Chicago outdoors: Scofflaw bluebird, young angler exhausted, biggest black bear, E. Peoria/Chicago

A photo of a scofflaw bluebird on the North Side, a young angler exhausted catching, the world-record black bear and a discussion on East Peoria/Chicago and the Izaak Walton League of America are among the notes from around the Chicago outdoors and beyond.

SHARE Chicago outdoors: Scofflaw bluebird, young angler exhausted, biggest black bear, E. Peoria/Chicago
A scofflaw bluebird on Chicago’s North Side. Credit: Jeff Wade

A scofflaw bluebird on Chicago’s North Side.

Jeff Wade

Notes come from around Chicago outdoors and beyond.


Jeff Wade photographed “this scofflaw male bluebird” on the North Side while it was “vigilantly guarding his nest cavity and urging his last straggler to fledge.”

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).


“I missed your point about how East Peoria was an apt choice when the [Izaak Walton League of America] was founded in Chicago and the recent meeting wasn’t in Chicago.” Mr. Jan Thomas Pasek, Rogers Park, long ago resident of Peoria

A: His point is well taken; I stretched the definition of returning home. The IWLA chose East Peoria over Chicago because of lowers costs.


23 10/16: Score of the world record black bear, via the Boone and Crockett Club. Black bears are scored by adding the greatest width and length of the skull. It was found July 1, 1975 in Utah by Merrill Daniels and Alma Lund. The skull was confirmed as a black bear by the Smithsonian Institution.


“One young angler fighting his fourth smallmouth bass in as many casts [said], `I can’t do it, I only weigh 92 pounds!’ Oh yeah, I won’t let him forget that line!”

Kurt Justice, of Kurt’s Island Sport Shop in Minocqua, Wisconsin,



Aug. 13-14: Kankakee, (815) 935-2700

Aug. 20-21: Momence, (815) 472-4900


Aug. 13-14: Shabbona Lake State Recreation Area, Rich Carlson, (815) 757-2949

Aug. 20-21: Aurora Sportsmen’s Club, Waterman,


Today, July 30, and Sunday, July 31: Annual drawings for public waterfowl blinds.


Monday, Aug. 1-Aug. 31: Applications, free upland game permits

Monday, Aug. 1: Squirrel hunting opens

The Latest
The White Sox are the Cleveland Guardians’ guests for their home opener at Progressive Field on April 8, which means the visitors will have front-row seats for a rare phenomenon – a total solar eclipse.
Bellinger and the Cubs agreed to a three-year, $80 million contract.
Calvin Woods, of Matteson, faces two counts of first-degree murder for the August 2023 shooting death of Travon Mackie.
A big notebook of observations and takes from the big week of regional play.