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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

October 26, 2008 at 01:18 AM


Percent decline in rabbits spotted in road-kill counts in the northern half of Illinois. Rabbits were down 10 percent in southern Illinois.

Combining for deer

Due to this year’s late harvest, Todd Mooberry of Lowpoint has only been bowhunting once. But he still found a unique way to bag a deer last week when he hit a young buck while combining corn.

“He was bedded down in the corn and he just decided to get up a little too late,” said Mooberry, who was traveling 4.5 miles per hour. “He jumped up and fell back on the corn head. That’s a strange sight seeing a buck flopping on a corn head.”

The collision broke both of the buck’s back legs. It also raised the question of whether there’s a genetic learning disability in bucks near Mooberry’s farm. A few years ago during harvest Mooberry got within eight feet of a 10-pointer in the corn.

Pack our parks event

With the future of 11 state parks hanging in the balance, Jane Hovland of Clinton is organizing a Pack Our Parks event for this Saturday.

“We’re hoping the governor is going to listen and to see that people need their parks,” Hovland said. “It’s not a planned rally, we just want everyone to go to their parks that day.”

Hovland is asking participants to attend any Illinois parks, not just the 11 sites that may close Nov. 30. She suggests 10-11 a.m. as a prime time for maximum attendance.

Hall of famers

Bill Guerrini of Spring Valley is one of four outdoors enthusiasts who will be added to the Illinois Outdoor Hall of Fame in 2009.

Joining walleye/sauger guru Guerrini are the late Don Hankla, Dwight Hoffard and George Rabb. The four were picked from 13 finalists, including Bert Princen of Peoria and Lake Shelbyville fishing guide Walter Lee Watts. Hall of Famers will be honored Feb. 28 during the Hall of Fame banquet at Pheasant Run in St. Charles.

Birding bits

Hawk watcher Vic Berardi of Gurnee said conditions should be prime for a major raptor migration today through Tuesday. Expected migrants include rough-legged hawks, red-tailed hawks, northern harriers, red-shouldered hawks and bald eagles.

This ‘n that

  • After three years on the job, Matt Sprenger is leaving as manager of the Illinois River National Wildlife and Fish Refuges, including Chautauqua Lake. In November Sprenger moves to a job in Minneapolis supervising U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service refuge managers.
  • Iowa expects 100,000 pheasant hunters this year, the lowest since record-keeping started in 1963.
  • Joshua Spies of Watertown, S.D. won the 2009-10 federal duck stamp contest with a painting of a long-tailed duck and decoy.



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