Illinois Outdoors at PrairiestateOutdoors.com
RulesIllinois Outdoors at PrairiestateOutdoors.com
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

Wild Things 3-16-08

March 16, 2008 at 02:06 PM

11


Different species of ducks counted last Sunday at the Spring Lake Bottoms wetland units.

Huge pike caught

Angler Jim Saksa of Whiting, Ind. caught the 22.83-pound northern pike (above) while ice fishing at Wolf Lake near Chicago on March 2. Dale Bowman of the
Chicago Sun-Times reports the 42-inch fish hit a golden roach on a tip-up.  But the fish is smaller than the state record — Walter Klenzak’s 26.15-pounder caught Nov. 9, 1989 in a Kankakee County strip pit.

Eagle count record

This year’s bald eagle survey in Illinois set a record, with 4,292 eagles counted from Jan. 2-16. That’s 2,372 more than last year.

Most of the eagles (3,793) were in the Mississippi River basin and just 171 were counted along the Illinois River. Good news is that 40 percent of the birds counted were immature.

Gun rights rally

Hundreds of gun owners visited Springfield Tuesday as part of an annual Illinois State Rifle Association event in the state capitol.

Many of those in attendance lobbied for House Bill 4544 proposed by Rep. Aaron Schock, R-Peoria, which would provide for concealed carry permits to qualifying applicants 21 or older who complete a training course in handgun use and marksmanship.

Wild on the Web

Bloomington bass angler and radio personality Terry Brown has a new fishing Web site (Wired2fish.com) that offers radio clips, video and even an online tackle shop.

Tip of the week

Want to see waterfowl? Visit the Spring Lake Bottoms wetlands between Spring Lake and the Illinois River in Tazewell County.

You’ll be hard-pressed to find a more accessible birdwatching area. And last weekend site manager Stan Weimer spotted six species of puddle ducks and five species of diving ducks in the restored wetlands. On Wednesday thousands of ducks were still present, along with Canada geese, mute swans and at least four bald eagles.

Birding bits

The migration is in full swing. Rufous hummingbirds are among the many species that have arrived in Illinois in the past few days and thousands of geese and sandhill cranes have been streaming overhead in recent days.

With that in mind, now is a prime time to clean out bird nesting boxes. Herb Unkrich reports he’s seen black droppings left by bluebirds in several boxes he maintains near Edwards and Kickapoo.

Kudos corner

Hunters continue to amaze with their generosity. A recent banquet held by the Illinois River Valley chapter of Pheasants Forever grossed $48,000. And an Easter Seals benefit archery shoot at Presley’s Outdoors last month netted more than $8,000.

This ‘n that

... Monarch butterflies have started their journey north out of Mexico.

... Brian Efnor of Farmington averaged $24.59 per raccoon pelt during auctions this year with a high of $44.

... Illinois Pheasants Forever has its state gathering May 2-3 at Springfield’s Crowne Plaza Hotel.

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