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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 11-8-09

November 08, 2009 at 05:53 AM


Wild turkeys shot in Knox County during the fall firearm turkey season — tops among counties in the Peoria Journal Star circulation area.

Deer update

The whitetail deer rut is going strong in Illinois and bowhunters are taking more bucks than does of late. From Oct. 26 to Nov. 1, hunters shot 52.3 percent bucks.

Actually, buck hunting has been good all fall, as evidenced by the Woodford County 11-pointer Joe Edwards of East Peoria (above) shot on Oct. 17.

Overall, archery harvest slipped off its earlier record pace. Through Nov. 1, bowhunters shot 27,676 deer. That’s off 2005 (29,330) and 2006 (27,949) but is ahead of last year’s 24,737. Top five counties so far are: 1. Pike 1,440; 2. Fulton 753; 3. Jefferson 677; 4. Peoria 637; and 5. LaSalle 596.

Did you know?

For every 100 bobwhite quail alive at the end of breeding season, 75 to 80 will die in the next 12 months.

Fee increases

Hunters and anglers will likely have to pay more for the privilege next year. During last week’s veto session, the Illinois Legislature passed fee increases outlined in Senate Bill 1846 that could raise $3.5 million for the Department of Natural Resources.

Pending an expected signature from Gov. Pat Quinn, resident hunting licenses will increase by $5 to $12 and resident fishing licenses will increase by $2 to $14.50.

Deer permits would also increase from $15 to $25 and the Illinois waterfowl stamp goes from $10 to $15.

Calendars for sale

Larry Dozard is selling his popular 2010 Best Times Fishing Calendar for $10.50 including tax and postage. These great Christmas gifts include top times and dates for fishing, tips, coupons and a sample lure. Visit or send a check to: Larry’s Fishing Hole; P.O. Box 2602; East Peoria, IL 61611.

Turkey harvest down

Fall turkey hunting continues to lose popularity in Illinois. The nine-day shotgun season ended Nov. 1 and hunters took 756 turkeys — down from last year’s 878 and from the 1,161 in 2007, 1,189 in 2006, 1,201 in 2005 and the record of 1,715 in 2000. Participation is also down in the 45 counties open to hunting. The state issued 9,180 permits (including landowner tags), down from the peak of 11,509 in 2003.

Spring turkey permits

Speaking of turkey hunting, hunters can apply for spring permits. Paper applications will not be mailed this year. Residents can apply for the first lottery at through Dec. 1.

Ranges open

Some Illinois State Police firing ranges are open Saturday for hunters to sight-in shotguns. Ranges in Joliet, Pontiac, Pawnee, Effingham, Pecatonica and LaSalle are available to the public from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Participants must have a valid firearm owner ID card. Reservations are required. For Pontiac call (815) 844-1500, for LaSalle call (815) 224-1171, Ext. 117.

This ‘n that

This year’s flock of 20 whooping cranes following an ultralight aircraft reached Winnebago County on Thursday. Weather permitting, the next stops are in LaSalle and Livingston counties.
... Due to staff shortages, Marseilles State Fish and Wildlife Area will close at noon on some days in the next three months and late-winter firearm deer hunting will not be offered. Call (815) 795-4509.


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