Outdoors: Maybe some of us are just born to hunt

I well remember my youngest son, Freddy, watching a hunting show on TV. He finally looked up at me and said, “I want to go hunting, Dad.”

My grandpa, dad and most of my relatives hunted, so it was like a family tradition. My son was brought into an era of cellphones, computers and video games. He also is the lead vocalist in a band, so I was surprised to say the least.

Surprised, but not at all disappointed.

“When will I get my first gun, Dad?” he asked.

“When you are a few years older,” I promised.

He kept reminding me every year that he was getting older and more trustworthy. So on his 10th birthday, I surprised him with a .410 shotgun. His ear-to-ear smile on that birthday said it all. Unfortunately, I had not prepared well. We did practice a few hours a week with my single-shot rifle.

When hunting season began, we were sitting in a weak excuse for a water-foul blind, and nothing showed up. I sincerely hoped this wouldn’t have a negative effect on him, even though he didn’t become bored. In fact, he even became more pushy to continue to hunt. After that, things got a lot better. He got his first mallard drake on the next hunt and was proud as a peacock. When we sat down to eat that bird, he reminded us that he took that bird that we were eating.

As the years went by, he also became a fishing legend, winning some local bass tournaments. But hunting was still on his mind. His mother always said that he was the third generation. He now is an excellent plumber, which keeps him out of the woods more. Both of his daughters have been through college, and one is now teaching school.

How lucky am I?

La Salle County Pheasants Forever

The chapter is sponsoring a Sporting Clays Event for youth and their families June 12. It is a good time for families to spend time in the outdoors. This will be held at the Downers Grove Sportsmen’s Club, 4700 W. Old Stage Road in Morris. Times are 8:30 a.m., then breakfast, and the shooting starts right after. You must be preregistered. Call Chuck Eiben at 815-488-1390 to register and get all the information.

Hunting report

Again, I have not heard how our county did during the wild turkey hunts. I am seeing a few more birds this year. I haven’t seen any polts (young birds) yet, but I am still looking.

Mushroom hunters finally are having a good year for morels and pheasant mushrooms. I got a good bundle of wild asparagus this week.

Fishing report

There have been a few nice catfish taken at Allen Park and near the old rescue squad area. Overall, the Illinois and Fox rivers have not produced fish like they usually do this time of year. I don’t know what is causing this dilemma.

Cooling lakes are producing some nice catches of bluegills, hybrid striped bass and catfish. That is, if the wind isn’t blowing so one can launch a boat.

• Fred Krause is a Shaw Media correspondent.

Fred Krause

Fred Krause

Fred is an avid outdoorsman who has been writing about his passion for decades.