Election night is usually a late one in the newspaper world. And it usually involves beer.
Which means getting up early the next day is not always an option.
But today was an exception. After what has been mostly a long, boring duck season, waterfowlers in the Illinois River Valley finally started to get well on Tuesday after a push of new birds arrived.
Hunters have been reporting big flocks of teal, mallards, widgeon and ring necks in good numbers.
Hot hunting continued this morning in the blind I was lucky enough to occupy at Banner Marsh with The Farmer and Mike McLuckie.
By the time I left (early, had to get to work) we already had nine birds in hand. And mallards were just starting to fly.
After a mostly forgettable start to duck season, that was a welcome change.
And for more good news, Canada geese are back in season here in the Central Zone on Saturday.
This is our cover for June, 2016.
Drake Elam, 3, of Collinsville was happy to catch this farm pond fish on a family outing.
We decided it had all the elements we like … except for a Cubs hat. But this is an outdoors magazine, not a baseball fan magazine. So the Cardinals hat was fine, given the big fish, happy kid and overall feel of the picture.
Competing publications may sell out with pictures sent to them by boat dealers. We do not. Maybe we are not smart enough, but my feeling is we should feature the people who read the magazine. Enough soap boxing.
Thanks to all who sent in pictures. We will have many more bluegill images in our July issue and there are plenty in June, as well.
The June issue should be available with fine advertisers now. So get a copy. Read. Admire Drake. Subscribe.
And start sending catfish pictures for the July cover. We’ve got some good entries, but there’s always room for more.
Our selection gets bragging rights and a free subscription.
Thanks again to all who participated. It was fun to see all those big bluegill and smiling faces.
I’d like to think we’ve been on a roll lately with some great reader-submitted pictures for the covers of Heartland Outdoors.
Wyatt Nitzsche of Mossville and his turkey made the May cover one of my favorites. It was a great picture.
Unlike many magazines, which feature prominent national anglers or sell their covers to the highest bidder (yes it happens) we long ago made a decision to feature normal folks on the cover of Heartland Outdoors.
Well, mostly normal folks. Chef Todd has graced a few covers, after all, and to call him normal would be inaccurate.
All of which is a long-winded way to say, WE NEED A COOL BLUEGILL PICTURE for the June cover.
While we’re at it, we also NEED A COOL CATFISH PICTURE for the July cover.
As for the rest of the year, they pretty much take care of themselves.
Anyone whose photo is selected will get a free one-year subscription sent to the reader of their choice.
We need the bluegill pictures no later than Wednesday at 5 p.m.
The catfish deadline is more generous, but why wait?