Illinois Outdoors at PrairiestateOutdoors.com
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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
 

Scattershooting

A Web log by Jeff Lampe of the Journal Star

Wild Things 11-1-09

November 01, 2009 at 03:39 AM

9

Whooping cranes released at Necedah National Wildlife Refuge that will migrate on their own this fall.

Outdoors answers

Q: “What are the rules and seasons for bobcats? Can I take one with my bow when I am deer hunting?”
— George Barger, Pekin

A: Don’t shoot. Though increasingly plentiful, bobcats are protected in Illinois and there is no hunting or trapping season for these elusive cats.

Upland game outlook

Upland game prospects are dim for Saturday’s season opener due largely to standing crops and partly to population declines.

Rabbit numbers will be lower than last year in southern Illinois but slightly higher in northern Illinois. Pheasant counts are down in east-central Illinois and similar to last year or up slightly in northern Illinois.

Quail counts are up slightly in south-central Illinois and down slightly in the west-central area.

Estimated harvest last year was 165,216 rabbits, 151,170 quail and 103,299 pheasants.

We need more PHAs

As pheasant season approaches, 873 lucky hunters get to hunt one of Illinois’ free upland game hunting permits. The best are Pheasant Habitat Areas, smaller parcels of land offering habitat with minimal management.

Unfortunately, just 28 percent of the 3,029 who applied for a permit were drawn. In 2008, the state issued 865 permits and 1,955 rejections.

That math proves there is demand for more PHAs. Let’s hope the Department of Natural Resources considers that in ongoing discussions of increasing hunter access to land.

Did you know?

Green-winged teal are the second-most commonly harvested duck in the U.S. Last year hunters shot almost 2 million greenwings, second only to the mallard in the bag.

Critter corner

In the wilds of Illinois in November…
Lesser scaup migration occurs.
Peak canvasback, mallard migration.
Whitetail deer rut peaks.
Does enter first estrus.
Peak for deer-vehicle collisions.
Peak of crow migration.
Brood turkey flocks break up.
Young male turkeys form jake flocks.
Juncos, tree sparrows and purple finches arrive.

This ‘n that

Dove season reopens Saturday through Nov. 15. ... Fall firearm turkey season ends today. ... Award-winning Peoria carver Ken Ingram has a display of working decoys (mallard, black duck, scaup, Canada goose and surf scoter) at Forest Park Nature Center in Peoria Heights through Dec. 31. ... Though he didn’t earn one of six spots to the Bassmaster Classic, Gerald Sobkowiak of Granville did catch fish in the recent 2009 Bassmaster Federation Nation Championship on the Harris Chain of Lakes in Florida.

 

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