Illinois Outdoors at PrairiestateOutdoors.com
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Jeff Lampe
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

Is this coyote crazy?

April 16, 2008 at 12:28 PM

E-mails arrive daily with questions from readers. Most are thought-provoking. Many have no easy answer. The following is a good example, sent by Lee Wilder of Pekin. Have any of you seen anything similar from coyotes? Maybe you can help me provide a good answer.

“For the past five years I’ve lived in the country a mile directly east of Marquette Heights, next to a church and cemetery. During that time I’ve maintained a walking track in a field behind the cemetery. The field is bordered on three sides by brush and timber, including a ravine on one of those sides. I’ve often seen coyotes during my walks, but this past Saturday morning I saw one that acted much differently. I first saw it standing at the edge of the timber staring at me … about a short city block away. I stopped walking and we sort of enjoyed a stare-down for about a minute. Then the coyote took a couple of steps, leaped rather high into the air, came down and looked at me. After a couple of seconds it repeated the action …and did it about four or five times.

“Then following another stare-down of about a minute it trotted off into the timber. A neighbor lady who daily walks her two Labs told me she has seen that same coyote several times and it always sort of stands its ground as she approaches, moving off only if the dogs appear to start after it. This particular coyote appears to be well-fed and is the size of a full-grown German Shepherd. I’m really curious about the animals leaping actions. I figured it could be showing (a) playfulness (unlikely), (b) aggressiveness, (c) a warning to a nearby mate of my presence or (d) a mating ritual (I’m being facetious). Any thoughts?”

Here are a few more questions in need of an answer. Anybody out there got an answer?

Reader Charlie Blades of Dahlgren writes:

“IDNR has now prohibited gathering of bait fish within 1,000 yds of Rend and Carlyle lake dams. Can you advise me where in southern Illinois one might find a decent concentration of shad to catch with a throw net so that we can continue to catfish on Rend Lake? IDNR has just about caused me to sell me boat since I am unable to get the premier bait ... fresh cut shad and shad gut ... to fish Rend in the spring and early summer. Any stream/dam or other locations anywhere in this area where on might gather enough shad to make it worthwhile to go? Any suggestions are welcome. Thanks.”

And then there’s this one from reader Jim Bolin of Springfield.

“Just found your website. Thought you may know if there is a public rifle range in the Springfield area. Lake Sanghris has a free public bow and arrow range. I am looking for a rifle range. I know about the indoor pay ranges. Most are for handguns. Thought there may be one on public land close to Springfield. Thanks for the help.”

Yikes, here’s one more from Alan Welch.

“I am interested in knowing if any of the fishing clubs have casting tournaments. What I mean by this is to use a casting weight and see if you can cast it into floating rings at different distances and conditions. Thanks you in advance for your response.”

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