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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


A Web log by Jeff Lampe of the Journal Star

Open Blog: cougars, coyotes oh my

January 24, 2008 at 09:23 AM

The stack of paper I need to sort through threatens to drown me. Readers, help. Take over for a day.

FROM Steve Frazier of Auburn.

“About your cougar article. Found it interesting and amusing. Fact is, Lori and I observed a cougar for over five minutes from the safety of our sun room in our house. It was on June 5, of 2007. Yes, we did report it to the DNR. Wished we had a camera with film, had to settle for two pairs of binoculars. It was 110 feet from our windows. We only used the binoculars to see fine detail. There was no doubt. We went out to look for tracks but it hadn’t rained in days. It was easy to take measurements using the corn as height.

“We live one mile southeast of Auburn. A once in a life experience that we don’t expect to be repeated, but it happened. With that being said, we still are concerned for our little dog as she uses the lawn before returning for bed.

“Rolling our eyes “the other way” in Auburn.”

FROM Carol Musselman:

“I just read the story about the deer rescue. It was very heart warming since I care about animals, and also I am a vegetarian. I think the ending was very sad, when Scott Avery said that even deer that die are not wasted. I do not think he had to shoot that doe, she could have been saved somehow. But he didn’t mind if she ended her life as food food for 12 turkey buzzards. Some people are uncaring. Thank God the other men were not. Why did he leave her there anyway? How inhumane!”

FROM Victoria in Peoria:

“I just wanted to send out a warning that I saw two coyotes out in the open during the middle of the day wandering around Upper Bradley Park. I usually walk my dog there but not today.”

FROM Scott south of Pekin:

“I guess I might as well add my cougar story to the growing pile. I live in Tazewell County south of Pekin. There’s a lot of timber by us and I had heard the cougar stories like everyone else. One day my next door neighbor regaled me with a good one. He had come over a hill and had to slam on his brakes to avoid hitting a large animal standing in the middle of the road. It was a cougar, standing right in front of him. He said that he had plenty of time to get a good look, and the animal casually sauntered off.

“Not a week later I was driving up our road which is heavily timbered when two deer lept in front of my car, forcing me to slam on the brakes. Not unusual. What WAS unusual was that an adult cougar bounded out of the ditch after them! For a split second I thought, “That’s the biggest dog I’ve ever seen!” until I realized that I was watching a cougar race over the hill. I’ve been to Wildlife Prairie Park dozens of times and I’d bet my next paycheck on what I saw. Just my 2 cents for what it’s worth! Like you said, I think it’s exciting that something that wild still roams our over-developed, subdivision-drenched area.”

FROM an anonymous e-mailer:

“I know you think I might be nuts, but today I saw two gray-colored, what I would consider very big coyotes. They seemed to be about a foot or so taller than normal and both longer and heavier than normal. In Woodford County around Banna Road. I’m not saying a wolf or anything, but this was there and I will swear to it. It wasn’t any coyote I ever saw.”


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