Chicago outdoors: Suburban bucks, IL’s big-buck rep slips, rogue fish stockings, IL firearm deer harvestDale Bowmanon December 13, 2020 at 12:36 pm

A big buck spotted along the Des Plaines River. Provided photo
A big buck spotted along the Des Plaines River. | Provided

A big suburban buck, a sign Illinois’ reputation for big bucks is slipping, harvest totals from Illinois firearm deer seasons and a question on a rogue fish stocking are among the notes from around Chicago outdoors.

Notes come from all around Chicago outdoors.

BUCK OF THE WEEK: UNPLUGGED

Paul Yambrovich photographed this big buck on one of his long walks along the Des Plaines River. “He was hot on a doe and couldn’t care less that I was there,” Yambrovich emailed. “The picture doesn’t do him justice. Heavy-bodied and a really large bushel basket rack! Saw him again on my return and he was munching on white acorns. Maybe building up his stamina!”

BOTW Unplugged, the celebration of live big bucks around Chicago outdoors, runs as apt in the special two-page outdoors section in the Sun-Times Sports Saturday. To make submissions, email BowmanOutside@gmail.com or contact me on Facebook (Dale Bowman), Twitter (@BowmanOutside) or Instagram (@BowmanOutside).

WILD TIMES

ILLINOIS SEASONS

Today, Dec. 13: Final day. muzzleloader deer season

Tuesday, Dec. 15: Final day, duck season, north zone

DALE’S MAILBAG

“Dale, want to ask you your opinion. I fish Palmisano Park frequently. I have throughout the years dumped in the following species over the years: Rock bass (about hand size), perch (6 inches or up) and a couple of pumpkinseeds (hand size). What other fish would you recommend for the pond?” A faithful reader

A: None is my recommendation. Biologists/managers carefully calculate what species and how many to put in. Rogue stockings knock such planning askew.

BIG NUMBER

76,579: Deer harvested during Illinois’ two firearm deer season, up slightly from 75,417 in 2019. Click here for a more complete breakdown.

LAST WORD

“Is Ohio the New Best Whitetail Hunting State?”

Tony Hansen, headline for his article posted Dec. 7 on outdoorlife.com, a thought for those of us who remember when that would have been Illinois

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