Outdoors: Breaking down buck scoring
By Dale Bowman Sun-Times Media January 16, 2014 9:02PM
Updated: February 18, 2014 6:42AM
I happened to walk past while Steve Lucas was measuring and scoring Rob Styka’s buck on Sunday at the Hammond Outdoor Sports Show.
Perfect timing to have Lucas, a master scorer for Buckmasters, explain the difference between their scoring and that of other organizations. Basically, Buckmasters does not deduct for abnormal or missing points.
Lucas has scored some of the most mythical bucks of recent years, including “Ginormica,’’ the 29-point non-typical taken by Travis Cockburn in southern Illinois in the 2011-12 season
Styka did not have a mythical buck, but a solid nine-point from the Cedar Lake area. The 10th-point on the left beam was missing. If scored by Pope and Young, it would have been a deduction (twice). Under Buckmasters scoring, his buck scored 127 0/8 cq inches.
Styka has more than a passing interest in local deer, beyond hunting by himself and with his sons Luke Hunter and Ben Archer. Styka is working with Whitetail Properties (whitetailproperties.com), which works in connecting those with hunting land with those who want hunting land.
He had been working in several counties in northeast Illinois and is now setting up in Lake, Newton, Benton and Porter counties.
“More people are interesting in buying,’’ he said. “It is a seller’s market.’’
That is the reality of hunting near an urbanized area.
Musky word: An Indiana Muskie Summit is 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at the American Legion Post in Fishers. For more, call Scott Law at (317) 625-2214. ... Musky Road Rules with speakers Mike Hulbert and Keith Cortopassi is Sunday at Cabela’s in Hammond. It costs $35. Register at muskyroadrules.com.
Fishing: For perch, the hot spot (when ice is able to be busted) remains the slip north of 87th Street on Chicago’s southeast side. As to public spots for ice fishing, Capt. Rich Sleziak at Slez’s Bait in Lake Station said, “Definitely ‘The Slough’ is the best place by far. Even if you can’t get the bluegill to bite, you can get as many bass as you want.’’ The bluegill had been loaded in back in the cattails, but now fishermen are getting them up front and in the main channel. If the bluegill slow, tip-ups produce unbelievable numbers of largemouth bass. There’s been some pike, but none of the monsters so far that occasionally come from “The Slough.’’ ... Three Rivers has been fair. Long-time guys are doing well on Long and Loomis, newbies not so well. “People are out, they are happy as a lark,’’ Sleziak said. ... Staff at Mik-Lurch Fishing Tackle Outlet in Hammond reported some steelhead in Trail, Salt and the Little Cal. Weather may make that tough.
Showtime: More big boats are in place this year at the Progressive Insurance Chicago Boat, Sports & RV Show (ChicagoBoatShow.com), which runs through Monday at McCormick Place North. ... The big Chicago shows are next week. The Chicago Outdoor Sports Show (chicagosportsmenshow.com) opens Wednesday at Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Ill. The Chicagoland Fishing, Travel & Outdoor Expo (sportshows.com/chicago/index.html) opens Thursday at the Schaumburg Convention Center in Schaumburg, Ill.
Geese: The next Canada goose season is Saturday to Jan. 29. With much locked up or under snow, geese are limited, though LaSalle Fish and Wildlife Area property manager Ken Bisacchi said they counted about 160 earlier in the week. Plenty of geese (dozens? 100s?) are congregating around the open-water by the aerator at the launch by the office at Willow Slough FWA before and after feeding, but really aren’t very huntable.
Places and faces: First-place winners in a poster contest, including Dane Hansen of Porter, will be honored at 9:05 a.m. Saturday at the 13th annual Winter Wonderland at Wolf Lake festival.