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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, 1-20-08

January 20, 2008 at 03:12 AM

Percent increase in road-killed skunks surveyed in 2006.

Ice derby likely
Cursing the cold? Not Jim Modglin. Sub-zero temperatures put a big smile on the face of Modglin, an organizer of the annual Lake Camelot ice fishing tournament.

“I wish we had more of this,” Modglin said. “I think we should have plenty of ice, but we’re not sure yet.”

Event organizers will meet Monday to make a final determination, but all signs point to the tourney being held Saturday. Feb. 2 is the alternate date.

Lakes at the subdivision off Lancaster Road froze once already this winter and anglers caught some big bluegill and crappie, Modglin said.

Fishing is 7 a.m. to noon with cash prizes, raffles, food and plenty of beverages. Anglers can register 6-9 p.m. the night before the tourney or the morning of the event starting at 6 a.m. Cost is $7 for adults and $4 for children 12 and under.

Look for updates on the event Tuesday at or in the paper on Wednesday.

Tip of the week
For information on safety classes in Illinois, visit or call 1-800-832-2599.

Archery deer update
While the 2007-08 archery season will not set a record, it was very memorable for Peoria traditional bowhunter Bill Smith.

Hunting Tuesday in Peoria County he shot a 6-point buck to complete “The Grand Slam of Osage.” Smith, 59, was hunting with a hand-made osage orange bow and an osage arrow while sitting in an osage orange tree.

Overall through Monday, preliminary archery harvest results showed bowhunters reporting 62,890 deer — down 3.5 percent from last year.

Top counties were: 1. Pike (3,654), 2. Fulton (1,571), 3. Jefferson (1,447), 4. Peoria (1,295) and 5. Adams (1,285).

Among those helping boost Peoria County was Bill McKown of Brimfield. McKown topped 150 hunters by shooting nine does (two shotgun, six archery, one muzzleloader) from Oct. 1 to Dec. 17 in the Peoria County Farm Bureau’s most-does contest.

Birding bits
Volunteers are sought for the annual Peoria Eagle Count on Saturday. Call Bert Princen at (309) 691-0519. Teams count eagles from Henry to Havana on both sides of the Illinois River. Numbers should be good given the ice and recent cold.

More free show tickets
The outdoor show onslaught reaches central Illinois on Friday for the Illinois Fish & Feather Expo at Bloomington’s Interstate Center.  Show hours are Friday noon to 8 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Headliner Babe Winkelman appears Saturday. Other speakers include crappie guide Steve Welch, smallmouth bass guru Jonn Graham, catfish angler Ken Freeman, muskie guide Dave Ludington, bass anglers Jim Crowley and Terry Brown and rod builder Paul Center.

We’ve got pairs of tickets for the first three readers who leave a message at (309) 686-3212 after 7 a.m. today. Winners last week were Eric Coben of Eureka, Paul O’Neal of Pekin, Rick Ahten of Princeville, Jerry Schisler of Peoria and Randy Barth of Goodfield.

This ‘n that
Your chance to rub elbows with Hall of Famer Ferguson Jenkins comes Saturday evening at the Independent Sportsman’s Club’s wild-game feed at the Kickapoo Sportsman’s Club. For tickets call (309) 691-3961 or 691-2021.

... The National Wildlife Society has honored Illinois Natural History Survey biologist William Anderson with its 2007 Professional Award of Merit.

... The 17 whooping cranes following ultralight aircraft from Wisconsin reached Florida Wednesday.


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