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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 7-20-08

July 20, 2008 at 03:46 AM


Number of Illinois deer confirmed to have died from chronic wasting disease since 2003.

Archery grand opener

Ellsworth Archery in Banner has its grand opening Saturday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., featuring free hot dogs and drinks, door prizes and specials on bows, arrows and accessories.

The shop on Illinois Route 24 sells Martin, Pearson and Reflex bows and has 16 archery indoor lanes. Bait is also available. Hours are 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. Call (309) 647-6666 or 338-2397.

“Future plans are to have an instructor to teach archery skills, as well as to rent bows so people won’t have to own to shoot,” said Rebecca Ellsworth, who runs the shop with her husband Gary Ellsworth.

Upland applications

Hunters who want a free Illinois upland game permit must visit to apply this year. Paper applications will not be accepted. You still need to cross your fingers to be drawn for one of these valuable permits, though.

Wild on the Web

Visit to learn about Mississippi Flyway waterfowl.

Duck blind drawings

“Woodstock with guns” returns to state waterfowl sites along the Illinois River next Sunday, July 27 when thousands of would-be waterfowlers will attend duck-blind drawings.

Drawings next Sunday are at 2 p.m. at the following Illinois River sites: Anderson Lake, Lake DePue (at Oak Grove Park), Marshall (including Sparland), Meredosia Bay, Rice Lake, Sanganois, Spring Lake (including Clear Lake), Starved Rock and Woodford.

Drawings Saturday are at Chain O’Lakes, Des Plaines Conservation Area, Kankakee River SP, Mazonia, Shabbona Lake, Sinnissippi Lake and William Powers.

To participate you must be 16, have a current Illinois Firearm Owner’s ID (unless you are under 21 and accompanied by an adult) and a 2007 or 2008 hunting license with an Illinois migratory waterfowl stamp.

Among many duck-blind drawings is the Canton firefighters gun-a-month raffle kicking off at Rice and Anderson lakes. Call (309) 208-2601 or 338-3183.

Outdoor answers

“Do you know what lake it is west of Banner across from Rice Lake? It looks like a pretty good-sized lake but I’ve never heard about one being over there other than Rice. Is it open to public fishing?”
— Brad Morris, Peoria

A: The lake you see is a cooling reservoir for Ameren Cilco’s Duck Creek Power Plant — the vaunted El Cilco, home to huge bass and crappie and abundant catfish and bluegill if we can believe the tales of trespassers.

Despite frequent requests to allow angling, Ameren does not allow public fishing. That’s not really surprising since Ameren has sold hunting rights surrounding the lake to an outfitter.

All that by a company whose mission statement claims: “We are dedicated to meeting our social, community and environmental responsibilities.” Can you say lip service?

Kudos corner

Walt Winget of Peoria won the super senior class in hunting and heavy rifle classes at the Silhouette National Championship rifle matches July 6-8 at Ridgway, Penn.

This ‘n that

  • Illinois sold 17,219 of 25,000 non-resident archery deer hunting permits in June. The 7,781 bow tags left go on sale Aug. 12 at 8 a.m.
  • Of 490 bluebird eggs laid in nest boxes maintained by Herb Unkrich of Edwards, 378 hatched and 277 fledged.
  • BASS’s Elite series will visit the Mississippi River and Fort Madison, Iowa on June 11-14, 2009. 



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