Cover of Benjamin Sells’ “The Tunnel Under the Lake.”

Perch, deer, ice, Chicago cribs, “Illumination,” sandhills: WWW Chicago outdoors

SHARE Perch, deer, ice, Chicago cribs, “Illumination,” sandhills: WWW Chicago outdoors
SHARE Perch, deer, ice, Chicago cribs, “Illumination,” sandhills: WWW Chicago outdoors

From sandhill cranes in the air, to deer on land and perch in Lake Michigan, this is one of those busier stretches for a Wild Weekend Wandering around Chicago outdoors.

Perch fishing kicked in good on the Chicago lakefront. Firearm deer season opens today in Illinois. There’s even some ice fishing underway in far northern Illinois. Sandhill cranes are on the move. And there’s some less traditional outdoorsy things, such as Illumination: Tree Lights at The Morton Arboretum opening Saturday and an open house with an author about the Chicago cribs tonight.

I had big plans, but some of them are hold while our youngest son continues his recovery from complications of an appendectomy. Yes, he is still in the hospital and likely will be through the weekend.

Even so, I plan to get away for a few hours today to check in on wildlife biologist Bob Massey and USDA’s Dan Skinnerat the check station at Kankakee River State Park.Then, hopefully, I will get in at least an afternoon or morning or two of my own deer hunting this weekend. We shall see, our son takes priority.

If our son’s recovery goes on, I plan to do a rescheduled run this week with John Vukmirovich to see the sandhill cranes around Jasper-Pulaski Fish and Widllife Area.

With that, to this Wild Weekend Wandering around Chicago outdoors.

PERCH:The perch are in and the 2015 year class looks like it is living up to its promise.

For shore fishermen, the best spots have been Navy Pier and Steelworkers Park. Boaters are doing best in Calumet River and around Cal Harbor.

Click here for my column on Wednesday about going up and down Lake Shore Drive and some of the access and parking options when chasing perch.

Perch from Cal Park.<br>Provided by Tim Bob Vaught

Perch from Cal Park.
Provided by Tim Bob Vaught

Tim Bob Vaught messaged the photo above this week and said they were at the mouth of breakwall at Calumet Harbor, where the perch seemed bigger than at 87th or 95th.

DEER HUNTING: Firearm deer hunting opens today in Illinois and will draw more than 200,000 to the fields and timber. I will squeeze in some time today at a check station, then hopefully get a chance to do my own hunting Saturday and Sunday. We shall see if life allows it.

Crops are virtually out statewide–through Sunday, corn harvest was 96 percent complete, compared to 89 last year; soybean harvest was 94 vs 95 last year–and there’s snow on the ground nearly everywhere across Illinois.

If you want to submit for Buck of the Week, send nominations to straycasts@sbcglobal.net, Dale Bowman on Facebook or @BowmanOutside on Twitter.

ICE FISHING: I’m not saying much about the little bit going locally because I don’t think it will last. If you really want ice fishing, you’re going to have to head well north and even there it is not widespread.

SANDHILL CRANES:Sandhills are moving around, as Ed Buric noted when he emailed on Tuesday,

Today is the first day this Fall that I have seen large sedges of sandhills traveling South. Up untill today there have been few small groups of sandhills over my location here in Darien

I will be exploring this week. or perhaps I should say I am planning to, with John Vukmirovich and timing looks right for us.The usual Tuesday count at Jasper-Pulaski Fish and Wildlife Area, southeast of Valparaiso, Ind., more than doubled from last week to 12,722 sandhills. Click here to see the updates.

WATERFOWL: Duck seasons and Canada goose seasons are open in the north, central and south-central zones and will be opening on Thanksgiving in the south.

The north zone is already seeing some icing. Crop harvest is nearly finished across Illinois:Through Sunday, corn harvest was 96 percent complete statewide, compared to 89 last year; soybean harvest was 94 vs 95 last year.

I know I said this last week, but I plan to get to more regular hunting updates with specific information from public sites.

ILLUMINATION:On Saturday,Illumination: Tree Lights at The Morton Arboretum opens and runs through Jan. 1 at The Morton Arboretum in Lisle. It makes a wonderful couple time–click here for my column for last winter–or family time, especially with younger kids. Click here for more information.

CHICAGO CRIBS: The Chicago Maritime Museum has author Benjamin Sells for its third Friday open house tonight. He will discuss his book, “The Tunnel Under the Lake.”

Here is how CMM communications director Mary Ann O’Rourke describes the event:

Hi Dale. Here’a an event which might interest you. This Friday, November 16th, the Chicago Maritime Museum hosts author Benjamin Sells, who will discuss his book, Tunnel Under the Lake. It’s the story of how the young city of Chicago, under the leadership of an audacious engineer named Ellis Chesbrough, constructed a two-mile tunnel below Lake Michigan in search of clean water. When it opened in March 1867, observers, city planners, and grateful citizens hailed the tunnel as the wonder of America and of the world.

The Open House is from 7 to 10 tonight at 1200 W. 35th on the River Level of the Bridgeport Art Center.Parking is free on the north side of the building. The museum is a cool thing in itself.

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