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Jeff Lampe
Jeff Lampe

Jeff Lampe has been outdoor writer at the Journal Star in Peoria for 12 duck seasons. He lives in Elmwood with his wife Monica, sons Henry, Victor and Walter, and Llewellin setter Hawkeye. A native of Buffalo, N.Y., he is an avid fan of the Bills and still has mental scars from four consecutive Super Bowl losses. Outside of hunting and fishing, Lampe's main passion in Illinois was Class A boys basketball (which sadly no longer exists). Former publisher of the Class A Weekly newsletter, Lampe is a co-author of "100 Years of Madness" and "Classical Madness," both books focusing on prep basketball in Illinois.

Illinois Outdoors


A Web log by Jeff Lampe of the Journal Star

Wild Things 1-25-09

January 25, 2009 at 03:11 AM


Bluebills fitted with radio transmitters in Henderson and Hancock counties for a study into declining numbers of these diving ducks.

Funding extension?

The future of $16 million in funding for the Department of Natural Resources remains in limbo. At issue is the diversion of money from funds that include federal dollars.

While the Illinois House and Senate passed a bill to restore the funds (SB 1132), the ongoing impeachment trial of Gov. Blagojevich makes it unlikely he can sign the bill by a Feb. 2 deadline stipulated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. As a result, Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn has petitioned USFWS for an extension.

Scaup study

Illinois biologists are assisting researchers from Louisiana State University who are studying scaup to determine why populations of these diving ducks have declined.

Birds fitted with satellite transmitters in Pool 19 of the Mississippi River have travelled as far north as Saskatchewan and as far south as Cuba. One duck covered 2,068 miles in just over 76 hours.
Illinois hunters shot an estimated 14,416 bluegills in 2007-08, more than any state in the Mississippi Flyway. Research shows Pool 19 is an important rest stop for scaup during their return trip north in
the spring.

Wild on the Web

Fishing personality Jim Crowley of Bloomington has a new Web site ( that will focus on fishing and hunting.

You speak

“The Department of Natural Resources has suffered from the Blagojevich administration and his previous appointees. It is time for the agency to be run by a resource professional who knows the policy issues, the interests various constituencies and the science. Passing the legislature’s crony test of loyalty alone would not bode well for meeting the needs of the agency.”
— Lou Nelms, Mason City

Kudos corner

In 2008, Illinois’ 45 Pheasants Forever and 17 Quail Forever chapters spent more than $620,000 to improve, protect and restore 13,938 acres of habitat. PF also bankrolled the planting of 58,061 trees and shrubs and sponsored 3,381 youngsters at shooting events, conservation days and mentor hunts.

Since 1982, Illinois PF/QF chapters have raised and spent $11.1 million to resore and protect more than 275,000 acres of habitat.

Giant geese

As another Canada goose hunting season draws to an end, closing Saturday across Illinois, Illinois native Ken Lance asks an interesting question. “What’s the heaviest goose any hunter has ever weighed?”

Lance, who now lives in Dillsburg, Pa., grew up hunting in Putnam and LaSalle counties. He recalls killing big geese there, but said his largest honker weighed 16.8 pounds and was killed in
Pennsylvania. Now he wonders, how does that stack up against geese killed by Illinois waterfowlers? Let us know.

This ‘n that

While most outdoors shows have seen attendance declines, the SHOT Show held earlier this month in Orlando, Fla. enjoyed a 3 percent increase compared to its last visit to Orlando.

... Jim Beaty’s 48.5-inch muskie caught at Kinkaid Lake last Nov. 2 was the largest toothy critter weighed in at an Illinois Muskie Tournament Trail event. The first IMTT tourney this year will be March 21 at Spring Lake in Tazewell County. Call Bob Taylor at (309) 261-0474 for details.

... Sigurd and Richard Bjorklund counted 48 bald eagles on Jan. 16 at Chautauqua Lake. They also saw more than 50 robins nearby.


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