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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 6-14-09

June 14, 2009 at 01:59 AM


Daily limit of bullfrogs during frog season, which opens Monday.

Urban fishing clinic

Free urban fishing clinics start Thursday at Glen Oak Park Lagoon in Peoria. Clinics will be held twice daily on weekdays through Aug. 12. Fishing equipment is provided.

The events are designed to target youngsters 16 and under, though anyone may attend. Participants learn fishing techniques and can then test their newfound knowledge in the stocked lagoon.

To register, call (309) 681-2865.

Tip of the week

Reader Bob Quick of Peru has a few suggestions for anyone who enjoyed reading Dale Hamm’s “The Last of the Market Hunter.” Quick suggests “Tales of a River Rat” or “The Last River Rat” by Kenny Salwey cover similar subject matter and would be good Father’s Day gifts. Both books, available on, focus on life on the upper Mississippi River and Lake Pepin.

Photo contest

Nature photographers are invited to enter the 10th annual OutdoorIllinois Photo Contest. Winning images will be printed in the February 2010 issue of OutdoorIllinois. Photos received for the nature preserves category may also be included in a statewide exhibit to celebrate the Illinois Nature Preserve Commission’s 500th site.

Entries are due by Aug. 7. To learn more visit or e-mail .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or call (217) 785-0975.

Wild on the Web

Illinois has adopted an interactive online hunter education course ( to allow students to complete coursework before attending an Illinois hunter safety class. The online class costs $24.95 and students must still complete a field day in order to obtain an Illinois hunter education certificate.

Coyotes hard on hens

Here’s yet another reason to curse the coyote. A study of turkey nesting in Cass and Clark counties showed up to 50 percent mortality in hen turkeys during nesting season.

The study by Patrick Hubert showed predation was reponsible for 73 percent of those hen deaths, a total similar to figures for other midwestern states. The main predator in Illinois is canids (primarily coyotes), which accounted for 52 percent of the hen turkeys killed on the nest.

Did you know?

An estimated 70 percent of the U.S. population lives within 50 miles of a lake managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and 10 percent of the U.S. population visits a Corps project at least once per year.

Outdoors answers

Q: “I am looking for signs asking that my farm ditches not be mowed until after nesting season. I believe I have seen signs such as ‘Roadsides for Wildlife’ but have been unable to locate them. Can you help?”
— Steve Evans, Metamora

A: The Department of Natural Resources runs the Roadsides for Wildlife program that is designed to provide habitat for critters. As part of the program, DNR distributes orange and black signs that say: “Roadsides for Wildlife, Do not mow until after Aug. 1.”

Stan Etter runs the program and can be reached by e-mail at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or by phone at (217) 784-4730. Etter mails signs to landowners who limit mowing for habitat purposes.

This ‘n that

Illinois watercraft registrations for 2009 expire on June 30. ... The National Park Service is offering fee-free weekends at 147 sites this summer on the weekends of June 20-21, July 18-19 and Aug. 15-16.


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