Outdoors briefs

July 5, 2018

Monee wildlife

From 1 to 2 p.m. Thursdays each week of the summer, the Forest Preserve District of Will County will offer free “I Spy Wildlife” programs to explore trails with naturalist leading explorations in search of wildlife.

Each week will be a new search to see if turtles are sunning, the frogs croaking or a heron wading the shallows looking for a meal.

Registration isn’t required.

The program includes hiking preserve trails over uneven terrain. Anyone who requires an auxiliary aid or service to participate in this program should mention their request when registering or submit a request online no later than 48 hours before the program.

Safari for kids

A one-hour outdoor safari for children ages 3 to 6 will be held beginning at 11 a.m. Saturday at Exploration Station at Perry Farm, off Kennedy Drive in Bradley.

The fee is $9, with a $1 member discount.

Participants will create safari vests and binoculars and will be on the lookout for all sorts of different animals.

Photo paddle

A “Photo Paddle” will take place 8 to 11 a.m. July 14 at Monee Reservoir, providing the opportunity to experience photography with a new perspective.

The “Photo Paddle” is for ages 16 and older and costs $20 per person. Register two days before the event at 708-534-8499 or online at ReconnectWithNature.org.

Little Explorers

CHANNAHON — “Little Explorers” programs will be held 10 to 11:30 a.m. Wednesdays, July 11, Aug. 15 and Sept. 12, at the Forest Preserve District of Will County’s Four Rivers Environmental Education Center at Channahon.

A new nature theme is chosen every month, and a variety of group and free play activities will be available. The free program is for ages 3 to 5. Register two days before each program at ReconnectWithNature.org or by calling 815-722-9470.

Nature play days

“Nature Play Days” will be held 10 to 11:30 a.m. Wednesdays, July 11, Aug. 8 and Sept. 12, at the Forest Preserve District of Will County’s Plum Creek Nature Center, off Goodenow Road, east of Illinois Route 1 between Beecher and Crete.

Hands-on activities could include a hike, story, games, music, art and more. The free program is for ages 3 to 5. Registration is not required.

Birding by Boat

A “Birding by Boat” program will be offered 9 to 10:30 a.m. July 14 at Will County’s Rock Run Rookery Preserve on Youngs Road, south of U.S.. Route 6 (Eames St.), on the south side of Joliet.

A naturalist will lead participants in kayaks through the former quarry, just off the Des Plaines River. Kayaking experience is required. The fee is $20. Participants must be 18 or older. Register by Friday at ReconnectWithNature.org or by calling 815-722-9470.

Learn to kayak

The Forest Preserve District of Will County will offer “Kayak Kollege,” noon-2:30 p.m. July 14 at Monee Reservoir, between Peotone and Monee.

The beginners’ program is for ages 12 and older and costs $50 per person. All necessary equipment is provided. Register at least two days before the program at ReconnectWithNature.org or by calling 708-534-8499.

Vermont wildlife chief breaks rule

Vermont’s top game warden is among 100 successful bear hunters who failed to comply with a new regulation that they submit a tooth from the bear they shot so it can be studied by biologists.

The regulation for hunters to submit a pre-molar tooth within 48 hours of shooting a bear was new for the 2017 bear hunting season.

The Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife said Col. Jason Batchelder, the state’s top game warden, was one of the hunters who did not submit a tooth on time. Batchelder eventually submitted the tooth but after the deadline.

The department says that, as is common with new regulations, none of the hunters were ticketed.

The department is planning to step up its efforts this summer to better inform hunters of the requirement.

Georgia’s coyote challenge challenged

ATLANTA — A coalition of more than 25 wildlife and animal protection organizations are objecting to the upcoming second year of the “Georgia Coyote Challenge” that involves killing the animals.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported the Humane Society of the United States and other groups recently sent letters urging Gov. Nathan Deal to cancel the event.

During the six-month period from March to August, the challenge offers Georgia residents up to 10 chances to win a lifetime hunting license by providing photo evidence of having killed a coyote.

Last year, competitors killed 195 coyotes.

“Wildlife killing contests are antithetical to responsible hunting ethics,” said Christopher Mowry, associate professor of biology at Berry College and director of the Atlanta Coyote Project.

John Bowers, chief of game management for Georgia Wildlife Resources Division of Georgia Department of Natural Resources, said coyote removal is a part of game management.

“If I’m managing my property for wildlife, for deer or turkeys, and I’ve got an abundance of coyote on my property then those coyote need to be managed, too,” he said. “This is the time period. March through August is the best time period to lethally remove coyotes.”

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