Illinois Outdoors at PrairiestateOutdoors.com
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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
 

Scattershooting

A Web log by Jeff Lampe of the Journal Star

Wild Things 7-26-09

July 26, 2009 at 02:53 AM

8.5

Number of mallards in millions surveyed this spring on the breeding grounds — up 10 percent from 2008 and the highest count since 2000.

Duck-blind drawings

Waterfowlers will cross fingers and hope for luck at 2 p.m. today when blind drawings start at public areas along the Illinois River. Registration opens at 10 a.m. and many diehards have been camping out for days for the annual “Woodstock with guns.”

To participate, you must be 16 or older, possess a valid Firearm Owner’s Identification and have a 2008 or 2009 Illinois hunting license and migratory waterfowl stamp.

Controlled pheasant

The Department of Natural Resources will offer controlled pheasant hunts at 18 sites this fall, including Johnson-Sauk Trail, Sand Ridge, Jim Edgar-Panther Creek, Moraine View and a partial season at Green River. Mackinaw River will be open only for youth hunts.

The daily permit fee is now $25 for residents and $35 for non-residents. Fees must be paid in cash at the sites. Click here to reserve a permit starting Aug. 10.

Squirrel opener

The 2009-10 hunting season opens Saturday when squirrels become fair game across Illinois. Squirrel season runs through Feb. 15 statewide. Hunting is one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset. The daily limit is five squirrels.

Stinkbait central

Russ Nash has plenty to live up to next month at Rend Lake. Last summer Nash’s Hoss’s Hawg Bait swept the top three spots at a unique 50-boat, Big Cat Quest tournament on Rend Lake.

The tournament is unique because its format requires anglers to use manufactured baits. Learn more by calling Nash at (309) 565-3241.

Birding bits

Over the past few years Illinois has seen a growing number of trumpeter swans nesting in the state.

Now there are pictures proving white pelicans are nesting in Illinois on an island on the Mississippi River thanks to Steve Patterson of Illini Images. Apparently pelicans are also nesting at two locations in Wisconsin.

No record oak

For a moment, Gene Kizer of Washburn thought he had a state record burr oak growing on his 60 acres off Sun Road. His big oak measured 16 feet, 10 inches around and had a drip edge of 126 feet. While large, Kizer’s oak doesn’t measure up to a Union County tree that is 23.6 feet around, 90 feet tall and has a spread of 104 feet.

Archery event

Bowhunters preparing for archery deer season will want to circle Aug. 22-23 on their calendars. Those are the dates for the Brad Wallin 3-D shoot for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. A devoted deer hunter, Wallin died of cancer at age 11.

The two-day event in his honor will include two 3-D courses, raffles, novelty shoots, dinner and an auction on Aug. 22 and special kids events. Call Luke Quinn at (309) 208-5613.

This ‘n that

DNR spent $588,000 on Monday to acquire 36 acres in JoDaviess County near the north end of Mississippi Palisades State Park. ... Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever want youngsters age 10-17 to serve on a leadership council to provide input on conservation issues. Applications are available at http://www.illinoispf.org or by calling Aaron Kuehl at (217) 635-5207. Deadline is Sept. 1. ... The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will not charge boat ramp fees Aug. 1-9 nationwide, including Lake Shelbyville, Rend Lake and Carlyle Lake.

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