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

Indiana ponders shorter deer season

August 23, 2010 at 10:30 PM

Here’s a story that caught my eye. Indiana is actually pondering a shorter deer season.

Strange that, in light of all that is happening elsewhere in the Midwest. Read on.

Some hunters object to Ind. deer season changes

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) - Some hunters are objecting to a proposed shortening of Indiana’s deer hunting season in November from 16 to nine days, while state officials say added days for the hunting of antlerless deer will balance out the number of female and male deer killed.

The shorter November season is among the deer hunting changes being considered by the Department of Natural Resources that could be adopted next year.

The proposal calls for two antlerless-only firearms hunting days to be added in numerous counties around the state, along with a statewide eight-day antlerless-only season from Dec. 25 to Jan. 1.

DNR spokesman Phil Bloom said by switching more to antlerless deer in October and December, the hope is to even out the ratio of female to male deer bagged each year. With the new plan, 10 days will be for hunting antlerless deer, with nine days for any deer in November.

“The thinking behind that is in deer hunting, it is a fairly selective type of hunting,” Bloom said. “What deer hunter ‘A’ might shoot, deer hunter ‘B’ might pass up,” Bloom said.

Hunter Daniel Terry of Mitchell said the shorter November season would mean only one weekend would be available for hunters.

“My sons and grandsons all work, and they work five days a week, and they don’t have time to go hunt except on weekends,” Terry told The Herald-Times of Bloomington.

Randy Kieft of Bloomington said he questioned how splitting up the hunting periods so much could result in any more deer being killed.

Terry said the shorter November season could mean more hunters will be in the woods at the same time and increase the risk of bad weather costing hunting dates.

“You’re taking a gamble in buying ... licenses and not getting to use them,” Terry said. “I’ve had a regular hunting license for 64 years, and they’ve done nothing but take away from us all through the years. They don’t own the woods. The taxpaye rs own the woods.”

Story and comments
Illinois hunting and fishing

A snake in the dark

July 20, 2010 at 05:28 AM

Don Osborne sent in this picture of a memorable deer hunt near Allenville.

Writes Osborne, “One morning when I was going to my stand before daylight I stepped on something soft and it started to coil around my leg. After the dance that followed the snake was D.O.A. Not my intention, just the result of panic and surprise. On the way out I took a picture of it. The bow was 36 inches long.”

Can’t wait to walk out to my stand this Oct. 1.


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Illinois hunting and fishing

Big typical buck still walking

March 22, 2010 at 02:21 PM

Seeing a buck like this in the backyard after hunting season would make any deer hunter smile.

After snapping a picture of this big 10-pointer, you can understand why Illini Bluffs Principal Joe Stoner is already eager for the fall. Writes Stoner, “My son has been scouting this deer for two years and several hunters in the area who have seen it up close believe it to be a 190” plus. Looking for sheds but no luck yet, he survived deer season though! Can’t wait to see him next year.”

Story and comments
Illinois hunting and fishing

Best of Show winners in the March 6-7 Elmwood AllOutdoors Show big-buck contest were (from left to right) Chuck Thome, Tom Missen, Nate Campbell and Mitchell Cluney.

Elmwood best of show bucks

March 15, 2010 at 08:41 AM

This item first appeared in Sunday’s Wild Things entry in an unedited version. We got them right in print and didn’t make the necessary corrections on the Web. Sorry for that. Let’s blame March Madness.

Anyway, the accurate Best of Show winners in the March 6-7 Elmwood AllOutdoors Show big-buck contest were as follows:

  • Chuck Thome of Peoria for his 177 4/8-inch Fulton County archery typical.
  • Nate Campbell of Beardstown for his 228 5/8-inch McDonough County archery non-typical.
  • Tom Missen of Dunlap for his 182-inch Peoria County firearm typical.
  • Mitchell Cluney of Glasford for his 210 5/8-inch Fulton County firearm non-typical.
  • Campbell’s buck was also the Fan’s Favorite out of a field of 106 entries.

Thanks to all the measurers who scored the 106 deer heads entered. We are already making plans for the show on March 5-6, 2011 when we plan to accept the first 150 deer heads brought to us for scoring.

Incidentally, we also gave away two tree stands, two knives and a duffel bag as random prizes to entrants. Next year we plan to have even more prizes for those who enter deer. The idea is that you may not have the biggest buck in the contest, but you still have a chance to win something.

Personally I think the display of heads (shown below) was pretty cool. Kudos to Rush Nash for devising the system of showing heads. Now we’ve got to come up with a way to accommodate 50 more racks. Hmmm.

Illinois hunting and fishing

Story and comments

Many states trying to kill more deer

March 11, 2010 at 05:43 PM

Illinois is hardly alone in attempting to kill more deer during hunting seasons.

Seems every day brings a new story from some Midwestern state referring to legislation that would sell more permits, extend seasons or do both.

Here’s an example from Nebraska.

Neb. lawmakers fire off deer-reduction bill

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - A measure designed to reduce what some say is Nebraska’s costly and dangerously large deer herd is off and running.

On Thursday, lawmakers gave first-round approval to a bill (LB836) that would allow the secretary of the state Game and Parks Commission to extend deer seasons by issuing executive orders.

Owners of at least 20 acres and members of their immediate families would also have an unlimited number of free permits to kill does during special seasons set to pare the herd in some regions. Also, hunting could occur within 100 yards of a home or livestock feedlot. The current limit is 200 yards.

The bill would also allow the state to issue permits to landowners to kill mountain lions.

Story and comments

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