Because of family stuff, I missed the opening day for the first time in many years for duck and Canada goose seasons in Illinois’ northern zone.

It appeared decent at public sites, better for private-land goose hunters.

Wolf Lake on Chicago’s southeast side counted 38 hunters bagging 10 mallards, five geese, two other ducks and two coots on opening day; down to four mallards and two coots by Sunday. At Heidecke Lake, hunters bagged 27 ducks on opening day; down to 12 on Sunday.

Sunday was best during the central zone youth waterfowl hunt over the weekend at Braidwood Lake with two drake mallards, a wood duck and two green-winged teal. Duck and Canada goose seasons open Saturday in the central. Procedures will be the usual at Braidwood.

Corn harvest statewide by Sunday was 73 percent complete, behind last year (81). Soybean harvest was 58 percent complete.

Deer should be moving deeper into the rut very shortly, but so far the bowhunters I have talked with found the season on the slow side. We shall see in the next few weeks as the rut builds.