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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 12-6-09

December 06, 2009 at 03:36 PM

Birding bits

Despite the cold, December and January can be good months to watch birds. Why? No bugs and no leaves says Mike Lubow, who offers birdwatching tips on his Web site (

Plus, this is a good time to see species that don’t normally visit, such as snow buntings, pine grosbeaks, dark-eyed juncos, common and hoary redpolls, red or white-winged crossbills and even snowy owls.

Lubow advises birders to be aware of hunters in the field, to look for open water in times of ice and to pick a target bird you want to spot. “The harder you look the more likely it is you’ll see other interesting things,” he said.

Proof of that came recently along the Illinois River, as Pete Fenner of East Peoria spotted a surf scoter (pictured above) near the Riverplex in Peoria and Matthew Winks saw a black scoter at Dolphin Cove in Woodford County. Scoters are coastal sea ducks rarely seen in Illinois.


Number of female hunters in millions out of the 20.9 million who hunted in the U.S. in 2005.

Late winter deer

Deer hunters with leftover tags from the firearm, muzzleloader and youth seasons are reminded those tags are valid for the late-winter season — provided the county for which they were issued is open for the Dec. 31-Jan. 3 and Jan. 15-17 hunt.

Some public sites are also open to the late-winter hunt, though regulations vary depending on the site.

At Jubilee College, Starved Rock and Matthiessen, unfilled permits will not be valid and hunters must purchase over-the-counter tags starting Dec. 15.

Unfilled tags will be valid to use on the Bureau and Putnam county portions of Miller Anderson Woods, Spoon River State Forest, Marseilles SFWA, Marshall SFWA, Argyle Lake, Mackinaw River SFWA and George S. Park SNA.

You speak

“I just want to congratulate Moraine State Park on their limits of horsepower of outboard motors. It is 10 hp or larger motors are held to no wake speed. This is on a small lake of 158 acres.

“Doing this would bring a lot more people being able to fish a nice small lake. My fishing partner is from Clinton. He had heard about Davis Lake. We had a very good day (recently) with a 60 hp motor.”

— Joe Oyer, Morton

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.

New dog breed

Ever heard of the German long-haired pointer? A new group hopes that you will learn about this unique bird dog.

The German Long-haired Pointer Club of North America has been established to spread the word about their versatile dogs that have a setter-like coat in brown and brown and white. Reportedly these long-haired pointers can hunt upland and waterfowl.

Del Peterson first imported the breed to North America in 1974 and is president of the GLPCNA. Visit to learn more.

This ‘n that

Missouri had its lowest firearm deer harvest in 10 years, as hunters shot 193,090 deer from Nov. 14-24.

... Coles County is among the counties open for the late-winter deer season and will not be closed during the antlerless-only hunt, as indicated in previous DNR releases.



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