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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 12-20-09

December 20, 2009 at 05:57 AM


Bodies of water at Snakeden Hollow State Fish and Wildlife Area.

New bow record?

Worth pondering in the weeks to come is whether Mason County bowhunter Dave Jones will keep his hold on the state record. Jones shot his big 36-pointer on Nov. 5, 2003 and the buck’s score of 267 1/8 inches has been the Illinois archery non-typical record ever since.

But there’s some chance a 37-pointer shot in the first week of November by bowhunter Chris Kiernan near Morris (pictured above) could make a run at the Jones buck.

Early word is that Kiernan’s buck green-scored at 266 inches. The earliest Kiernan’s buck can be officially scored is Jan. 4 after a mandatory 60-day drying period. Stay tuned.

Did you know?

Overall, nearly 50 percent of Illinois’ harvest of giant Canada geese consists of resident birds. Of that total, 25 percent are Illinois giant Canada geese and 25 percent hail from other neighboring states — most from Wisconsin and Minnesota.

Hennepin-Hopper update

After four weeks of pumping, there’s very little water left in Hennepin and Hopper lakes. In November the Department of Natural Resources salvaged gamefish from the lakes. Sometime next year the remaining water will be poisoned to kill off common carp. After that, the lakes will fill and fish will be restocked.

Birding bits

With any luck, we won’t ever have to read another story about someone shooting a whooping crane. Sadly, there was such a tale of woe this year from Vermillion County in Indiana along the central Illinois border. As Arlene Greiner of Morton notes, what compounds the sadness of this story is that the bird shot was the lone female in the experimental flock to successfully hatch and raise chicks.

That shooting came on Nov. 28 and bears repeating since whoopers have passed through Peoria County and central Illinois on several occasions. The most recent whoopers in the area were a group of three that spent Nov. 10-20 in Peoria County.

And word that two trumpeter swans were shot recently near Winfield, Mo. hammers home the same point: Be sure of what you are shooting at before you pull the trigger. There is no excuse for mistaking a swan or whooper for a snow goose. None.

Overall this has been a tough year for Operation Migration, the folks who lead whoopers south behind ultralight aircraft. On Dec. 13, their airplane hangar in Necedah, Wis. was vandalized and robbed.

You speak

“I started bowhunting in 1973 and you maybe saw one deer every five to seven hunts. I guess people are spoiled. They feel if they don’t see 3-7 deer every time they hunt they get jipped. These guys need to grow up and learn patience.”
— Jim Lierle, Marquette Heights

This ‘n that

A record 21,912 people attended last year’s Illinois Deer & Turkey Classic. This year’s event is Feb. 26-28.

... Presley’s Outdoors in Bartonville now has an online store (

... Federal officials plan to spend $13 million in Great Lakes restoration funds to halt the spread of Asian carp by closing conduits and shoring up low-lying land between the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal and other waterways.



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