Illinois Outdoors at
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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

Illinois hunting and fishing

Wild Things 10-25-09

October 25, 2009 at 07:06 AM


Percent increase in fishing license sales across the U.S. so far in 2009 compared to 2008. That’s the largest increase since the 1970s.

Historic year for bucks?

Big bucks keep falling across the U.S. in what Rack magazine editor Mike Handley calls, “Maybe the best year in history for big deer hitting the dirt this early.” Illinois has two 230-inch bucks. Other monster non-typicals have been confirmed in Wisconsin, Minnesota, New York and Kentucky.

But no, the list of trophies does not include the monster pictured above. That buck widely reputed as being killed near Greenville is apparently a pen-raised buck that is now being touted as having been killed in Ohio and Kansas. You’ve got to love the power of the Internet to spread disinformation.

But the buck pictured below is a monster that was killed on Oct. 19 in by Alan Jenkins of Warsaw in west-central Illinois. The 16-pointer is Jenkins’ first with a bow and will likely net 170 to 180 inches as a typical.

Illinois hunting and fishing

Hennepin-Hopper rehab

One compelling reason for the recently approved rehabilitation of Hennepin and Hopper lakes is a dramatic decline in waterfowl numbers. Surveys showed waterfowl usage at the site last year dropped by 90 percent from the peak in 2004.

The rehab is scheduled to start this fall and expectations are that anglers should see 13- to 14-inch bass by the spring of 2011.

To learn more about the project, you can attend an informational meeting Monday at 11 at the observation tower overlooking Hennepin and Hopper lakes.

Gearing up

The Boone and Crockett Club published its first record books devoted solely to elk and to mule deer. Books include all-time and award-class listings from the late 1800s through Jan. 31, 2009. Also included are geographic analyses of kill locations, maps, photos, tables and informative chapters. Books are $24.95 and can be ordered at or by calling 888-840-4868.

Outdoors answers

Q: “What would be the best public places to flyfish for bluegill in central Illinois next spring?”

— Jim Hastings, Dunlap
A: I would visit the Emiquon Preserve near Havana. The bluegill population is improving and there are tons of bonus bass. If all you want is bluegill, try Lakeland Park near Canton or the Fulton County Camping and Recreation Area near St. David. Also, walk-in lakes at Snakeden Hollow are good spring bluegill spots.

Did you know?

Geese banded in the Chicago area have been harvested in 20 other states and provinces as far west as Idaho, as far north as northern Manitoba and as far south as Louisiana.

Kudos corner

National Geographic Adventure magazine recently tabbed Peoria as one of the top 100 Adventure Towns in the U.S. Peoria is the lone Illinois entry and was singled out for hiking and mountain biking at Jubilee College State Park and the “Peoria Area Mountain Bike Association’s trailblazing efforts.”

This n’ that

...How strong is the appeal of Illinois deer hunting? Spotted in Peoria in the past week for bowhunting outings were Chicago Cubs Hall of Famer Ferguson Jenkins and former Detroit Tigers and Philadelphia Phillies catcher John Wockenfuss. That follows on the heels of a hunting visit to Beardstown earlier this season by Dale Earnhardt Jr.

... Contrary to what you may have heard several hundred times via e-mail, there is no Senate Bill SB-2099 that will require people to list all firearms on their federal income tax forms.




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Flathead's Picture of the Week :: Big bucks :: Birdwatching :: Cougars :: Dogs :: Critters :: Fishing :: Asian carp :: Bass :: Catfish :: Crappie :: Ice :: Muskie :: Humor :: Hunting :: Deer :: Ducks :: Geese :: Turkey :: Upland game :: Misc. :: Mushrooms :: Open Blog Thursday :: Picture A Day 2010 :: Plants and trees :: Politics :: Prairie :: Scattershooting :: Tales from the Trail Cams :: Wild Things ::

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