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

Illinois hunting and fishing

Ever seen a redbelly snake eat a worm?

September 16, 2009 at 05:28 AM

Here’s another image from Flathead’s library of oddball critters.

This is a Redbelly snake (Storeria occipitomaculata) and its earthworm lunch from Henderson County near Oquawka, Illinois.

The “Field Guide to Amphibians and Reptiles of Illinois” says, “The redbelly snake is considered locally abundant in Illinois. It grows to 14 inches long and is found in forests and moist woods, occasionally in pastures, bogs, and wet meadows.  Earthworms and slugs make up most of its diet.”

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Illinois hunting and fishing

Flathead’s pictures return

September 09, 2009 at 12:21 PM

After taking a brief sabbatical from submitting pictures, my buddy Flathead has come back with a vengeance. So for the next few weeks, until deer season calls him away, we’ll be running some photos he has snapped during his ramblings through central Illinois.

This first edition features two bird shots from the Emiquon Preserve on Sept. 2, 2009.

The picture above is of an American coot chick. Who knew they were so colorful. As Flathead wrote, “Has to be an incredible bass bait at Emiquon!”

Below is a juvenile least bittern. Stay tuned for more of Flathead’s photographic artwork in the weeks to come.

Illinois hunting and fishing

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Illinois hunting and fishing

A pack of wolves hunting morels

April 30, 2009 at 07:40 AM

Flathead’s Picture of the Week features the Princeville Pack 52 Wolf cub scouts during a morel mushroom hunt late Tuesday afternoon in Peoria county. The wolves picked up 40 morels (mostly greys),  4 old bottles, 3 aluminum cans, 1 corn seed sign, 1 deer leg, lots of mud and saw 2 turkeys and 1 deer. Looks like they had fun in the process.

Story and comments
Illinois hunting and fishing

A trumpeter swan at Banner Marsh

April 13, 2009 at 06:39 AM

Like the groundhog, Flathead has emerged from hiding and is once again busy taking pictures. So it’s about time to start again with Flathead’s Picture of the Week.

This trumpeter swan he photographed at the East Access to Banner Marsh on April 7 has apparently visited the area before. Natural Heritage biologist Michelle Simone spotted the same swan at Banner in April of 2005. The swan is believed to be an Iowa bird since they use red bands on the swans our neighbors have reintroduced successfully across the state.

Now the question is, will the native swan stay? Last week the big white bird was being closely followed by a mute swan, one of several of the non-native swans that now make Banner Marsh their home. Is love in the air, as Flathead pondered? Time will tell. For that matter, is it possible for the two species to mate?

Story and comments
Illinois hunting and fishing

Jessica Sacco’s first deer

November 11, 2008 at 04:41 PM

Flathead’s Picture of the Week is a shot of Jessica Sacco posing with her first deer. Writes Flathead, “Big muskie and archery deer too! Mr. Sacco has a daughter that will make her future boyfriends jealous.”

Story and comments

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