Wild turkeys, perch recipes, trail usage up, an artful analogy on ice usage

Wild turkeys in Will County, a perch recipe remembered, trail usage is up and an artful analogy on ice usage by the Indiana DNR are among the notes from around Chicago outdoors and beyond.

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Mike Mikolajczyk photographed this flock of wild turkeys while deer hunting in Will County. Provided photo

Mike Mikolajczyk photographed this flock of wild turkeys while deer hunting in Will County.


Notes come from around Chicago outdoors and beyond.


Mike Mikolajczyk has “been deer hunting for 35 years - bow and gun - and this was a first for me: Turkeys.” In eastern Will County on the day after Thanksgiving, he had 11 turkeys. “One flew into a tree 15 yards from me and another flew overhead as I was walking out,” he emailed. “That was pretty cool to see.” That about sums it up.

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, your best recipe for fried perch appeared in the 12/19/2018 issue of the Sun-Times which I saved. It was a rumored recipe from Phil Smidt’s. It came from F. K. Plous. Several of the secrets were: potato starch, fried round in oil with boning after frying, no seasonings, ladled with clarified butter before serving. Not fried in butter. The best perch ever. Best with a good beer, French fries and slaw.” Bill Walsh

A: My favorite part of Plous’ note was his suggesting that the chef, when interviewed about 20 years ago, misled me on what made perch at Phil Smidt’s great.


9.5: Percentage that trail counts (usage measurement) increased from 2021-2022, according to Rails-to-Trails Conservancy. That’s just 1.5 percent below the record during the pandemic year in 2020.


“Similar to needing to drive differently on snowy versus clear roads, being able to safely have fun on ice may require adjusting what you have done in the past. When thinking about getting on the ice, put safety first. Believe all ice is thin ice unless proven otherwise.”

Indiana DNR, with a well-worded cautionary note on ice



Wednesday, Dec. 28: Tod Todd, “Local Waters Ice Fishing Strategies,” Walleyes Unlimited, Gurnee American Legion, 7 p.m., walleyesunlimitedusa.org


Today, Dec. 25: Snipe season ends

Monday, Dec. 26: Second dove season opens

Tuesday, Dec. 27: Duck season, central zone, ends

Thursday, Dec. 29-Jan. 1: First portion, special CWD/late winter antlerless deer season


Through Dec 31: Registration for youth (10-17) goose hunt, 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.


Jan. 7: Indiana DNR meeting on the current Lake Michigan Chinook stocking plan, Indiana Harbor Yacht Club, East Chicago, Ind., 10 a.m.

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