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WWW Chicago outdoors: Bikes, bows, berries & bluegill

Let’s lead this Wild Weekend Wandering around Chicago outdoors with the four B’s of biking, bowfishing, berry picking and bluegill fishing.

BIKING: “Tour de Fat,” which includes a “costumed bicycle parade, New Belgium beer, eye-popping entertainment, local food, crazy bike contests,” begins at 9 a.m. Saturday at Palmer Square in Chicago.

BOWFISHING: The second Director’s Shoot Illinois Bowfishing Championship is on the Illinois River out of Starved Rock State Park this weekend. Contact Ed DeVries at

BERRYING: I took the family picking blueberries last weekend. You can read about that in the Sun-Times outdoors page, along with much more on Chicago outdoors, on Sunday. But blueberries are about done, as are raspberries. Some mulberry trees are hanging on.

SHABBONA BLUEGILL OPEN: Shabbona Lakeside’s Bluegill Open is 6 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday. Cabela’s is offering $100 for the heaviest stringer of 10 bluegill, and families may combine catches. Go to or call (815) 824-2581.

KIDS OUTSIDE: Fishin’ Buddies! and the Forest Preserve District of Cook County hold Kids’ Fest 2011–canoeing, archery, fishing–at Wampum Lake in Lansing from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday. There is no cost, but you must register at

WADING: Pick your river. As Ken Gortowski of WaterCrawler Fox River Guide Service put it earlier this week, “Can go anywhere.” Mine will be the Kankakee. But finally you can pick your favorite river to wade. And I don’t see that changing any time soon. By next Friday, we meet even be talking about low water.

PADDLING: You can make reservations with Chicago River Canoe and Kayak for a 6.5-mile paddle on quiet, gravel-bottomed stretch of the Iroquois River in Rensselaer, Ind. Make reservations at (773) 704-2663 or

ILLINOIS PERMITS: Applications for the second lottery for free dove permits is Tuesday.

BIRDS AND BEES: On Tuesday, “Doctor Bugs,” Mark Moffett, discusses his newest book Adventures Among Ants at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum in Chicago. It’s free with a wine and cheese reception at 6:30 p.m. and lecture at 7.

DALEY DERBY: The Richard J. Daley Sportfishing Derby is open. In July, the species are carp, catfish, coho, chinook, steelhead and perch (for those 15 and younger). Register fish at Henry’s Sports & Bait, Park Bait or Vet’s Bait. Go to or call (312) 225-8538.

ARCHERY: Sunday: There’s an American Round tournament by the Chicago Archery Club at Washington Park. Practice begins 9 a.m. Click here. . . . Archery Bow Range Chicago offers instruction.

SAILING: The Mac, the Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac, begins Saturday, well, the cruising division takes off today. You can view the parade of boats from the east end of Navy Pier from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday. Even more spectacular is to be out on the boat to see the takeoff east of Monroe Harbor.

PERSONAL PICKS: I will be wading the Kankakee today, at least that is the plan. . . . On Saturday, I think I am tied up covering the Mac. . . . Work continues on an ongoing writing project. . . . As always, a fair amount of my spare time is spent working on “Outside,” the radio show Joel Greenberg and I are doing at 4:30 p.m. Mondays on WKCC-FM (91.1).