Chicago outdoors: Poppee Matan, screech owl, daffodils and big Indiana Chinook

The death of Poppee Matan, a beautifully photographed screech owl, early daffodils and the Indiana FOY Chinook are among the notes on Chicago outdoors.

SHARE Chicago outdoors: Poppee Matan, screech owl, daffodils and big Indiana Chinook

A red morph screech owl sunning in a sycamore.

Emil Baumbach

Notes come from around Chicago outdoors.


Emil Baumbach framed this eastern screech owl sunning in the entrance to a tree cavity. “This red morph looks very comfortable in his sycamore tree,’’ Baumbach emailed. I would add “very striking, too.’’

WOTW, the celebration of wild stories and photos around Chicago outdoors, runs most weeks in the special two-page outdoors section in the Sun-Times Sports Saturday. Send nominations to @BowmanOutside on Twitter or Instagram, to Dale Bowman on Facebook or email



March 13-14: Wheeling,


Click here for the master list of shows, classes and seminars

Thursday, Feb. 13, to Feb. 16: Chicago RV & Camping Show, Stephens Convention Center, Rosemont

Friday, Feb. 14, to Feb. 16: Muskie Expo Milwaukee, Washington County Fair Park, West Bend, Wis.

Friday, Feb. 14, to Feb. 23: Indianapolis Boat, Sport and Travel Show, Indiana State Fairgrounds

Saturday, Feb. 15, to Feb. 16: Bedford Sales 50th Anniversity Open House, Morris

Saturday, Feb. 15: Midwest Musky Club’s annual swap meet, Village Sportsmen’s Club, Alsip


Tuesday, Feb. 11: Capt. Doug Wegner on Lake of the Woods, Chicagoland Muskie Hunters chapter of Muskies Inc., North Branch Pizza & Burger Co., Glenview, 7:30 p.m.

Tuesday, Feb. 11: U.S. Fish and Wildlife’s Chuck Bronte, Salmon Unlimited, Thornwood Restaurant & Lounge, Wood Dale, 7 p.m.

Wednesday, Feb. 12: Guide Luke Ronnestrand, Fox River Valley chapter of Muskies Inc., Schaumburg Golf Club, 7 p.m.

Wednesday, Feb. 12: Steve Sarley, “The Most Common Mistakes Most Anglers Make,’’ Lake Geneva Fishing Club, Poplar Creek Bowl, Hoffman Estates, 6 p.m.

Thursday: Capt. Ralph Steiger, Riverside Fishing Club, LaGrange American Legion, 6:30 p.m.


Monday, Feb. 10: Applications, spring turkey hunting, third lottery, ends

Saturday, Feb. 15: Bobcat, rabbit and squirrel seasons end


Saturday, Feb. 15: Turkey, Des Plaines State Fish and Wildlife Area, Wilmington, just be 18 or older, click here to register


Thursday, Feb. 13: Trevor Edmonson, “Fantastic Moths and How to Find Them,’’ Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie Welcome Center, Wilmington, begins 7 p.m., registration required at (815) 423-6370 or


Monday, Feb. 10, to Friday, Feb. 14: Illinois residents only, click here for details


“My wife’s daffodils are starting to sprout and I heard male cardinals doing their territorial calls every day last week in the early morning. This is the earliest for either of these events that I can remember. Pretty optimistic since we’re just starting February.’’ Jim Hantak

A: Hantak of was of many who noted early arrivals of various natural events. It’s been a weird winter.


42.2: Inches of the Chinook caught by Danny Lunn from Salt Creek in 2019 to earn a Fish of the Year from the Indiana DNR. Click here for Indiana DNR’s 2019 Fish of the Year.


“In the late 80’s thru the 90’s Poppee, [his wife] Helen and I purchased Custom Jigs & Spins where Poppee did the bulk of the soldering and jig pouring-several million jigs over the years, in his spare time after work at the buildings. He developed many lures, and helped in promotional efforts.’’

Walt Matan, posting on Facebook on the death of his father on Tuesday

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