Chicago outdoors: Turkey poults, record alligator gar, joy of Fox River & sleeping daughter

Turkey poults at Starved Rock State Park, remembering the joy of wading the Fox River with a sleeping daughter and the world record alligator gar are among the notes from around Chicago outdoors and beyond.

SHARE Chicago outdoors: Turkey poults, record alligator gar, joy of Fox River & sleeping daughter
A wild turkey with poults at Starved Rock State Park in early July. Credit: John Cuculich

A wild turkey with poults at Starved Rock State Park in early July.

John Cuculich

Notes come from around Chicago outdoors and beyond.


John Cuculich of Naperville emailed after the Fourth of July weekend about going to Starved Rock State Park, “hoping to see some eagles but saw a wild turkey with her poults.” I would be curious how big he poults would be by now, just one month later.

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).


“Over 40 years ago, I lived in Dundee. When my daughter was born, I would put her in a back carrier and wet wade in the [Fox River} for smallmouth. Often she would go to sleep soothed by the river flow, but wake up when I caught one to `tickle’ it before release. I can still hear her giggles. The reports each week take me back there. Thanks to you and your contributors.” Jim Dooley

A: Those are memories that bond lives.


126.55/279: Kilograms/pounds of world record alligator gar, caught Dec. 2, 1951 from the Rio Grande in Texas by Bill Valverde, according to the International Game Fish Association. More at,%20alligator.



Thursday, Aug. 10: Capt. Doug Kloet, “Late Summer to Early Fall, fishing for everything from panfish o muskie,” Riverside Fishing Club, Berwyn Moose Lodge 424, 6:30 p.m.,


Saturday, Aug. 12: Oak Brook Trout Unlimited’s 50th anniversary celebration, free, family festival events, vendor displays, 2-6 p.m., TU president Chris Wood’s keynote address 4 p.m., Jeff Troutman and the Parachute Adams Band, Central Park, Oak Brook


Tuesday, Aug. 8, to Oct. 31: “World’s Finest: Fly-Fishing Tackle,” Tuesdays to Sundays, free, Monee Reservoir, debut of custom collection of rods, reels, flies, photographs and books, on loan from the American Museum of Fly Fishing,


Saturday, Aug. 12: Boat America, Chicago, Dan O’Connell,


Aug. 10 & 12: Mundelein, (847) 918-6145

Aug. 26-27:Kankakee, (815) 935-2700

Sept. 9-10: Morris, (815) 942-6645


Aug. 19-20:Waterman,


Sept. 23: For adult hunters of all levels, Deacon’s Bar, Wauconda,

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