Although any warm-up above freezing will draw sauger anglers out to the Illinois River, February and early March tend to keep many anglers and hunters indoors.
Appropriately, though, indoors it is the season for outdoors shows (and boat shows, travel shows, golf shows, etc.) that gives outdoorsy types a place to go and things to do.
Locally, the American Sportsman Show and Hall of Fame induction and wild game feed is coming to the Ottawa Knights of Columbus Hall on March 2.
And this weekend, the La Salle inventor of the amazing minnow-bucket trick — the Take One Minnow Trap — is preparing to take his creation and his family to a show he likes in Tinley Park. Rob Pangrcic said he enjoys the Tinley Park Fishing Show (www.tinleyparkfishingshow.com) atTinley ParkHigh School, partly because it’s run by the high school athletic boosters and all proceeds from booth rentals, etc. go to the school.
He said he usually has luck selling the minnow traps and enjoys wowing show visitors. His patented minnow trap, if you didn’t know, is a dead-end tube on a stick. When it’s dipped in the water, one minnow will just dart inside, trying to hide. He said the trap works better in minnow buckets than in large live wells, in which the frightened minnows are likely to try to hide in corners.
Some of his buddies took the tool with them ice fishing. They told Pangrcic they had very little luck fishing, “but we had fun gambling on your minnow trap.” They were betting on how long it would take a minnow to dart in or which one would go in.
At Ottawa, Hank Walsh is preparing for the American Sportsman Show and Hall of Fame. He said he operated the show annually 1996-2000, until an ailment. He then cut back on the frequency but added the hall-of-fame inductions on odd years, 2003, ’05, ’07, ’09, ’11 and this year.
So far there have been 35 hall of fame inductees from in and around La Salle County, and five more will go in this year during the show at the Knights of Columbus in Ottawa. Admission is $10 (free for ages 12 and younger with a paying adult). The cost covers admission to the show featuring vendors starting at 3 p.m. The $10 also covers a wild game and fish dinner, as well as chances at door prizes including a three-night, four-day stay at Duck Point Resort, Tomahawk, Wis.
“I have a little more than 50 people cooking wild game and fish,” Walsh said.
The guest speaker, Illinois Department of Natural Resources district biologist Doug Dufford, will talk at 7:30 p.m., followed by the induction ceremony at 8 p.m., Walsh said.
At Henry: Also indoors this weekend is the 45th Henry Decoy Show (featuring duck decoys, duck calls and more) atHenry-SenachwineHigh School, 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday. The Charles Perdew Museum also will be open that day, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. The workshop, which honors the life and work of famed decoy carver Charles Perdw, is located near his house at914 Front St, not far from the riverfront in Henry.
Bureau County Pheasants Forever is preparing for its annual banquet. This year it’s March 7 at Bureau County Metro Center, Park Avenue West, Princeton. Doors open at 5 p.m.
There will be a meal, silent and live auction items and raffles.
The event raises funds to support youth programs and conservation and habitat-creation efforts, as well as funding to push for or defend against legislation.
Scott Wright of Sheffield said the chapter is preparing for a youth hunt March 23 near Ohio, Ill., and a seed giveaway later in the spring. A $30 membership qualifies landowners for some of the seed and feed that would support pheasants if they are around as well as other wildlife.
Wright commented that it’s hard to blame farmers for not creating habitat when they can get $7-$8 per bushel of corn; farmland and production on that land both are at a premium.
For more information, e-mail email@example.com.
La Salle County Pheasants Forever has its banquet Saturday, March 9 at Pitstick Pavilion, Route 23 north of Ottawa, with doors opening at 5 p.m., dinner at 6:30 p.m. and an auction following dinner. For more information, attend, contact Joe Grubar or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Or, call (815) 488-1390.
Lee County’s banquet is the same evening.