Welcome to Illinois Outdoors at ChicagoNow

Illinois Outdoors is now part of the ChicagoNow.com website.  I am quite honored to share my experiences and informing the readers of the latest in outdoor news each week with an entertaining and informative post on fishing, hunting and the outdoors.  And I am also so excited that I will now be doing the outdoors column for the Chicago Tribute every Tuesday. 

Allow me to tell you a bit about myself.  My name is Don Dziedzina.   Growing up in the City of Chicago, I didn't do much fishing.  As a young child, I wet a line for the first time.  My uncle took me fishing at the Kankakee River.  My father didn't fish or hunt and that's okay; he was there for me though for little league at the Back of the Yards.

At a little order age, another uncle took me fishing at the lake next to his farm near Rhinelander, Wisconsin.  We fished from a wooden row boat that had a slat floor that was good for nothing more than loosing nightcrawlers.  We dug up the crawlers from a compost heap next to the barn.

For my first time fishing in my adult life, a trip was taken to Fish Lake in Volo, Illinois.  This is where the joy of fishing became addictive. The crappie fishing was phenomenal and what a great fish fry was had that night.

Hunting was new to me and it all began in the fields of Lemont and Orland Townships in the early 1970's.  Pheasants and rabbits were plentiful. I had more spots to hunt than could actually be hunted throughout the season.  Today those fields are called subdivisions.

With over twenty-five years of experience of writing outdoor columns, my passion for the outdoors has grown even more.

Now I am the producer and host of the Illinois Outdoors TV Show which is seen throughout most all of the northern half of Illinois, NW Indiana, and SW Michigan.  You can learn more about the TV show by clicking on the ILLINOIS OUTDOORS TV SHOW Link above.

In 2006 I joined Jim DaRosa and Ray Ludkevicz as the third co-host of the Fishing Line and Outdoor Radio Show, a syndicated show that has been on the air for over twenty-six years. There is a link above to see more about the radio show.

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Tags: @sportsfront

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  • Thanks, you're the first to post on my new blog. I hope many people jump in and get involved.

    Besides having the outdoors column in the Chicago Tribune, this will be another great avenue for me to share outdoors information with the readers. It's great that we can communicate in this manner.

    I'm going to do my best to keep this all entertaining and informative and to promote the outdoors as best I can.

  • In reply to DonDziedzina:

    Hey, Don. We are glad to have you aboard.

  • In reply to DonDziedzina:

    DZ....congrats on the Tribune gig.....I know all outdoor fans are looking foward to reading your weekly column!

  • In reply to DonDziedzina:

    GOOD TO SEE SOME ONE TOOK UP THE MANTLE OF THE PAST MEN WHO LOVED THE SPORT OF NATURE FOR WHAT IT IS, ONE WRITER , PLAYED HIS GAME, WORRIED MORE ABOUT THE FREEBIES HE COULD GLOM, SAW HIS PLACE IN MARENGO , MANY TIMES , AS I HUNTED THAT AREA WHEN IT WAS FARMS. THE LATE BIG JOHN WAS GOOD TO READ, ROAD KILL WAS NOT BENEATH HIM, MY KIND OF GUY , TO SHARE A WARM ONE ONE A DAMN COLD DAY, WHEN HE WROTE , YOU WERE THERE. KID I HAVE MOVED TO THE SILLY STATE OF FLORIDA, BUT THE SMELL OF NEW FALLEN SNOW, THE CACKLE OF A RISING ROOSTER INTO THE COLD ILLINOIS AIR, IS SOME THING A TRUE MIDWESTERN HUNTER WILL NEVER SHED. GOOD LUCK KID, THE TRUE SPORTSMAN WHO READ YOUR WORDS, {BE HONEST AND DO YOUR HOMEWORK} WILL BE THE JUDGES OF YOUR FUTURE. A TRUE HUNTER FROM THE GREAT STATE OF ILLINOIS

  • In reply to bilme134:

    Thank you all for making me feel so welcome. I enjoy doing the columns and enjoy hearing from readers. This is a great forum for that. Feel free to toss in your questios too. I'll do my best to answer them and if I don't have one, hopefully someone out there in Greater Chicagoland will help me out. I truly feel that one way to make things better in the outdoors, to catch more fish, and to do better in the fields and woods, is by sharing experiences and knowledge. Thanks guys.

  • In reply to bilme134:

    Welcome to ChicagoNow! Echoing Bill, we're glad to have you.

  • In reply to TracySchmidt:

    Thanks Tracy. Sharing information on this blog will be fun. I hope a lot of people stop by not just to look but to post comments as well. Thanks for this opportunity and Happy New Year.

  • In reply to TracySchmidt:

    Hi Don,
    It's GREAT news to have you the Chicago Tribune Outdoor Writer and Reporter.
    What a great way to start a New Year.
    Outdoorsmen, women too, will be looking forward to your informative reporting and articles.

  • In reply to KenD:

    Thanks Ken. For your information and all who visit this blog, I will be doing the Weekly Fishing Reports that will run along side my column on Tuesdays.

    I may be reaching out for you Ken to get some reports on the Fox River.

  • In reply to KenD:

    Thanks Don,

    Looking forward to giving you updated reports, on conditions and action.

    Right now, it's so cold, the minnows are shivering, when I take them out of the bucket, to bait the hooks.

  • In reply to KenD:

    It's the first time I've seen an IL River report in Jan. My favorite place to fish. Great to have you in my favorites file. I read the Trib every am since I've retired and look forward to your columns. Cnsrvfsh

  • In reply to RWVelds:

    The Illinois River, when not flooded or frozen is a great place to take the boat and catch some winter sauger. A few spots that are always good are down river from Starved Rock, along the channel just west of the bridge. Another is up river from the bridge by Barto Landing in Spring Valley. The third is just down river by a hundred yards from where the Fox spills into the Illinois in Ottawa.

    These ware good winter holding spots for the sauger.

    I think it is important for anglers to know that there are places that they can go in the winter. I've travelled to the IL River trailering my boat during the winter on a really nice day. It would have been good, but the ramp where I went was frozen over. Getting the boat in would be no problem, but getting it out could have been a challenge. I like the idea of informing people that you can or cannot fish certain areas. Save 'em a trip I say.

    Thanks for reading my column and for visiting this site. Keep us posted on some of your fishing trips.

  • In reply to DonDziedzina:

    Thanks for supporting some of my favorite spots. I always carry a bucket of salt and sand for the ramps and that helps a lot. I may have the guts to dodge the ice floes later this week. I'm just 40 min from Ottawa and may take a run down there just to check things out. I'll keep you posted. Dick V Bristol Twp, IL

  • In reply to RWVelds:

    Well thanks. FYI, I've check with Time on the Water Outdoors (the old Riverside Marine in Spring Valley). Tackle Tom told me today that the river is frozen and not even barge traffic on the river. We need a thaw to open the river up so we can fish the wintering sauger spots.

    The Barto Landing, by the way is a steep ramp and the little bay that it is in is often frozen. Drive across the river and try the Spring Valley Marina and ask them about their ramps if you want to fish that area when it begins to open up.

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