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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 pair of weird whitetail racks

January 27, 2009 at 03:49 PM

Here’s a pair of weird whitetail racks from this fall and winter. Myself, I’d still rather shoot a tall, clean 8-pointer or a big drop-tine than any of these rascals. But they are unique.

First up is this wacky fused-antler buck skull from Maryland.

Illinois hunting and fishing

Illinois hunting and fishing

Here’s another weird one from North Dakota.

Illinois hunting and fishing

Illinois hunting and fishing

Illinois hunting and fishing

Story and comments

Ice fishing reflections on a cold day

January 27, 2009 at 08:42 AM

I learned something Monday morning. Sharp auger blades are nice, but they can also be a problem.

The nice part is obvious, particularly when fishing a strip-mine lake with 12 inches of hard stuff. That made life much easier for The Farmer, Gordon Inskeep and I as we fished a Peoria County lake on Monday.

But maybe it was too easy. While I realize it’s important to move and move frequently, part of me thinks we moved too much. Sometimes you have to be more patient in fishing. Or not. Just one reflection today as I sit here sorting e-mails and keeping warm.

The other is that this is a real, full-fledged ice fishing season. Chef Todd said people were driving vehicles on the ice on Saturday at the Big 25 Club. That was, until Jeremy Crew hit the ice with his truck and set off a series of cracks and booms that had people scrambling. Even with that, Chef and his brother Chris managed to finish third in a tournament that was won by Howard the Duck, the Eureka ice fisherman we featured earlier this year, and his partner Tod Todd.

Anyway, no matter how full-fledged we get, we still won’t be northern Wisconsin. Thad Hinshaw spent four days fishing near Minocqua in mid-January and sent in the following pictures of his trip. Hinshaw is shown with the first northern pike and said “fishing was a little bit slower than what we were used to, but we still managed to catch some nice pike.” No argument here.

Illinois hunting and fishing

Illinois hunting and fishing

Illinois hunting and fishing

Illinois hunting and fishing

Illinois hunting and fishing

Story and comments

A look at Wyoming wolves

January 27, 2009 at 06:30 AM

Tracking down these wild e-mails can be educational.

I’m in the process of cleaning out the many e-mails, pictures and stories that pile up in the computer during hunting season. Some go to the trash. Some, like this picture of wolves apparently shot in Wyoming, end up occupying too much of my time.

Illinois hunting and fishing

In the process, I did discover a very informative Web site on wolves in Wyoming. Pinedale Online news reporter Cat Urbigkit maintains Wolf Watch, which can easily steal an hour or more of your time if you aren’t careful. Trust me. I know.

As for the picture, it apparently shows two of the first five wolves shot near Big Piney and Pinedale, Wyoming. Shooting wolves in Wyoming became legal again last March. WIll that change in the months to come? Check back with Cat Urbigkit’s Wolf Watch for regular updates.

Recent posts include interesting data that shows about 1,500 wolves are found in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming.


Story and comments
Illinois hunting and fishing

Llama tagged as elk a true story

January 27, 2009 at 06:14 AM

The story seemed too set up to be true. A New York hunter heads to Montana for an elk hunt. He shoots what he believes is an elk. Only later does somebody tell him that what he actually shot was a feral llama.

Impossible, right?

Nobody could mistake a llama for an elk. And even if they shot a llama, they would realize their mistake. Surely they would not gut the llama, tag the llama and then drive off with the carcass in the back of their red truck.

Fake story, right?

Nope. Pictures have been circulating of the tagged llama and Brett French of the Billings Gazette recently wrote a story on the unbelievable hunt. Wrote French:

A New York hunter may be feeling a bit sheepish after mistaking a feral llama in Paradise Valley for a Rocky Mountain elk, but he apparently did not violate any laws.

Rusty Saunders of Fort Edward, N.Y., called a Fish, Wildlife and Parks warden in Livingston in November to turn himself in after shooting the llama, according to Mel Frost, FWP information officer in Bozeman.

Here’s text that goes with the e-mail you may already have seen,

30-06 rifle with Leupold Scope- $650 dollars
Out of State Elk License -$600 dollars
Gas to drive from New York -$700 dollars
Taking a Trophy Montana Llama- Priceless…............

Illinois hunting and fishing

Story and comments

Scattershooting Archive

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