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WWW Chicago outdoors: Squirrels, Bears, wading & permits

Already some fall outdoor activities are beginning for this Wild Weekend Wandering around Chicago outdoors.

SQUIRREL HUNTING: The hunting season opened Thursday in Illinois. Iroquois County SWA is one northeast Illinois site open during August for squirrel hunting and still goes by the old sign out and in system. My name is first in the book this year. With no squirrels listed..

WILD AT BEARS CAMP: Bears training camp runs through Aug. 14 at Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais.

I am happy to say that this year so far two families have sent tales of their trying some of the wild things to do in the Kankakee River Valley area before and after practice, before heading home.

One woman messaged and said they were the only family at Indian Caves, which is just a few blocks from ONU at Perry Farm.

Most years, I find it very disappointing how few people utilize the chance to experience the wild opportunities near the camp. For my idea of viable options, including links and contact info, go to http://voices.suntimes.com/sports/bears-training-camp-going-wild/

WADING: Barring too many downpours today, this should be the second near perfect weekend for wading around Chicago fishing.

The kids want to go wading and swimming on the Kankakee, which is in its best wading shape of the year. The plan was to do it this afternoon. We shall see how the weather holds or unfolds.

I think I am out wading with Matt Mullady (above) Monday.

DEER SCOUTING: In my rambling here and there, I am seeing guys already starting to put in serious time on scouting for deer. That will be here soon enough.

PERCH FISHING: In Illinois, perch fishing reopened to all on Lake Michigan Thursday with more hope and tradition than catching. But at least people were out. I have not heard yet from my guys how boaters did off Navy Pier. I was to go play with Capt. Bob Poteshman this morning by Navy Pier, but have to haul around the family unit later this morning.

BERRY PICKING: The blacberries I know of hit their peak ripeness yesterday. Picking them will be one of the family weekend jaunts.

I think blueberries should be close, too. But I do not have any secret spots. Might be time to call in a favor and get an invite to a good blueberry spot.

PERMITS: The application period is underway for the free upland game permits, coolest hunting program in Illinois. Go to http://www.dnr.illinois.gov/hunting/uplandgame/Pages/OnlinePermitApplication.aspx

The second lottery for fall shotgun wild turkey permits is underway. Go to http://www.dnr.illinois.gov/hunting/Pages/ApplyForDeerOrTurkeyPermit.aspx

Hunters may apply for remaining free dove permits. Go to dnr.illinois.gov/hunting/dove