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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 2-21-10

February 21, 2010 at 06:01 AM


Non-typical whitetail bucks entered in the Boone and Crockett Club’s record books, most of any state.

Lakeview carving display

Lakeview Museum in Peoria is displaying a unique carving by Hopedale artist Jim Robison. The hand-carved work depicts five mallards exploding out of water, with the birds suspended in mid-air by the splash.

Also on display will be Robison carvings of a pintail drake, an indigo bunting and a warbler. An avid falconer, Robison has won numerous awards since he was featured in People magazine as a teenager.

Reservoir outlook good

Fishing looks promising this year for Illinois’ three large U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reservoirs.

Prospects look particularly good at Lake Shelbyville, where high water has helped the spawn for several species. Crappie, white bass and largemouth bass are rated excellent while walleye and muskie are expected to be good to excellent.

Good news at Carlyle Lake is that largemouth bass are rated very good to excellent. Carlyle is home to the Illinois High School Association’s prep bass fishing finals, May 7-8.

Channel catfish and flatheads are rated as excellent at Rend Lake.

Did you know?

In 2009, 25 percent of hunters said they hunted more than expected and 40 percent said they hunted about as much as they expected to according to research by

Versatile dog training

Do you have a dog you would like to train as a versatile hunting companion that is adept on land and in water? The Spoon River Chapter of the North American Versatile Hunting Dog Association wants to help.

The chapter trains and tests at Gobbler’s Knob Hunting Preserve near Canton and also meets at Banner Marsh on the fourth Saturday of each month. This year the club has a spring test May 21-23.

All levels of dogs and trainers are welcome. Call Shae Birkey at (217) 369-0314.

Calling contests

The North American Duck and Goose Calling Championships will be held March 6-7 at the Ramada Inn and Conference Center in Moline.

This event offers three sanctioned qualifying events for the World Duck Calling Championship in Stuttgart, Ark.: the North American Regional, Illinois River Regional and Northern Illinois Regional.

There are also contests for youngsters 16 and under, vendors and free admission. For calling contest details call Mike Eddy at (309) 764-4863.

Birding bits

How big and powerful is a golden eagle? Big enough to take a swipe at a whitetail deer, as Eric Walters of Zion documented in an amazing series of pictures from the Nachusa Grasslands in Lee County.

Visit the Rare Birds section of to see Walters’ pictures.

The pictures prompted a story from Morton birdwatcher Kevin Richmond, whose friend once saw a golden eagle feeding on a Canada goose while surrounded by bald eagles. The golden eagle kept the entire group of bald eagles at bay while it fed.

This ‘n that

Two peregrine falcons have returned to their post atop the Associated Bank building in downtown Peoria. Is this the year they finally pull off a successful nesting? ... Youngsters have a chance to win a guided turkey hunt at Saturday’s Woodford County Sharp Spurs banquet in Metamora. Interested youth must have passed a hunter safety class and are asked to register in advance by calling (309) 432-2312 or 367-4842. ... Speaking of turkey hunting,  any remaining youth permits will be sold over the counter starting March 2.


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