Illinois Outdoors at PrairiestateOutdoors.com
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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
 

Scattershooting

A Web log by Jeff Lampe of the Journal Star

Open Blog Thursday

March 27, 2008 at 06:43 AM

The sun was shining this week. That means I went fishing. That means I’m way behind. That means I’ve got to beg you once again ... please ... take over.

FROM Denny Fulk of Pottstown:

“The Pottstown 3-D Range will open the weekend of April 5-6 and remain open every weekend through September. Registration time each day is 7 a.m. to noon.”

FROM Lou Lenz of Sparland:

“The Wightman bottom project, a wetland restoration joint effort between Ducks Unlimited and the Audobon Society on the edge of Sparland is now complete. Trees were planted last summer and I hear the levees will be seeded soon. It is filled from a standpipe in Gimlet creek and also by levee gates that allow the river to enter during periods of high water. It is amazing how quickly things began to happen. Gulls arrived immediately and waterfowl are now very active. I have seen Bald Eagles siting on the levees as well as many turkey buzzards.

“As of yet I have seen no Pelicans on the water but hope they start to use it soon. They were late to arrive this year. The earliest reported to me was March 16 and my wife saw some on the 22nd, I saw a few on the 23rd.  Last year I saw them the Feb. 28 and the year before, Feb. 22. 

“Although this is much smaller than the ‘Hennepin-Hopper’ project it should attract the same amount of different species of birds and other plants and animals. Having a bird’s-eye view of this from a bluff above it will be interesting to monitor this on a daily basis.”

FROM Lynn Wilcox of Blue Mound:

“That white turkey in your picture of the day, is called a smoke-phase turkey,Illinois Outdoors if you did not know. Kind of like the silver-phased turkey you had a picture of a few weeks ago. I attached a picture of a smoke-phase hen (shown at right), I got a picture of last spring. Sorry I did not get a good picture of my hen, the weeds were missing me up. I have seen her the last two years, twice each spring. I hope to get a better picture of her next month.”

FROM Jim Maxon of Wingman Lures.

“My company is creating a new category of swimbaits called wingbaits. Wingman is the original Wingbait. We debuted with 30-second TV commercials late last fall in Tampa/St. Petersburg and Jacksonville, Fla. We are currently attending trade shows around the country. I invite you to visit our Web site and discover the unbelievable undulating action for yourself. Although our products are not yet available in retail stores, I would be interested in your assessment.”

FROM Rita McCabe:

“The annual spring courtship of the male woodcock is both daring and dramatic. In late evenings the male begins by ascending, producing a twittering sound while he circles at the top of his climb. Then he plunges back to the Prairie making sharp turns in direction producing a series of loud and varied chirps. This ritural is usually repeated several times over a period of twilight evenings before the male achieves success in attracting a female. Because of lack of habitat, the woodcock’s numbers are much diminished. But he can still be seen at the Wolf Road Prairie in Westchester. Local bird expert, John Banaszak, will be leading guided woodcock walks at 7 p.m. on both April 2 and April 11.  If you are interested, you can meet John at the 31st Street kiosk just west of Wolf Road. Call 708-354-5512 or visit http://www.savetheprairiesociety.org for more information.”

 

 

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