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Lee Wahlgren

Summer has been a pleasant one

Summer is almost over; school will soon be starting; and hunting seasons are almost upon us. This summer has been pleasant. We did not experience a scorcher like we have in seasons past.

In Bureau County, fishermen have had some rewarding days in areas that did not suffer winter kill. The usual species around here have been caught with decent regularity, and the stringers of catfish have been above average.

Hunting season is just around the corner also, and I hope your kids attended a Hunters’ Safety Course and are eligible to hunt with you. If they missed the course, two more will be offered in September. Chillicothe Sportsman’s Club will have the course on Sept. 11-13. Princeton will have one on Sept. 27-28. For info or to register, call Lowell Bennett at 309-274-5586 for Chillicothe or Bob Stevens in Princeton at 815-866-7835 or the Met at 815-872-0840.

One popular shooting event in Bureau County is dove hunting. Many hunters have their own areas to hunt, but if you don’t, you can hunt Mautino State Fish and Wildlife Area or Hennepin Canal Parkway.

The season starts on Sept. 1, and you can hunt these areas by arriving at the site (either Mautino’s or the Canal Parkway) before 11 a.m. It takes a few minutes to register at the site, and then at 11 a.m., there will be a drawing to see which stake the group gets to hunt. Actual shooting hours are from noon to 5 p.m.. From Sept. 6-30, there will be no a.m. registration. Hours and bag limit will be the regular statewide rules.

Hunters are to use non-toxic shot, No. 6 steel shot or smaller, or No. 7-1/2 bismuth, tungsten, Hevishot or smaller. Good luck on your accuracy.

Waterfowl hunters have a chance at early seasons too. Early goose season will be from Sept. 1-15. Early teal season will be from Sept. 6-21. Illinois and federal waterfowl stamps are required.

Homestead weekend is a great weekend. This year, amongst all the others, the Class of ‘94 has its 20th reunion. I remember this class because they were very active in the Sportsman’s Club. I remember Scott Reed catching a lot of walleyes when he went on our Canada trip. This year, Justin Harris took his son to Black Bear Lodge also. Others tried duck hunting, deer hunting and were good fishermen also. So, Class of ‘94, I want to see many in attendance.

Lee Wahlgren is the BCR Outdoor Columnist. Contact him at pdub52@gmail.com.