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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 1-31-10

January 31, 2010 at 01:05 AM


Whooping cranes in the flock that migrates from Wisconsin to Florida.

Western whoopers ailing

The significance of an experimental population of whooping cranes east of the Mississippi River has been underlined by problems facing the western flock. Biologists expect whoopers in Texas to face a second straight die-off due to a lack of blue crabs, the endangered bird’s main winter food source. Last winter 23 whoopers died. Latest estimates put the Texas flock at 263 birds after one chick died and another went missing.

You speak

“What upsets me most is that instead of spending research and development dollars for giving hunters better-quality products, manufacturers pad the pockets of ‘pros’ to sell you and me on television and in magazine ads.”
— Les Davenport, from an article on North American Whitetail magazine posted on

Birding bits

Birders are upset about a reported ivory-billed woodpecker sighting from the Sabine River between Texas and Louisiana. The sighting was reported by Daniel Rainsong, a gambler called “The Wizard of Odds.” Rainsong has so far produced no proof.

Kudos corner

At last weekend’s Pheasants Forever state convention, the Illinois River Valley chapter was honored for its work recruiting youth hunters and for planting the most acres of habitat among Illinois chapters in 2009. Chapter president Nick Ripley was honored with membership in the Long Spur Society. Woodford County was also recognized for having topped $100,000 in habitat expenses.

Critter corner

In the wilds of Illinois in February ...
Chipmunks are out on warm days.
Red-winged blackbirds, mallards, wood ducks and robins start to return.
Skunks, raccoons, groundhogs and minks mate.
First squirrels are born.
Moles are active in deep tunnels.
White-tailed deer feed in groups.

This ‘n that

The first Illinois High School Association bass tournament will be televised Saturday on Babe Winkelman’s Good Fishing Show at 6:30 a.m. on Fox Sports Midwest (Channel 57, Peoria’s Comcast cable). ... Spring Lake needs a campground host to start April 15. Call (309) 968-7135.


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