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Chicago outdoors: Beak-to-beak woodpeckers, NY record smallmouth, SCOTUS reaction, bluegill as bait

Notes come from around Chicago outdoors and beyond.

WILD OF THE WEEK

Michael Dodd photographed two hairy woodpeckers at his feeder. When I asked if it was love or one trying to steal from other, he replied, “No, one feeding the other.”

WOTW, the celebration of wild stories and photos around Chicago outdoors, runs most weeks in the special two-page outdoors section in the Sun-Times Sports Saturday. To make submissions, email [email protected] or contact me on Facebook (Dale Bowman), Twitter (@BowmanOutside) or Instagram (@BowmanOutside).

DALE’S MAILBAG

“Is it legal in Illinois to use bluegills as bait? Mike Wright

A: Short answer is yes, as long as legally caught. A more complete answer is at ifishillinois.org/FAQS/.

BIG NUMBER

8-6: Pounds-ounces of the New York record smallmouth bass caught June 15 from Cayuga Lake by Thomas Russell Jr.; announced June 29 by New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

Thomas Russell Jr. with his New York record smallmouth bass.

LAST WORD

“Fifty years ago, Congress responded to the urgent health and environmental threats facing our communities with a suite of bipartisan laws that serve as the bedrock of our nation’s environmental protections. This ruling makes the responsibility of this Congress just as serious.”

Marshall Johnson, chief conservation officer, National Audubon Society, on the Supreme Court ruling on June 30 curtailing the Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to regulate carbon pollution

WILD TIMES

FISH GATHERINGS

Tuesday, July 12: Jim Stepp, four-time Boat of the Year for SU, on fishing lake and brown trout, Salmon Unlimited, Thornwood Restaurant & Lounge, Wood Dale, 7 pm, salmonunlimitedinc.com

Thursday, July 14: Ken “Husker” O’Malley, Riverside Fishing Club, LaGrange American Legion, 6:30 pm, RiversideFishingClub.com

HALL OF FAME

Through Monday, July 11: Nominations accepted for the 2022 class to the Illinois Outdoor Hall of Fame, [email protected], (217) 785-2003

WINGSHOOTING CLINICS

Aug. 13-14: Shabbona Lake State Recreation Area, Rich Carlson, (815) 757-2949

SALMON-A-RAMA

Today, July 9-July 17: Headquartered at Reefpoint Brewing House parking lot, Racine, Wisconsin, salmon-a-rama.com

HUNTER SAFETY

Aug. 13-14: Kankakee, (815) 935-2700

BIOBLITZ/POLLINATORS

July 23: Family-friendly bioblitz on pollinators (limited capacity), The Wetlands Initiative’s Dixon Waterfowl Refuge, Hennepin, no fee but must register here

US COAST GUARD AUXILIARY

Next Saturday, July 16: Boat America, Chicago, Dan O’Connell, [email protected]

ILLINOIS PERMITS

Friday, July 15: Applications, second lottery, fall shotgun turkey, open

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