Notes from around Chicago outdoors.

FIELD NOTES

WILD OF THE WEEK

Sandy Melovic photographed this mallard, apparently a year-round resident, landing on snow in early January near Naperville.

Wild of the Week, the celebration of stories and photos around Chicago outdoors, run when warranted on Sundays on the Sun-Times outdoors page. Send nominations by Facebook (Dale Bowman), Twitter (@BowmanOutside) or email

BIG NUMBER

19,000/24,000

Estimated adult females/estimated adult males in the world’s largest self-sustaining population of lake sturgeon on Wisconsin’s Winnebago system.

The biggest fish of the opening day Saturday for Winnebago’s sturgeon-spearing season was registered by Benjamin Berger at Critter’s, weighing 155.6 pounds and measuring 75.6 inches.
Credit: Wisconsin DNR

DALE’S MAILBAG

Q: ‘‘Anyone ever get a gar through the ice at Mazonia? I always wonder if you could find a deep hole and bump a nice bloody hunk of shad on top of sleeping longnoses and get a reaction.’’ Olaf Nelson, of moxostoma.com

A: I didn’t think they were active in 32-degree water, but Nelson emailed: ‘‘People do occasionally catch them while ice fishing, so it IS possible.’’

LAST WORD

‘‘As you may or may not know, National Pheasant Fest & Quail Classic has secured the convention facility in Schaumburg to host the 2019 National Pheasant Fest & Quail Classic. This will be our first visit to the state of Illinois, and we are expecting it to be a big show.’’

— Jared Wiklundpublic-relations manager for Pheasants Forever & Quail Forever

Pheasant in the field.
Credit: Dale Bowman

WILD TIMES

FISH GATHERINGS

Tuesday: Capt. Chris Taurisano, Chicagoland Muskie Hunters chapter of Muskies Inc., 7:30 p.m., North Branch Pizza & Burger Co., Glenview, chicagolandmuskiehunters.org.

Tuesday: Wildlife artist Tom Wendel, Salmon Unlimited, 7 p.m., Elk Grove Village VFW, salmonunlimitedinc.com.

Wednesday: MuskieFIRST founder Steve Worrall, Fox River Valley chapter of Muskies Inc., 7 p.m., Schaumburg Golf Club, frvmuskie.com.

Thursday: Josh Sokol on bass and Neko rig, Fish Tales Fishing Club, 7 p.m., Oak Forest Community Center, fishtalesfishingclub.com.

SHOWTIME
(Click here for the complete list of shows)

Thursday-next Sunday: Chicago RV & Camping Show, Stephens Convention Center, Rosemont

Friday-Sunday: Rockford Boat, Vacation & Fishing Show, Indoor Sports Center, Loves Park

Friday-Feb. 25: Indianapolis Boat, Sport and Travel Show, Indiana State Fairgrounds

Saturday-next Sunday: Our World Underwater Chicago Dive & Travel Expo, Chicago Marriott O’Hare

Sunday: Henry Decoy Show, Henry-Senachwine High School

FISHING SEMINAR

Saturday-next Sunday: Capt. Ralph Steiger seminars, smallmouth on Saturday, salmon/trout Sunday. Click here for information and to register.

U.S. COAST GUARD AUXILLIARY
(Click here for ful package of classes in the area)

Saturday: About Boating Safety, Willowbrook. Contact Ron Carlson at carlson.cgaux@comcast.net.

ILLINOIS SEASONS

Thursday: Rabbit hunting ends

HUNTER SAFETY
(Click here for full package of northeast Illinois hunter safety classes)

Feb. 17-18: Momence, bobhuntnfish@yahoo.com

March 10-11: Bridgeview, (708) 594-1818. . . . Dyer, Indiana, booking@firstshotdyer.com.

March 16-17: Morris, philliparnold3@gmail.com or (815) 343-7330

March 17-18: New Lenox, huntedbob@aol.com

TREE COURSE

April 7: Deadline for registering for Openlands TreeKeeper certification course, at Washington Park fieldhouse on Thursdays and Sundays from April 8-May 3. Cost is $128. Enroll at www.openlands.org/treekeepers

DUCKS UNLIMITED
(Click here for the general list of Illinois DU events)

NATIONAL WILD TURKEY FEDERATION
(Click here for general list of banquets and events)

PHEASANTS FOREVER
(Click here for general list of Illinois PF events)