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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 12-30-07

December 30, 2007 at 03:30 AM

Weight in pounds of the state record flathead catfish, caught in 1995 below Carlyle Lake.

CWD buck rules

Well, it turns out deer hunters can shoot bucks during the special chronic wasting disease season Jan. 18-20 in LaSalle, Boone, DeKalb, Grundy, McHenry, Ogle and Winnebago counties.

Last week in answering a question, we incorrectly fueled what reader Paul Rients called “the most debated, he-said, she-said controversy of the hunting season” in LaSalle County.

Sorry for the confusion. Here is an explanation from the Department of Natural Resource’s wildlife division.

Yes, hunters can shoot bucks during the special CWD season if they have unfilled either-sex firearm or muzzleloader permits or youth permits. But a hunter may not shoot more than two bucks in one season. So if you have already bagged two bucks, those either-sex tags are antlerless-only.

As for the $5 CWD permits, those are antlerless-only tags.

Wild on the Web

Visit to see the DNR’s new online trapper education course. Successful completion of the online tutorial counts for half of the required full-day trapper education class. To find classes in your area, visit or call 1-800-832-2599.

Powerton has the blues

Anglers seeking the blues should consider visiting Powerton Lake. The cooling lake southwest of Pekin opened to bankfishing last Monday and reports of big blue catfish have been turned in ever since.

Mark Vaughn and son Cordell Vaughn of Peoria had one of the best outings, catching and releasing blue cats of 42 pounds, 6 ounces and 36-7 on Christmas Day while fishing cut shad in the hot-water discharge.

“Fortunately I had the bigger fish,” Mark Vaughn said. “That thing had a head bigger than mine. That tells me there are 50-pounders in there.”

Powerton is also a hotspot for flathead catfish and some believe the lake may one day produce a state record. But flatheads typically do not bite well until the end of January.

Corn not everything

Is corn the key to good duck hunting? Often yes, but it’s not the only answer reminds waterfowl biologist Steve Havera.

“We’ve had ducks a lot longer than we’ve had corn,” Havera said. “I’m not saying it’s not important, but you need to have a mixture in nature. Ducks lose weight on just corn. They need some seeds. Mallards like native vegetation as well as anything.”

Submit club information

Seeking free publicity for your bass tournament series, shooting range, fishing club, sportsman’s club, conservation group or other outdoors organization? Then e-mail information to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or mail it to: Jeff Lampe, Journal Star, 1 News Plaza, Peoria, IL 61643.

We are compiling a directory for that may also be published periodically.

Critter corner

In the wilds of Illinois in January ...
Squirrels, beaver, opossums, coyotes and foxes begin to mate.
Biologists trap, transplant turkeys.
Bald eagles feed along rivers.
Whitetail bucks start losing antlers.
Red-tailed hawks perch along highways looking for field mice.
Raccoons den up during snow and ice storms.

This ‘n that

Illinois and Kentucky have agreed on uniform fishing regulations along the Ohio River. ... Reservations for 2008 for DNR campsites, cabins and picnic shelters can be made by mail starting Wednesday and in person or over the phone starting Feb. 1.

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