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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

A heart-shaped den

September 13, 2010 at 07:03 AM

Here’s a picture of a heart-shaped den sent to us recently by Eric Swanson.

What do you think? Coon? Squirrel?

Story and comments
Illinois hunting and fishing

Brackett shoots a monster mako

August 13, 2010 at 10:45 AM

Chris Brackett of Mapleton shot this big mako shark while bowfishing off the coast of California. The shark weighed 415 pounds and according to Brackett is a world record with a bow.

Brackett said footage of the bowfishing outing will be on Jim Shockey’s television show The Professionals later this season.

Look at the teeth on this thing.

Illinois hunting and fishing

Story and comments

Charity shoot for a good cause

July 30, 2010 at 12:06 PM

Archers looking for a good cause and a good time this weekend should consider the second Bradley Wallin 3-D archery shoot for St. Jude.

The shoot is held at the Chillicothe Sportsmen’s Club north of Chillicothe, with shooting hours from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sunday.

There will be a two-man blind draw scramble Saturday at noon, bucket raffles and a silent auction with food served both days.

Call (309) 208-5613.

Story and comments
Illinois hunting and fishing

The Ultimate Emiquon boat

July 12, 2010 at 01:34 PM

For the past two summers, I’ve been part of several discussions about the perfect boat for the bass-filled Emiquon Preserve near Havana.

My personal favorite so far belongs to Fred Lantz of Elmwood, who customized a 12-foot semi-v with two trolling motors that has performed well. Even so, it has a few flaws. The seats sit low and you can’t really stand up because there’s just not much room. Plus, the boat is big enough that you pretty much have to trailer it to go fishing.

The Farmer has a nifty plastic boat that you can carry and fit in the back of a truck. But the seats also sit low and there’s not much moving around possible. Plus, putting Chef Todd and me in the same craft was scary (though it did produce a state-record fish).

Finding the perfect mix of portability, stability, maneuverability and price is not easy. Until now.

I’m happy to report there’s a new contender for the title of Ultimate Emiquon Boat being built at AAD Custom Boats and Welding headquarters off Tuscarora Lane in Bartonville. David Hamm and the rest of the guys at AAD are putting the finishing touches on a 12-foot-long, 4-foot-wide custom boat that will be the centerpiece of this year’s raffle for the Elmwood All Outdoor Show.

Last year we raffled off a cool Twin Troller from Carolina Electric Boats that drew raves. But I like this AAD boat even better.

For one thing, it will allow two anglers to fish in comfort and stability despite being a short boat. Both the front and back will have fishing decks, so anglers will be able to cast better. The front deck will have a mount for a foot-controlled trolling motor, with a mount for another trolling motor (or 9.9 hp motor) on the back transom. And any free space in the boat is being filled with foam. “If this thing ever did tip over, there’s no way it’s going to sink,” David Hamm explained.

The boat will also feature a livewell, a screw-in bracket for a third pedestal seat in the middle, a custom-built aluminum trailer, rubberized flooring, two trolling motors, complete wiring and capability to be fitted for duck hunting.

Given all that we are calling this one the Ultimate Emiquon Boat, since it can be used to fish or hunt at that shallow, weedy duck-and-fish-filled area near Havana. Credit for putting this together goes to show co-founder Russ Nash (who came up with the idea) and to the AAD crew, who are working overtime to get this done in time for the July 25 Rice Lake duck blind drawing. That’s the first time we’ll be selling tickets for our main raffle, which also includes a Benelli Super Black Eagle 3.5-inch shotgun and a half of a hog. Those are three very good prizes.

The AAD crew will also be on hand to fry fish at Rice Lake, since they also sell the tasty Hamm’s Breading Mix. Stop by and visit with Russ, Janice and the crew during the drawing to get some free fish, to check out the boat and to buy some raffle tickets.

Tickets will be $2 each or six for $10. And yes, we will be selling tickets all the way until March 6, when we will have the drawing on the final day of the Elmwood show. Winners need not be present and will be called. Remember, all funds raised benefit Elmwood High School athletics and athletes. And we need all the help we can get in town after that darned tornado.

The only downside I can see to this whole raffle is that those of us who help run the show are not eligible to win this boat (did you hear that Larry, you can’t win this boat!). Oh well. I’m sure it is going to make some lucky angler/hunter very happy in a few months.

Watch for more pictures soon when the boat is finished.

Illinois hunting and fishing

Story and comments
Illinois hunting and fishing

Friends of Rice Lake logo

July 07, 2010 at 03:39 PM

Well, we now have a logo, numerous donations, possibly a new name and the start of a Web site. Friends of Rice Lake is moving forward quickly.

For now, we’ve dropped the word “Properties” from our group name.

We might still become Friends of Rice Lake Areas.

But the hope is that by including Banner Marsh and Double T in the logo and explaining our purposes to help all sites in the Rice Lake Complex, people will understand.

My brother-in-law Tony Vandercar (who has a cool graphics art business in East Moline called Girard Graphics) designed this logo on short notice. Basically, I called him last night at 10 p.m. and told him it had to be done today so we could order shirts and hats. After about 100 calls to Tony and FORL officers we agreed on the logo you see above. The officers like it, though there’s still some discussion on the final group name. We’ll discuss that again at our next meeting, Tuesday, July 13 at 6 p.m. at Presley’s. That’s also when we’ll finalize our membership forms etc. Not much time until the duck blind drawings will be here so we’ve got to move fast.

For those folks wanting to join or give us donations, bring it on. Or you can wait until next week when we’ll have forms completed so we can be more organized.

The important thing is that we’re moving forward, people are excited and there’s real hope we can help.

Story and comments

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