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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 5-9-10

May 09, 2010 at 07:17 AM

Home remodel pays

While in the process of remodeling their home last year, an Indiana couple made a lucrative discovery: 10 antique duck decoys.

Fast forward to April 22-23 when those decoys sold for $154,337.50 during an auction in St. Charles conducted by Guyette and Schmidt, Inc. One of those birds was a turned-head mallard carved by
Robert Elliston of Bureau that brought $100,625.

“It was a good deal for (the Indiana couple) and we’re happy they did well,” said Guyette & Schmidt co-owner Frank Schmidt, a Chillicothe native. “That should at least pay for their new garage.”

Purchasing the rare Elliston decoy was former Gov. Jim Thompson (pictured above at right with Joe Tonelli of Spring Valley). Thompson has an extensive collection of Illinois River decoys.

Schmidt said decoy prices have not dropped as significantly as many investments during the economic downturn. For instance, the 25th annual St. Charles auction grossed nearly $2.5 million and 44 items sold for more than $10,000.

“If you have good things the people have the money or find the money to buy them,” Schmidt said.

Free decoy appraisal

Do you have an antique duck decoy you would like to have appraised? Guyette & Schmidt offers free appraisals for anyone who sends a photo and a self-addressed, stamped envelope to: Guyette & Schmidt, Inc.; P.O. Box 1170; St. Michaels, MD 21663.

Birding bits

Illinois Audubon has opened the Margery Adams Bird Banding Station at its Adams Sanctuary in Springfield. Avian biologist Vern Kleen does banding most weekday mornings through the spring migration.

Observers can watch birds being weighed, measured and banded and can hold and release birds. All for no charge. The sanctuary is located at 2315 Clear Lake Ave. in Springfield, accessed from the north via Exit 98 off Interstate 55. To confirm the schedule, call (217) 544-2473 or (217) 544-5781.

Fishing discussion

Journal Star outdoor writer Jeff Lampe will discuss central Illinois fishing hotspots on Tuesday at Eureka Public Library starting at 6:30 p.m. He will also give away some free fishing lures during the discussion, which is free and open to the public. To reserve a seat call (309) 467-2922.

Dip of the week

An Oregon man who posted photos of his big-game kills on a website has been convicted of poaching and ordered to pay $10,000 in restitution. Paul Harvey III of Grants Pass, Ore., illegally killed seven deer and two elk while hunting in Montana.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks wardens said Harvey had posted big-game pictures and shot animals in Montana but had not purchased a hunting license from 1996-2007. He lost hunting privileges for five years, as did his father, Paul Harvey Jr., who also had to pay $5,000 in restitution.

This ‘n that

The Illinois River Hunting Retriever Club has a hunt test at Banner Marsh Saturday and next Sunday, May 16. Stop by the check station each day to learn the test locations. ... Jake Gerst of Toulon won Elmwood Insurance Agency’s shed-antler contest with a Peoria County shed that measured 86 6/8 inches. Don Foster was second with an 83 3/8-inch Knox County shed.


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