Chicago outdoors: Foxes and rabbits, and more rabbits, black bears

Among the notes from around Chicago outdoors are a tidbit on black bears, lots of rabbit interaction suggestions and a photo of a red fox with a caught rabbit.

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Red fox with a rabbit. Provided by Aaron Weinstein

Red fox with a rabbit.

Provided by Aaron Weinstein

Notes come from around Chicago outdoors and beyond.


Aaron Weinstein emailed photos of two small red foxes with caught rabbits in Park Ridge. That leads multiple notes coming off the column last Saturday about rabbit populations.

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).



Through Sunday, July 18: Kankakee River Fishing Derby,


Tuesday, July 20: Biologist Frank Jakubicek, Arlington Anglers, Poplar Creek Banquets, Hoffman Estates, 6:30 p.m.,


Aug. 19 and 21: Mundelein, (847) 918-6145

Aug. 20-21: Ingleside,


Next Saturday, July 24, and July 25: Public waterfowl blind draws, most northern Illinois sites are next Saturday, July 24, Illinois River/Downstate sites on July 25


Monday, July 19: Boat America, Skokie, Dan O’Connell,

Tuesday, July 20: SSS—Your Boat’s Radio, Waukegan, Curt Schumacher,

Next Saturday, July 24: Boat America, Waukegan, Curt Schumacher,


Aug. 1: Squirrel hunting opens

Aug. 1: Applications begin for free upland game permits


A rabbit chewing through grass and thinking it was hiding. Credit: Dale Bowman

A rabbit chewing through grass and thinking it was hiding.

Dale Bowman

Readers had many thoughts on rabbits. Donald Ayres emailed, “Best choice: get a kingsnake, bullsnake, or rat snake. Short-term solution, but we can always use more of the scaly guys, and they’ll give the rodents something to think about.” . . . Edward Marshall reported an explosion of rabbits in Wilmette/Northbrook.”Bigger question? Where are the coyotes?,” he wondered. “Two years ago and last year they were common here in all neighborhoods. This year I haven’t seen even one.” . . . Dean Campione emailed, “There is only one thing that works- Capsaicin. One Million Scoville Unit Capsaicin is marketed to growers in fact; it is non toxic, completely safe around humans and pets, can be used on anything considered non-edible. One tiny taste and they will never touch it again, guaranteed.” You can also make a similar home brew. . . . Edna Heatherington recalled a garden columnist “recommending purple poppy mallow (Callirhoe involucrata) as a plant that rabbits in her yard loved to eat but didn’t eat to the ground. She said she planted it in a part of her garden and it attracted them away from her vegetables and other plants. “


2: Species of rabbits in Illinois: Eastern cottontail and the swamp rabbit.


“Solitary animals, black bears roam large territories, though they do not protect them from other bears. Males might wander a 15- to 80-square-mile home range.”

National Geographic on black bears, which have been reported roaming this spring and summer in both southern Illinois and Indiana, click here for more

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