Work and a black squirrel, wild turkeys, ice fishing and the joy of hunting PHAs

A black squirrel working, fall harvest of wild turkeys, anticipation of ice fishing and the joy of hunting the habitat of Pheasant Habitat Areas are among the notes from around Chicago outdoors and beyond.

SHARE Work and a black squirrel, wild turkeys, ice fishing and the joy of hunting PHAs
A black squirrel spotted on the way home from a job at O’Hare. Provided by Jackson Kennedy

A black squirrel spotted on the way home from a job at O’Hare.

Provided by Jackson Kennedy

Notes come from around Chicago outdoors and beyond.

WILD OF THE WEEK

Jackson Kennedy messaged, “Saw this black squirrel leaving a job near O’Hare.” When I asked what job the squirrel was doing at O’Hare, Kennedy cracked back, “Looks like he’s checking meters. I’ve never seen one in Illinois before.” Black squirrels vary in numbers by neighborhoods and communities around Chicago.

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).

DALE’S MAILBAG

“Sounds like you guys had a ball out at Steward [Pheasant Habitat Area]. That place looks pretty interesting, good thing you had dogs to work that high cover. You guys took more shots than we did in South Dakota in late October.” Jim

A: I only made the mistake once on hunting without a dog on a permit from Illinois’ free upland game hunt. The cover is too good to not have a dog along, one of the reasons I call it the coolest hunting program in the state.

The varied habitat of Steward Pheasant Habitat Area. Credit: Dale Bowman

The varied habitat of Steward Pheasant Habitat Area.

Dale Bowman

BIG NUMBER

267: Wild turkeys harvested during Illinois’ fall gun turkey season, Oct. 22-30, up slightly from 255 in 2021. The fall season is only open in 56 counties.

LAST WORD

“We’ve got a LOT of ice ahead of us! Bring on the hard water!”

Kurt’s Island Sport Shop, on Facebook Wednesday, from Minocqua, Wis.

SHOW

Next Saturday, Dec. 3: Antique Lure Show Swap Meet, free to attendees, who are encouraged to bring old tackle to swap or sell, Niles VFW Post 3579, 8 a.m.-noon

WILD TIMES

SHOW

Next Saturday, Dec. 3: Antique Lure Show Swap Meet, free to attendees, who are encouraged to bring old tackle to swap or sell, Niles VFW Post 3579, 8 a.m.-noon

ILLINOIS PERMITS/SEASONS

Tuesday, Nov. 29: Woodcock season ends

Thursday, Dec. 1, to Dec. 4: Second firearm deer season

Next Saturday, Dec. 3: Duck and Canada goose seasons, south zone, open

YOUTH HUNTING

Thursday, Dec. 1: Registration for youth (10-17) goose hunt opens and runs through Dec. 31, register for the drawing at https://www2.illinois.gov/dnr/education/Pages/YouthGooseHunt2023.aspx. The hunt is Jan. 16 in the Canton area. For questions, call (217) 785-8060.

U.S. COAST GUARD AUXILIARY

Next Saturday, Dec. 3: Boat America, Fox Lake, Jerry Miarecki, finance@coastguardchicago.com

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