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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

Illinois hunting and fishing

Wild things 5-23-10

May 23, 2010 at 01:08 AM

Bluegill biting

A return to warmer, stable weather is sending bluegill to the spawning beds in much of central Illinois.

That translates into very good fishing for anyone who enjoys catching our state fish. Certainly that includes Ty Lauber of Chillicothe, pictured above with a bluegill he caught in April at Cabin Fever near Victoria.

If you fish for bluegill, here are tips to help you fill a 5-gallon bucket: light line, small hooks, small bobbers, crickets and waxworms.


Number of federally endangered species thought to spend time in Illinois, including the gray wolf which was omitted from last Friday’s column.

Something stinks

Look for big changes in the advertising campaign employed by Scent Lok, maker of deer-hunting apparel designed to reduce scent.

On May 13, U.S. Federal District Judge Richard Kyle issued a summary judgement saying Scent Lok is liable for false or deceptive advertising regarding the ability of its product to eliminate odor.

“Expert witnesses proved that the product simply cannot work as it is advertised, and the judge agreed,” said attorney Renae Steiner.

Also named in the lawsuit filed three years ago by a group of Minnesota hunters were Cabela’s Inc. and Gander Mountain Company. Plaintiffs can now seek restitution for money spent on Scent Lok products.

While the judge denied a class-action lawsuit against Scent Lok, plaintiffs have filed suit in eight other states, including Illinois.

Birding bits

Scientists discovered a new species of bird in Colombia, South America. The Fenwick’s Antpitta inhabits a highly restricted area of cloud forest where dwarf bamboo forests grow on rich volcanic soil.

Did you know?

Since 1985 the National Wild Turkey Federation has spent more than $3.1 million on projects within Illinois. That includes $912,526 on habitat enhancement, $660,368 on education and $304,109 on outreach events for women, youngsters and disabled hunters.

Spring Lake change

Starting June 1, anyone who operates a boat on south Spring Lake from the spillway through the Pike Hole will be limited to running on trolling motors only. The change is designed to protect the shoreline and to avoid undercutting the road that runs along the lake.

This ‘n that

Powerton Lake is closed to fishing Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday for work on the levees.

... This was not only the warmest April in Illinois history, it was also the warmest April ever recorded in the world based on records dating back to 1880. Average temperature was 58.1 degrees.

... Wet weather has been hampering this year’s bluebird hatch, as “Bluebird Herb” Unkrich has only 93 fledglings so far out of 216 hatchlings in his 68 bluebird nests.

... Deadline for the sale of Illinois Sportsman’s & Parks raffle tickets has been extended to Sept. 1. The Illinois Conservation Foundation is selling 4,000 tickets at $100 each for a first prize of $100,000 and 49 other cash prizes. Call (217) 523-4554 or visit

... Earl Stalter of Elmwood reports his first deer fawn sighting of the year.

... Lake Shelbyville’s beaches at Sullivan and Dam West open Saturday. Opening of Wilborn Creek Beach has been delayed until a new shower building is finished.




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