The possibility of ice fishing around here this weekend is, well, what my kids would call sketchy. All the same, that kind of leads this Wild Weekend Wandering around Chicago outdoors.

I say kinda, because what truly leads is the continued outstanding run of yellow perch up and down the Chicago lakefront. But there is also an ice fishing show, Illinois’ muzzleloader deer season, waterfowl on the move, sandhill cranes migrating by the thousands, and the continued run of  “Illumination–The Experience” at Morton Arboretum.

As for me, I had plans with a buddy today, but they may fall through. Otherwise, I hope to cut our Christmas tree tomorrow with the family in the snow and if it is enough snow, then take the two youngest sledding. But i suspect we will not get that much. I am thinking I may get out to play around on Monday with the ice fishermen. We shall see.

As to more general Wild Weekend Wandering, here goes.

PERCH: What can I say about the perch other than it is going for those braving the weather from Montrose Harbor to Cal Park. It takes sorting for keepers, but it is a historic run of perch.

ICE FISHING: Here’s what I got on a few calls this morning.

Wayne Krcmar, proprietor at Hermann’s Lowlife Bar and Grill on Nielsen’s Channel in Port Barrington, said not yet, maybe this weekend. I know people were checking and asking already on Thursday on Hermann’s Facebook page. And they have been getting many calls at (847) 639-9644.

Greg Dickson, owner of Triangle Sports and Marine in Antioch–(847) 395-0813–said this morning, “I haven’t heard of anybody going out. We are gearing up for it. We are ready to go. I would have to guess there will be this weekend.”

My guess is somebody will be trying by tomorrow morning if we do not get too much snow overnight.

Fishing reports for Kurt’s Island Sport Shop in Minocqua, Wis. suggested that Friday night, tonight, would be the best to finally lock up most lakes up north. Even with the wind keeping many lakes open, there is currently some ice fishing available. Their phone–(715) 356-4797–has been ringing off the hook, too. People are ready to go.

SHOW: The Milwaukee Ice Fishing & Winter Sports Show is today through Sunday at the Wisconsin State Fair Park in West Allis. A couple buddies invited me along today, but I could not make it. One of these years I need to check that show out.

BTW, I have the general show list for 2018 posted now. Click here for that.

DEER: Illinois’ muzzleloader season runs today through Sunday. Certainly different weather this weekend than last week. I will be curious to see what the harvest reports are like.

WATERFOWL: Geese and ducks have been on the move all week and I suspect many lakes and ponds will be locking up this weekend, especially in Illinois’ north zone. I don’t think we will be getting enough snow to really push Canada geese to migrate much. But maybe at least move around some.

SANDHILLS: As many faithful readers noted, sandhill cranes were migrating by the thousands this week. Fittingly, even before many of them piled into Jasper-Pulaski Fish and Wildlife Area, southeast of Valparaiso, Ind., the count was the highest of the year on Tuesday at 13,475. This might be your chance to see thousands of sandhills against the background of snow, too. Just checked the forecast for Medaryville, Ind. and it looks like they are expecting an inch or so by tomorrow. Click here for details on how to do the sandhills at Jasper-Pulaski.

ILLUMINATION: My wife and I did “Illumination–The Experience” at Morton Arboretum in November and it runs through Jan. 1. I highly recommend it. Click here for more on “Illumination.”