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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 Thursday

January 03, 2008 at 07:28 AM

While I’m interviewing anglers at Powerton Lake, you readers can take over this space for a day.

FROM Walt Winget of Peoria:

“As the weather gets colder and nastier, I hope you will weigh in on the issue of care of hunting dogs, and would like to lay at rest one of the oldest and worst of the chestnuts regarding keeping hunting dogs outside. Mike Lardy is probably the best known of all the national trainers (though not one bit better than Don St. Clair or Guy Reith). As Mike has written, a dog learns nothing in a kennel. It learns a lot in the house interacting with family members.

“Further, it is just plain wrong that a hunting dog will ‘lose its nose’ or ‘not develop a winter coat’ if it is allowed to be in the house. And in the worst weather, a dog simply has to have some help to withstand the punishment of an Illinois winter. My black Lab, Hunting Retriever Champion Mjolnir’s Sure Flight, ‘Surely’ lives in our house and goes outside through a dog door when she has to use the yard or simply wants to be outside.

“She is 7 and her nose is just as acute as it ever was and her winter coat is thick and luxurious. While Surely has the run of the house, any dog will thank its owner if it is merely let into the kitchen on very cold nights or during ice storms.”

FROM Dave McWilliams of South Pekin:

“I’ve been hunting Banner Marsh for the past two years and as duck hunters will do, spend quite a bit of time talking to other hunters about the prospects for a good hunt. This year a number of people have said that the state will be cutting back on DNR resources-employees, services, keeping public hunting areas open, allowing areas to lapse as far as replenishment of natural cover and wildlife food, etc., all because of the serious financial problems of the state.

“I was wondering if there have been any official statements made as to whether services will be cut next year or in the foreseeable future?

“The reduction of staff (have you tried to call in to the state to get a second Banner Marsh permit? It takes a minimum of 20 calls to get through since there’s only one person available to take calls at DNR, I’m told) may force the closure of less profitable areas due to no one being able to manage the recreational sites. It seems pretty serious to me.”

FROM Tom Elsberry of Paris

“I read your article about the swans in the Paris Beacon News and found it quite interesting. We have had trumpeter swans on and around our farm for several years. Two years ago we had as many as 200. This year as of now they are about 100 swans. They started arriving on Thanksgiving with about 15 and now we are up to 100 or so. Two years ago we had a student from SIU researching the birds and last year we had a student from Indiana State University. Paris is located about 150 miles southeast of Peoria. The swans are staying 10 miles ENE of Paris near the Indiana state line. I thought you might be interested in hearing about some more swans and also the Trumpeter Swan Society may be interested.”



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