Gone fishin’, well more like gone campin’, for this Wild Weekend Wandering around Chicago outdoors.
The youth group is doing its usual August campout, so we will be camping and fishing. My moments of relaxation come with an early morning window for some topwater casting on the Kankakee before the kids wake up after staying up all night.
One of my favorite photos of the Kankakee (above) came five years ago on a youth group campout when the kids were messing around at the rivers edge as the sunset. And I was smart enough and fast enough to take this photo.
PERSEID METEOR SHOWER:At least for us, timing will be good, if not perfect, for possibly seeing some shooting stars in the meteor shower tonight. I think peak is supposed to be Saturday night, especially after the moon sets about 10 p.m. Many parks, park districts and forest preserves schedule events around this.
I find it is usually worth having the kids watch for a bit. It only takes one shooting star to fire up young minds.
CONSERVATION WORLD: Usually we hit the Illinois State Fair this weekend and I do Conservation World, the spread of activities near the IDNR offices on the north end of the grounds. But my wife is taking some kids there Sunday and I am staying home with others.
The big hits tend to be the raptor shows and the BB or archery shooting.
Here are the details from the IDNR:
Enjoy free family-oriented entertainment and youth activities at Conservation World during the Illinois State Fair, Aug. 9-18 in Springfield. Kids can try to catch a fish or practice their skills at the archery and BB gun ranges. Visitors will find plenty to do, and a shady place to sit on a park bench and relax while visiting Conservation World – open from 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. each weekday and 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. each weekend day of the Illinois State Fair, Aug. 9-18.
SQUIRREL HUNTING:The hunting season opened Aug. 1 in Illinois and we have had surprisingly mellow weather for those who get out this early. And the mellow weather looks to continue all week. 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.
WILD AT BEARS CAMP:Bears training camp runs through Wednesday at Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais.
I am happy to say that this year I’ve heard from families 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 (below), which is just a few blocks from ONU at Perry Farm. Another was trying the crayfish hunting at Rock Creek in the State Park.
For my idea of viable options, including links and contact info, go to http://voices.suntimes.com/sports/bears-training-camp-going-wild/
WADING:Once again, levels look good for waders to get out on local waters. In fact, some areas, may be getting almost too low. The Kankakee is closer to October levels than summer levels and Nick at the Kankakee River Trading Post in Altorf said there is algae building the state park area. I fished upstream in Kankakee/Bourbonnais area and saw none of that, nor did I see it wading at Aroma Park. Might be a curious question why it forms in the state park area.
PERCH FISHING:Some small perch came in at Montrose, otherwise i have not heard much around Chicago. There’s been slightly better, but very variable, reports in Indiana for boaters out of Michigan City and by the Donut in 28 feet.
DEER SCOUTING:Guys are getting out and checking on deer. i think that is one of the things some of the early squirrel hunters are doing, too.
BERRY PICKING: Blacberries appear to be past peak. 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 runs through Aug. 31 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 runs through Aug. 19. Go to http://www.dnr.illinois.gov/hunting/Pages/ApplyForDeerOrTurkeyPermit.aspx
Random daily draws for deer hunting begin Tuesday and run through Sept. 9. Go to http://www.dnr.illinois.gov/calendar/Pages/DuckGooseFirstLottery.aspx
The first lottery for duck and goose reservations begins Tuesday and runs through Aug. 27. Go to http://www.dnr.illinois.gov/calendar/Pages/DuckGooseFirstLottery.aspx