Chicago outdoors: Deer in Chicago River, June bugs, fireflies, Illinois boating accidents, MAPLand Act

Deer in the Chicago River, June bugs, fireflies, Illinois boating accidents and a comment on the bipartisan MAPLand Act are among the notes from around Chicago outdoors.

SHARE Chicago outdoors: Deer in Chicago River, June bugs, fireflies, Illinois boating accidents, MAPLand Act
Deer in the Chicago River. Provided by Mike O’Brien

Deer in the Chicago River.

Provided by Mike O’Brien

Notes come from around Chicago outdoors and beyond.


Mike O’Brien made good use of a traffic backup last week at Caldwell Woods on the Northside. He spotted a herd of deer wading across the North Branch of Chicago River. “Water level is lowest that I remember,” he emailed.

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 or contact me on Facebook (Dale Bowman), Twitter (@BowmanOutside) or Instagram (@BowmanOutside).



Today, May 24: Boat America, Skokie, Dan O’Connell,

Friday, May 28: SSS-Weather and Boating, Dan O’Connell,


June 5 and 6: Des Plaines Conservation Area, Wilmington, (815)423-5326. More on clinics at


“Just a heads up, I’m reporting June bugs are here in unincorporated Will County, Wheatland Township. Took out the garbage tonight and there they were, hanging on my screen by the front door light. Next up, fireflies!” Paul Bleers

A: I saw my first June bugs last week. I am not holding my breathe on fireflies, but maybe I will get lucky this weekend in southern Illinois.


81: Boating accidents investigated by the Illinois Conservation Police in 2020, which involved 36 injuries and 21 fatalities. CPOs are increasing patrols as boating season builds. Click here for more.


“Simply put, this legislation promises to help more people get outdoors.”

Whit Fosburgh, president and CEO of the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, on reintroduction of the bipartisan Modernizing Access to Our Public Land (MAPLand) Act, which would help federal land management agencies create comprehensive databases of available map-based agency records related to recreational access and use.

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