Illinois Outdoors at PrairiestateOutdoors.com
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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
 

Scattershooting

A Web log by Jeff Lampe of the Journal Star

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January 22, 2009 at 09:18 PM

In case you wondered, the Department of Natural Resources has changed the http://www.dnr.state.il.us/offices/director.htm” title=“administration page”>administration page on its Web site.

Yes. Kurt M. Granberg is now listed as director.

Think he should take a picture of this page, you know, just for his memorabilia file?

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Open Blog Thursday

January 22, 2009 at 08:49 AM

Hmm. It’s going to be warm today. And fish seem to bite better on a warming trend. And I just got new auger blades, new LaCrosse boots and plenty of bait. Help.

FROM Jared Fidler of Lacon:

The darndest thing happened to me tonight. On my way home, three deer came running across the field towards the road in front of me. The last being a large deer with only one antler. The antlered deer jumped from the ditch, landed on the road. As it landed, the antler fell from his head, landed on the his back which caused him to jump again. The deer and the antler then landed in the field. The deer of course left the scene and I harvested a nice five-point shed. I rarely shed hunt, but I realized that the snow might work to one’s advantage when doing so.

FROM Lanny Burke of Eureka:

The article about a Pam Sprout seeing the “strangely marked sparrows” was interesting. I, too, have a dozen or so of these sparrows at my feeders. During 2006 and 2007, these sparrows would appear at the first snowfall which occurred the first part of December. When the first snow came this past December, these sparrows didn’t show up until a week or two later. We live on the north side of Eureka. My bird book does not show a “Eurasian tree sparrow” —- just “tree sparrow.”  Do you think that these birds are the same? 

Also, I note that these tree sparrows spend their summer time in Canada and Alaska; their winter time is spent here in the Midwest. My map shows that we are on their southern boundary for wintertime. These birds are neat to watch. They are not as timid as the regular sparrows.

Another note of interest for me is that with all the snow on the ground after the ice storms of late, and many birds at my feeders, I’ve actually observed two sizes of hawks fly in and catch birds at the feeders. I had thought the hawks were the Cooper’s Hawk; but I’m beginning to think it might be a Sharp-shinned Hawk. Or maybe I had both types. I felt bad about the little juncos that were caught; I told my wife that these hawks are hungry, too. After seeing the hawks swoop in and make a catch, I would grab my binoculars and watch the hawk eat lunch. Just this past Saturday I observed one of these hawks sitting in a nearby tree behind our house (after an unsuccessful attempt of picking up one of my birds) where he sat in the tree for several minutes. 

I then watched him/her fly off of the tree, flying close to the ground, traveling a good half block away from the tree and picked up “lunch.”  I marvel at the eyesight of these hawks. I couldn’t tell for sure what he had, but he had caught something—I could see it dangling from his claws.  He flew to the top of a nearby wooden post to enjoy his lunch. The marvels of nature!

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