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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 10-11-09

October 11, 2009 at 09:21 AM


Species of waterfowl documented at the Emiquon Preserve in 2008.

Big Bucks Down

There must have been something in the air Oct. 2 to make big bucks go wild. On that second day of archery season hunters bagged several impressive trophies. Most notable is the Moultrie County 28-pointer shot by Nate Webster that may rank as one of the highest-scoring non-typical bowkills in the U.S. this year.

Closer to home, Shay Medus of Canton shot a nine-point Fulton County bruiser. “I was hunting a section of bean field where this drop tine spent most of his time throughout the summer,” Medus said. “To my surprise at 5:30 p.m. this stud stepped out and offered me with a 23-yard shot.”

Did you know?

Doves are the No. 1 migratory gamebird in the U.S. Hunters bagged 17.4 million last year, versus 13.6 million ducks and 3.7 million geese.

A hunting tradition

For the last 52 years, Carl Armbrust has been a part of the lives of thousands of central Illinois hunters.

Each fall since 1957, Armbrust and the Rickett Grain Co. of Forest City and Manito have printed and distributed thousands of cards with detailed Illinois hunting regulations. Printed on heavy stock, the cards were a perfect size to slip into a hunting vest or bag.

“Back in 1957 there was a school superintendent in Pekin who made out cards and I knew he was quitting so I picked up on it,” Armbrust said. “I have really appreciated all the comments from hunters over the years.”

Armbrust, 83, said the 3,500 cards he will print soon are his last. But he is grooming Aaron Hintz as a successor. “I hope he can do it another 40 or 50 years,” Armbrust said.

Conservation congress

Conservation-minded citizens have two ways to participate in the upcoming Oct. 24-25 Conservation Congress, which will focus on public access, youth recruitment and retention and conservation funding.

One option is to attend the meeting at Department of Natural Resources headquarters in Springfield. Residents interested in attending must register by Thursday. Another option is to take an online survey seeking input. Results will be presented during the meetings.

Click here to pursue either option.

Birding bits

Wildlife author Paul Sterry and nature photographer Brian E. Small have collaborated on two lavish photographic guides: “Birds of Western North America” and “Birds of Eastern North America.” The Princeton University Press books are sold by online vendors and at major bookstores.

This ‘n that

Illinois anglers age 15 and older have until Oct. 31 to submit a photo to to enter a drawing for one of four $50 prizes.

... In 1999 biologist Ken Russell netted and released a 52-inch grass carp out of a lake at Little John Conservation Club near Victoria.

... Lincoln’s New Salem State Historic Site near Petersburg will dedicate a challenging new 3.8-mile mountain bike trail this Saturday at 11 a.m.

...Bob and Mike Taylor of Toulon won the Illinois Muskie Tournament Trail’s fall classic last weekend at Lake Shelbyville with two muskie of 39.5 and 44.5 inches. Overall 10 of 28 boats combined for 13 fish, including the biggest a 45-incher.


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