-Sunday: West Michigan Fly Show, Grand Rapids, Mich., fffglc.org.

HUNTER SAFETY

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

Jan. 19-20: Wheeling, huntersafety@sbcglobal.net.

ILLINOIS SEASONS/PERMITS

Through Tuesday: Second dove season.

Thursday: Deadline, second lottery, spring turkey applications, click here for info and to apply.

Friday-Sunday: Second late-winter/CWD deer season.

Sunday: Archery deer and turkey seasons end.

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)


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