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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

A turtle tale and a tip

March 18, 2008 at 12:23 PM

Turtles and turtle soup must be on the minds of many these days.

I’ve had two inquiries in the past week about where people can find fried turtle in the Peoria area. And now Fred Krause of the Ottawa Daily Times has penned a story recalling going rodding for turtles with his grandfather. I’ve been wanting to do a turtle rodding story for years, but have been unable to find anyone who was not scared off by the publicity. But Krause wrote an informative column about the subject, including the following tip.

Today, most of the time I still rod turtles in the same manner that grandpa taught me in the mid-1950s.Illinois Outdoors Since then I have found another, easier way to take them. During the summer, when large towboats are traveling up and down the Illinois River, they, create a large amount of water that is pulled from the bank when they pass it.

First you find an area near shore where there are a lot of tree roots extending out into the water. You then wait for a tow boat (the wait usually is not too long). When the boat passes, the water is drawn out from shore and exposes any turtle under those roots. It is easy to grab the reptile’s tail and place it in a sack; it’s also a lot quicker than rodding. It is very easy to see the business end of a snapping turtle in this manner.

I wish grandpa was still around, so I could show him a new trick or two.

Click here to read Krause’s entire column on the subject of turtles.

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A cool use for shed antlers

March 18, 2008 at 10:55 AM

Illinois Outdoors

Need an idea of what to do with your shed antlers? Here’s one from shed hunter and deer writer Les Davenport, formally of Eureka. Davenport makes antler furniture, including this table that he just donated to an auction for a friend who had died of mouth cancer. The table is made of walnut and antlers. Davenport said a similar table brought $950 at auction, a relative bargain since it could fetch up to $2,000 on the open market.

As for other uses for antlers, Davenport wrote:

“Shed antlers were—and are—one of the most diversely used of all renewable natural resources: decoration, ground for medicine and mineral supplements, used for making weapons (knife handles, arrowhead points, etc), ground for tea and aphrodisiacs, used as tools by Indians, and used in religious ceremonies. Many hundred tons of elk, moose and mule deer antlers are sold to Asia every year.”


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