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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

October 16, 2008 at 06:43 AM

Crappie are biting, duck season is one week away and a North Dakota trip is calling. Can you help me today?

FROM Jim Deppe:

I’m writing in reference to the “deer task force” committee.

What I’m now hearing is that congressman John Sullivan, who is on the “deer task force” committee has pushed or is currently pushing to add one more day on the first gun season. That day would be a Monday. So the first gun season would be 4 days ... Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

This in my opinion will in no way help in reducing the number of does. It will how ever, help outfitters sell prime four-day hunts to their clients to kill more bucks (which doesn’t help in reducing the herd numbers in the long run). Sen John Sullivan and family own a lot of land currently being outfitted. He personally stands to gain with this four-day ruling. It is my understanding none of the other members of the task force had much to do with this new “fourth day” legislation, it was all the brainstorm of Sen. John Sullivan.

When talking with you at the Rushville “task force” meeting I stated I did not think much of having insurance companies, farmers, the Farm Bureau and politicans managing the deer herd, this is a job for professional deer management by the IDNR (if there is an IDNR left after our governor gets done)  This added fourth day is a prime example why I made that reasoning. As for Sen. Sullivan ... his idea of managing the deer herd is based entirely on money, be it insurance or outfitters (who are closely tied to the Farm Bureau). I’m beginning to think it based on those who lobby and pad his campaign pockets the most. The fact is, the deer herd should be managed by the IDNR professional management like it has been in the past. Since when are policticans qualified to manage the deer herd numbers in the state of Illinois?

FROM Arlene Greiner of Morton:

Thank you for your great article about the whooping crane migration program. The more people that learn about this wonderful program the better. In these terrible economic times, I’m afraid the donations for these kind of programs will go by the way side. People need to understand the importance of taking care of the environment and that birds are such a vital part of that. If you write another article about the cranes, would you please include the web site so that people can see where to send donations and learn even more about cranes. It’s There are several links listed with this site that are great for children and teachers.

FROM Dennis Jackson of Georgetown:

I have read a couple of your articles concerning the state park closings. This is bad news obviously for hunters fishermen and people who just enjoy these areas for hiking, birdwatching or whatever. The question I have for you is isn’t this a direct violation of the Hunters Heritage act that was passed in 2005? Here is an article I saw back when it was first passed. I am unsure who wrote it.

Governor signs Illinois Hunting Heritage Protection Act

Legislation encourages maintaining and enhancing recreational hunting opportunities on public lands in Illinois

SPRINGFIELD—Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today signed the Illinois Hunting Heritage Protection Act (Senate Bill 2156), which provides that the Illinois Department of Natural Resources support, promote and enhance recreational hunting on lands it manages, and work to maintain and enhance the amount of land acreage available for hunting opportunities in Illinois.

“This new law recognizes the important role hunters and trappers play in conserving wildlife, habitats and the ecosystems on which wildlife depend, while at the same enjoying a form of outdoor recreation that has been part of our state’s heritage from its founding,” Governor Blagojevich said. “Recreational hunting is perhaps the most important component of effective wildlife management, and this legislation helps remind us of the importance of our hunting heritage.”

Sponsored by Sen. John O. Jones (D-Mt. Vernon) and Rep. William J. Grunloh (D-Effingham), SB 2156 requires that lands managed by the Department of Natural Resources be open to access and use of recreational hunting, except when limited for reasons of public safety, fish and wildlife management, homeland security, or where otherwise limited by law. The legislation also requires that the Department support, promote, and enhance recreational hunting and, to the greatest extent possible, not take actions which result in any net loss of land available to hunting.

The new law also requires that the Department report annually whether any acreage it manages is closed to hunting and whether other lands are opened to hunting to compensate. “We are always looking for ways to expand public access to hunting and other forms of outdoor recreation. One of our duties as a wildlife management and natural resources agency is to recognize, preserve, and promote our special heritage of recreational hunting and trapping and this new law supports that,” said Department of Natural Resources Director Joel Brunsvold. The law will take effect Jan. 1, 2005.


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