Outdoor notes: Pre-dawn doe, sandhill cranes, bison, Illinois deer harvest, bear dens

A pre-dawn doe, sandhill cranes and bison at Kankakee Sands, Illinois’ deer harvest and advice on bear dens in Wisconsin are among the notes from around Chicago outdoors and beyond.

SHARE Outdoor notes: Pre-dawn doe, sandhill cranes, bison, Illinois deer harvest, bear dens
A feeding doe in the pre-dawn at Brezina Woods.

A feeding doe in the pre-dawn at Brezina Woods.

Joseph Opoka

Notes come from around Chicago outdoors and beyond.


Joseph Opoka had this doe eating 6 feet away at Brezina Woods in LaGrange Park very early, hence the spooky photo.

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).


“Heard, but did not see, sandhill cranes at Kankakee Sands in Morocco [Indiana] this morning. Took my granddaughters out to see the bison. Spotted a dozen together in a herd off in the distance.” Greg Siefert on Monday

A: Multiple things here I love. Seeing the complexities of nature—noticing sandhills, visiting Kankakee Sands (highly recommend), spotting bison—and taking/teaching young people to enjoy it as part of life.


158,010: Deer harvested during all 2022-23 firearm and archery seasons, up from 146,438 in ‘21-22.


“Black bear dens are getting noisier with the birth of cubs, so dens are sometimes found this time of year by people who hear unusual small sounds while in the woods. Active bear dens with cubs will often produce sounds like squeaking, grunting, humming or sucking, usually when cubs are nursing.

The public is encouraged to report as much information about occupied black bear dens as possible without approaching or disturbing the dens.”

Wisconsin DNR release on The Black Bear Litter and Diet Survey, which starts its second year in March. In the short YouTube video below, Dr. Jennifer Price Tack describes the importance of this project and public reporting.



Friday, March 3: West Suburban dinner, Crystal Sky Banquets, McCook

Friday, March 3: Central Kane banquet, Kuiper Family Farm, Maple Park


Friday, March 3: Tallgrass banquet, Orland Chateau, Orland Park


Click here for the complete list of show, outdoors classes and swap meets.

Today, Feb. 25:Salmon Unlimited Swap Meet, River Park Moose Lodge, River Grove

Through Sunday, Feb. 26:Fish On, Woodland Park, Portage, Ind., portageinchamber.com or (219) 762-3300.

Through Sunday, Feb. 26:Wisconsin Fishing Expo, Wisconsin Fishing Expo, Alliant Energy Center, Madison, Wis,

Thursday, March 2, to March 5:Northern Illinois Boat Show, Lake County Fairgrounds, Grayslake

Friday, March 3, to March 5:Northwest Indiana Fishing & Outdoor Expo, Lincoln Center, Highland, Ind.

Next Saturday, March 4:Indoor Fishing Flea Market, Rolling Meadows High School

Next Saturday, March 4:Illinois Smallmouth Alliance’s Bronzeback Blowout, Elmhurst American Legion


Wednesday, March 1: In a reschdeduled meeting, Dale Bowman on hidden gems fishing spots, Walleyes Unlimited, Gurnee American Legion, 7 p.m.


Monday, Feb. 27: Boat America, Northfield, cgaux.doc@gmail.com


March 11-12: Bridgeview, (708) 594-1818


Tuesday, Feb. 28: Crow season ends

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