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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 4-27-08

April 27, 2008 at 03:25 AM


Estimated number in millions of U.S. honeybee colonies in 2007, down from 5.5 million in 1945.

Duck stamp honorees

Several local artists fared well in the annual Illinois junior duck stamp competition won by Abraham Hunter for his entry “Settled Scaups” (pictured above).

Local first-place winners included Narissa Orwig, Matt Sale, Taylor Snowman and Marissa Yontz of Canton. Second-place winners were Cooper Hutchinson of Havana and from Bureau Valley High School: Dane Huseman, Hannah Renner Ben Sabin and Lexie Walters.

We want your videos

If you have outdoors video — fishing, hunting, canoeing or even just critters — we invite you to share it with others at Prairie State

The easiest way is to upload video to and e-mail us a link. But we’ll also take raw video e-mailed to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) with a short description.
We’re offering monthly prizes for the best videos posted online at Prairie State

Wal-Mart changing

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has said it plans to stop selling guns at about one-third of its U.S. stores and will tape gun sales to create a computerized log of purchases.

The chain has also indicated it may pull back on sales of fishing supplies after reportedly telling some fish suppliers their merchandise might be headed to the clearance bin.

Birding bits

Birds are very busy these days.

Prolific bird blogger Jane Ward snapped pictures of eaglets in a Marshall County bald eagle nest earlier this week. She also photographed a mute swan at Banner Marsh with a neck collar. Swans have been collared as part of an ongoing Illinois Natural History Survey being conducted at Banner Marsh and at Spring Lake. Visit to see
Ward’s pictures.

Bluebird guru Herb Unkrich of Edwards reports he has 77 eggs in 44 boxes as of Friday.

Now is also the time to get out your hummingbird feeders. Ruby-throated hummingbirds have been reported as far north as DuPage County this week. And on Wednesday, Rene’ Silotto of East Peoria put out fresh sugar water and 10 minutes later had a male hummingbird at the feeder.

“Mexican food must be good. He was really dark green and his ruby throat was really dark,” Silotto said.

Tip of the week

By now you should have received a firearm deer hunting permit application. If not, we’ve printed another batch that are available in the Journal Star lobby. Your best bet is to log on to and print an application or apply online.

Whatever you do, deadline for the first lottery is this Wednesday.

Critter corner

In the wilds of Illinois in May ...

  • Beaver, skunks and bobcats born.
  • Geese start hatching.
  • Smallmouth salamanders start to change to adult shape.
  • Spawning starts for many fish.
  • Birds, including warblers and shorebirds, migrate north.

This ‘n that

Pheasants Forever has its annual statewide meeting Saturday at Springfield’s Crowne Plaza Hotel.
... Bass Pro Shops is in the midst of a $25 million renovation of Wonders of Wildlife National Fish and Wildlife Museum and Aquarium in Springfield, Mo.
... Rich Guengerich caught a mussel on a white spinnerbait two weeks ago at Spring Lake south.
... Thursday’s netting surveys at Argyle Lake near Macomb showed an abundance of saugeye from 1.5-9.5 pounds and good numbers of crappie 8-13 inches long.


More from Jeff Lampe

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Flathead's Picture of the Week :: Big bucks :: Birdwatching :: Cougars :: Dogs :: Critters :: Fishing :: Asian carp :: Bass :: Catfish :: Crappie :: Ice :: Muskie :: Humor :: Hunting :: Deer :: Ducks :: Geese :: Turkey :: Upland game :: Misc. :: Mushrooms :: Open Blog Thursday :: Picture A Day 2010 :: Plants and trees :: Politics :: Prairie :: Scattershooting :: Tales from the Trail Cams :: Wild Things ::

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