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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 5-17-09

May 17, 2009 at 06:14 AM


Weight in pounds and ounces of a state record smallmouth buffalo shot by bowfisher Jarad Poole of Clinton in a Sangamon County creek on May 2.

Big sheds

Travis Bitner of Trivoli won the Elmwood Insurance Agency’s 2009 shed antler contest with a Knox County find that measured 74 4/8 inches.  Doug Seeley of Elmwood also had a 91 1/8-inch shed from 2008 that was huge, but not a current year entry.

Speaking of huge sheds, Richard Music of Elgin (pictured above) has been making waves after finding one side of a Kane County buck that grossed 95 1/8 inches. Another hunter found the left side from the 10-pointer that went 101 5/8 inches.

So far those sheds won first place at shows in Iowa and Wisconsin. Incidentally, sheds from what is believed to be the same buck sold for $19,000 at a 2007 auction in Iowa.

Birding bits

Birders Matthew Winks and Matt Fraker spotted 117 species in Woodford County during last weekend’s spring bird count. Highlights were a common loon, a Caspian tern and a Kentucky warbler, one of 18 warbler species spotted. In Stark County Jeff Walk counted 112 species.

Hamm still wanted

The late Dale Hamm’s tall tales apparently never grow old. Due to continued interest in the colorful life story of Hamm, who died in 2001 at age 84, Southern Illinois University Press is reprinting “The Last of the Market Hunters.”

The book, written by Hamm and columnist Dave Bakke of Springfield’s State Journal-Register, offers an insightful biography of the legendary poacher and hunter from Bath. The book was first published in 1996 and sold 3,500 copies.

Writes Bakke: “Dale would be pleased to know the book is still drawing interest this many years later. I remember him sitting in a lawn chair at the Sanganois blind draw the year it came out, handing out flyers on the thing as fast as he could in stifling heat. He ended up getting treated in the ambulance, but by God he sold a lot of books that day!”

Call 1-800-621-2736 to order a copy for $19.95.

Did you know?

The largest freshwater fish in the world caught on rod and reel was a 468-pound white sturgeon documented by the International Game Fish Association in 1983 near Benica, Calif. on 80-pound test line.

Dip of the week

A resident of Homer, Alaska, recently learned a lesson about nature after inviting birdwatchers to her home to watch sandhill cranes. During the “Cranes and Croissants” event hosted by Mossy Kilcher, a bald eagle attacked and killed a crane. For some reason, Kilcher reported the incident to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

This ‘n that

Art from the 2009-10 federal duck stamp competition is on display at Dickson Mounds Museum through May 31. ... A total of 176,000 pheasant hunters in South Dakota last year shot 1.9 million roosters. ... Despite losing 13 nests to sparrows, “Bluebird” Herb Unkrich reports he has 61 bluebird nests with 261 eggs laid, 168 hatched and 20 fledged. If you have bluebird questions, e-mail him at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or call (309) 673-1074. ... April was the sixth straight month of firearm sales increases, as FBI background checks increased 30.3 percent over last year.


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