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This week’s field notes

Dale’s mailbag

Q: I live in Lombard on the edge of Madison Meadows (80-acre park), and we have our share of Canadian geese. Every spring, I enjoy seeing and hearing V’s & V’s of (?) heading north; then in the fall, heading south. I used to think they were Canadian geese, but a friend said they were sandhill cranes. From the sound bite on Google, I have to agree with my friend because it’s much different than the squawk in my backyard. Your comment, please. —John and Frances Brach

A: My bet is sandhills. I describe their sound as a croak. Reader John Vukmirovich of the Southeast Side describes the sound as a ‘‘kroo.’’ Vukmirovich famously was described as ‘‘the Johnny Appleseed of the pawpaw world’’ in the Christian Science Monitor, so he has field cred on nuances of the natural world.

Updated: September 24, 2012 6:25AM



BUCK OF the WEEK: UNPLUGGED

Bucks are dropping their racks, but this one, photographed by Chuck Fisher in McDowell Grove in Naperville, already had lost his last fall. Apparently, it didn’t hurt the buck’s attractiveness. ‘‘Saw it later in the winter,’’ the Naperville man e-mailed. ‘‘He was with three does.’’ E-mail nominations for BOTW: Unplugged, the weekly celebration of live big bucks around Chicago outdoors, to straycasts@sbcglobal.net.

Places and faces

Braidwood, the cooling lake in southwest Will County, reopens to fishing Tuesday. Hours are 6 a.m.-6 p.m. for the first couple of weeks. .  .  . On Wednesday, a 163.5-pound, 73.6-inch sturgeon was registered during the Lake Winnebago spearing season in Wisconsin.

WILD TIMES

Hunter safety

Saturday-next Sunday: Schaumburg, (847) 995-0200.

March 8, 10, 15, 17: Burr Ridge, (630) 920-1969.

March 12-13: Momence, (815) 388-3853.

showtime

Friday-next Sunday: Lake Home & Cabin Show, Schaumburg Convention Center, lakehomeandcabinshow.com.

Saturday: Joe Cornwall headlines Illinois Smallmouth Alliance’s Bronzeback Blowout, Elmhurst American Legion Hall, illinoissmallmouthalliance.net/html/blowout.php.

Saturday-next Sunday: Great Outdoors Expo, Woodstock North High School, greatoutdoorsexpo.net.

Ducks unlimited banquets

Thursday: North Shore, The Kenilworth Club.

Friday: Central Kane County, Riverside Receptions, Geneva.

illinois permits/seasons

Monday: Crow hunting ends.

Tuesday: Youth spring-turkey county permits available.

big number : 35

Percentage of bucks that had dropped their antlers by last week, according to Larry Narro, a veteran seeker of sheds.

the last word

“I am not sure Springfield knows or cares guys have to ask off work [in advance].”

An interested party, on the bizarre foot-dragging on staffing LaSalle Lake for the scheduled reopening to fishing March 16. No staff has been assigned for the opener yet.



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