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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 1-4-09

January 04, 2009 at 05:20 AM


Percent of wild hen pheasants that die for each week of snow cover during the winter.

Share your story

Got a story about fishing at Dixon’s ponds in East Peoria? The folks setting up a new fishing park on that site want to hear your tale. Organizers of Hooked on Fishing Park are collecting stories for their Web site ( and newsletters.

“We know there are a lot of people with stories about fishing at Dixon’s from the past,” said Nate Herman of Herman Brothers Pond Management. “One guy told us how his dad used to drop him off there to fish once a week while his dad did his beer route.

“And I know there are plenty more stories out there.”

E-mail your anecdote to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Work at the facility is well underway and the site will be open to school groups for guided fishing trips starting May 1. For more information on booking a visit, e-mail Mike Hampton at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or call (309) 219-3560.

Fur prices poor

Trappers are lamenting poor prices for many furs so far this year.

A key factor has been economic downturns in China and Russia that were noted recently in a statement by North American Fur Auctions, the nation’s largest fur clearinghouse.

That’s bad news for mice. Last year coyote pelts were bringing up to $30. This year’s price has dropped to $6.

You speak

“With the weather we have been having, larger bucks will drop their antlers early due to stress. With the late-season antlerless-only hunt coming up (Jan. 16-18), caution hunters to be careful about what they shoot.”
— Jim Dixon

Lament of the week

A year of anticipation and two months of wandering through weeds has come down to this: five days remain in the North Zone upland game season. After Thursday we’ll have to wait another year to chase pheasants, quail and rabbits in the North Zone.

South Zone hunters have until Jan. 15 to shoot quail and pheasants and until Jan. 22 to chase rabbits.

After that, comes a long, long wait. So get out while you still can.

Wild on the Web

Click here to see the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ informative Web site that provides eagle counts along the Mississippi River, Google map coordinates for viewing sites and a list of eagle-watching events.

Outdoor shows ahead

Sports show season starts in earnest this week with the All Canada Show ( in St. Charles, Thursday through next Sunday at Pheasant Run Resort. The Chicago Muskie Show is Friday through next Sunday at Harper College in Palatine.

The first area show is the Illinois Fish & Feather Expo at Bloomington’s Interstate Center Jan. 23-25.

The Central Illinois Boating & Fishing Show in East Peoria is Feb. 20-22 and the Illinois Deer & Turkey Classic is Feb. 27 to March 1 at Bloomington’s Interstate Center.

This ‘n that

Deadline for the second lottery of spring turkey hunting permits is Jan. 12. The first round of permits will be mailed out soon. Or visit to check the status of your application. ... Tickets for the Illinois Outdoor Hall of Fame banquet at Pheasant Run in St. Charles are now on sale. Call (217) 785-2003. Spring Valley’s Bill Guerrini is one of the four inductees. ... Muzzleloader deer season harvest totals should be available early this week at

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