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Chicago outdoors: ‘Whoopsie,’ ‘Grasshopper,’ mushing, ‘The Lakefront Lip,’ ‘Blue Eyes,’ Wisconsin gun-deer harvest

Whooping cranes, including the famous “Grasshopper,” mixed with sandhill cranes in northwest Indiana, where to go mushing in DuPage County, updating “The Lakefront Lip” and Wisconsin gun-deer harvest totals are among the notes from around Chicago outdoors and beyond.

A whooping crane mixed with sandhill cranes in northwest Indiana. Credit: Bill Peak
A whooping crane mixed with sandhill cranes in northwest Indiana.
Bill Peak

Notes come from around Chicago outdoors and beyond.

WILD OF THE WEEK

Bill Peak found treasures last month while viewing sandhill cranes around Wheatfield, Ind., near Jasper-Pulaski Fish and Wildlife Area. “ I ran into two whooping cranes, fourth year in a row,” he emailed. “One of them is 16-11 (“Grasshopper”), who became famous by mating with a sandhill and produced “Whoopsie,” the first hybrid.” Now that’s my kind of WOTW. To learn more about “Grasshopper” and “Whoopsie” click here.

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. To make submissions, email BowmanOutside@gmail.com or contact me on Facebook (Dale Bowman), Twitter (@BowmanOutside) or Instagram (@BowmanOutside).

It’s worth another look.

Whooping cranes mixed with sandhill cranes in northwest Indiana. Credit: Bill Peak
Whooping cranes mixed with sandhill cranes in northwest Indiana.
Bill Peak

WILD TIMES

SHOWTIME

Click here for the complete list of shows, classes and swap meets for the coming months.

Sunday, Dec. 5: Final day, St. Paul Ice Fishing and Winter Sports Show, St. Paul RiverCentre, Minn., stpaulicefishingshow.com

YOUTH HUNTING

Dec. 31: Deadline to register for 2022 Central Illinois Youth Goose Hunt on Jan. 17, (217) 785-8060

FISH GATHERING

Wednesday, Dec. 8: Chas Martin, Musky Mastery Guide Service, Fox River Valley chapter of Muskies, Inc., Schaumburg Golf Club, 7 p.m., frvmuskie.com

ILLINOIS SEASONS

Sunday, Dec. 5: Second firearm deer season ends

Monday, Dec. 6: First scaup season, north zone, ends

Tuesday, Dec. 7: Second scaup season, north zone, begins

Friday, Dec. 10, to Dec. 12: Muzzleloader deer season

DALE’S MAILBAG

“You used to have a guy named Kenny in your column every so often. He was an avid fisherman and friend of mine. I haven’t seen nor heard hide or hair of him for a long time. We used to call him “Blue Eyes.” He fished down by the lake all the time.” Vito

A: That’s Ken Schneider. He’s is still at the lake daily, cheerfully being the same pain-in-the-butt he always is. I like my moniker for him, “The Lakefront Lip.”

BIG NUMBER

175,667: Deer registered by hunters in Wisconsin’s nine-day gun deer season, down 7.9 percent from 2020.

LAST WORD

“Finally, when there’s adequate snow conditions, mushers can dog sled on the Thunderbird Spur Trail at Greene Valley and on the West Branch Regional Trail, Bobolink and connector trails north of Mack Road at the McKee Marsh area of Blackwell.”

Forest Preserve District of DuPage County, in case anyone is looking to mush