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Short-eared owl, sturgeon, public lands: Chicago outdoors, notes

Notes from around Chicago outdoors.

FIELD NOTES

WILD OF THE WEEK

Emil Baumbach caught the stark image of a short-eared owl at twilight in Cook County.

Wild of the Week,  a celebration of wild scenes around Chicago outdoors, runs on Sundays on the Sun-Times outdoors page as warranted. Send nominations by Facebook (Dale Bowman), Twitter (@BowmanOutside) or email (straycasts@sbcglobal.net).

DALE’S MAILBAG

Q: “I would like to try and understand something. Although I am not a hunter I understand the need to hunt deer, geese etc to keep population down and under control and you can eat the meat. What I don’t understand is why someone would feel compelled to kill a bobcat.’’ Thomas Hooks

A: There are people who enjoy pelts, bear rugs and mounts. Bobcats are again a renewable natural resource in Illinois. Not something I am interested in, but everyone I know who has gotten a bobcat has either a really cool mount or pelt.

Credit: Wisconsin DNR

Credit: Wisconsin DNR

BIG NUMBER

154.9: Pounds of the 83.4-inch sturgeon, largest through the first nine days of Wisconsin’s sturgeon spearing, speared by Gerald Peterson on Monday, Feb. 13

LAST WORD

“Outdoor Alliance views Utah’s positions on our public lands as an existential threat to our American heritage and antithetical to our interests and values as citizen co-owners of our country’s public lands.’’

Outdoor Alliance response to the future of the Outdoor Retailer show in Utah, whose public officials are actively seeking take-backs of public lands

WILD TIMES

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

Feb. 25-26: Chicago, http://carryinillinois.com/hunter-safety-course.html . . .  Essex, (815) 458-3568

March 3-4: Morris, philliparnold3@gmail.com or 815-343-7330

March 4-5: Momence, (815) 388-3853

March 11-12: Bridgeview, (708) 594-1818 . . . Bolingbrook, hebpMarch2017@gmail.com (include name, address & DOB)

March 16 & 18: Mundelein, (847) 918-6145

March 25-26: Chicago, http://carryinillinois.com/hunter-safety-course.html . . . Ingleside, go.fishfry@gmail.com

FISH GATHERING

Tuesday, Feb. 21: Lincoln Buchanan, “Chain Walleye Tactics & Equipment,’’ Arlington Anglers Fishing Club, Hoffman Estates Cabela’s, 6:30 p.m.

SHOWTIME
(Click here or the exhaustive list of shows, seminars, swap meets and auctions)

Salmon Unlimited Swap Meet: River Park Moose Lodge, River Grove, Saturday, click here

Our World-Underwater: Stephens Convention Center, Rosemont, Friday-Sunday, Feb. 24-26, click here

Indianapolis Boat, Sport and Travel Show: Indiana State Fairgrounds, Through Sunday, Friday, Feb. 26, click here

Deer, Turkey and Waterfowl Expo: Indiana State Fairgrounds, Indianapolis, Friday-Sunday, Feb. 24-26, click here

GREAT BACKYARD BIRD COUNT

Monday, Feb. 20: Final day. Click here for info

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

Friday, Feb. 24: Chain O’Lakes dinner, Maravela’s, Fox Lake. Contact Bill Beckmeyer, (630) 697-6533 or Frank Lemcke (262) 909-6130. Click here for info

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

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