Illinois Outdoors at
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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

Open Blog Thursday

March 20, 2008 at 07:16 AM

I’m still searching for answers to good questions last night posed during my fishing talk at the Pekin Public Library. Can you help out today?

FROM Jim and Vicki Hussey of Peoria, for whom spring arrived early on March 15.

“After a long, hard winter our resident ground hog Barb (named after District 150 school teacher Barb Hartter), appeared for the first time since last year.  Competition was tough with the birds and squirrels over seed, but Barb seemed to get her share.”

Illinois Outdoors

FROM Helen Gasdorf of Peoria:

“Why does the estimated population—and this is a rough estimate according to the research that I did on bobcat populations in Illinois—suggest that a trapping season should be considered? The only reason for trapping, with all of its cruelties and inhumane treatment of target and non-target animals is to provide fur coats for vain, rich women.

“I have no problem with hunting for food. However I obtained my coyote specimens for parasite study in graduate school from a fur dealer. And I know how these animals were killed. The attitude toward predators is still one tinged with hatred and lack of respect and understanding. Ditto for river otters. Please no trapping season for bobcats and otters.”

FROM Bob Adducci: of Oak Brook.

“Read you blurb about the wolf-like canine near Lena. This winter I was hiking a remote trail at Wolf Road Woods in Palos at dusk and crossed paths with a large wolf-like canine. It was over 100 pounds and it scared the heck out of me. Luckily, it did not pay much attention to me and kept on moving. It was definitely not a coyote or a fox. Could it have been a wolf? Have there been sightings?”

FROM Rich Klockenga of Edwards (sent March 14, 2008):

“This is the earliest ever that Martins have arrived at my site. While hanging some gourds on one of my racks this afternoon I heard a Martin overhead and an adult male was circling above watching. I raised the gourds and he lit and investigated a couple of the gourds then flew around and left. I lowered the rack and finished hanging a few more gourds and raised it back up to the top.

“He has been back a couple more times since and will probably stay the night and be my first resident of the season. March 14th is very early for here and last season March 18th was the earliest ever for me. Since Martins only feed on flying insects I ended up supplemental feeding my birds last year during the cold wet spell the end of March and the first days of April. I fed 2,000 meal worms and around 4,000 crickets and managed to keep all my Martins alive then. It is quite a spectacle to see the birds catching tossed in the air crickets before they fall back to the ground.”



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