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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

Wild things

December 16, 2007 at 03:24 AM

Average fall temperature in Illinois, ninth warmest on record since 1895.

Muzzleloader deer totals

Rain, sleet and snow did not help the muzzleloader deer harvest in Illinois. Blackpowder hunters shot just 4,333 deer last weekend during their three-day hunt, down from 5,943 in 2006 and 4,874 in 2005.
Pike County led Illinois with a harvest of 199, but that was well off last year’s mark of 402 deer. Other top counties were: JoDaviess 141, Fulton 115, Hancock 110, LaSalle 107, Jefferson 101 and Bureau 100.

Here are other area totals: Brown 75, Hancock 110, Henry 48, Knox 58, Lee 40, Livingston 29, Logan 12, Marshall 39, Mason 33, McDonough 44, McLean 46, Peoria 74, Putnam 39, Schuyler 85, Stark 16, Tazewell 21, Warren 30, Woodford 46.

Whoopers in Tennessee

The six whooping cranes that spent a month in Peoria County are now at the Hiwassee Wildlife Refuge in Meigs County, Tenn. The birds left Peoria County in early December and migrated 177 milesh to Clinton County in southwestern Illinois.

But officials deemed that location unsafe since it was adjacent to an active hunt club. So the birds were captured and taken to Hiwassee last Tuesday according to Joan Garland of the International Crane Foundation. There they join a flock of several thousand sandhill cranes and nine other endangered whooping cranes.

Outdoors answers

Q: “I am trying to find a list of counties open for the late deer season. Also, I heard all unused permits are good for all counties this year. Is this true? I called Springfield and was put on hold and never got an answer.”

— George Barger, Pekin

No, unused deer permits are not good for all counties. But unfilled tags from the firearm seasons, the youth season and the muzzleloader season can be used Jan. 18-20 during the late winter firearm antlerless-only hunt in the following counties:

Adams, Bond, Brown, Bureau, Calhoun, Carroll, Cass, Christian, Clark, Clay, Clinton, Coles, Crawford, Cumberland, Edgar, Edwards, Effingham, Fayette, Franklin, Fulton, Greene, Hamilton, Hancock, Henderson, Henry, Jackson, Jasper, Jefferson, Jersey, Jo Daviess, Johnson, Knox, Lawrence, Lee, Logan, Macoupin, Madison, Marion, Marshall, Massac, McDonough, McLean, Menard, Mercer, Monroe, Montgomery, Morgan, Peoria, Perry, Pike, Putnam, Randolph, Richland, Rock Island, Saline, Sangamon, Schuyler, Scott, Shelby, St. Clair, Stark, Stephenson, Tazewell, Union, Vermilion, Wabash, Warren, Washington, Wayne, White, Whiteside, Williamson and Woodford.

Ice fishing underway

Ice anglers have already been drilling through the hard water in Mississippi River backwaters near Savanna and on the Fox Chain O’ Lakes in northeast Illinois. Closer to Peoria, though, ice conditions have been very unsafe in even smal ponds.

Christmas gift ideas

Got a hunter in your life? Here are some gift ideas: deer hunter — muzzleloading rifle and toe warmers; upland hunter — Danner’s Pronghorn boots and a blaze-orange baclava; waterfowl hunter — Peet boot dryers and Higdon’s Pulsator decoy.

This ‘n that

Hunters interested in receiving a trapping permit for Banner Marsh should call (309) 647-9184. ... The Illinois Audubon Society has purchased 303 acres in Johnson County along the Upper Cache River that will be managed for migratory birds and will provide habitat for various endangered species. ... Iowa created an emergency antlerless-only deer season for Dec. 21-23 due to low deer harvest numbers this year . ... Wisconsin gun deer hunters shot 343,644 deer (125,060 bucks) during their nine-day season. 


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