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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 8-2-09

August 02, 2009 at 04:17 AM


Number of trap fields at the World Shooting and Recreational Complex in Sparta.

Honker fest

Goose-calling takes center stage at Presley’s Outdoors in Bartonville today with contests at 10 a.m. for novices, 1 p.m. for two-man teams and 3 p.m. for the open class and its $1,500 top prize. Goose caller Jeff Foiles speaks at 2 p.m.

Wild horses

Horse lovers can adopt wild horses this Friday and Saturday at the Interstate Center in Bloomington. The U.S. Bureau of Land Management will offer 60 wild horses ranging from yearlings to 5-year-olds and possibly a few wild burros.
Animals can be seen Friday from 2-7 p.m. and adoption is Saturday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Adoption is first-come, first-served. Maximum fee is $125.

Click here or call 1-866-468-7826 to learn more. Since 1971 BLM has found homes for more than 220,000 wild horses and burros, 2,897 in Illinois.

Waterfowl dates final

Duck hunters can make plans now that the Department of Natural Resources has finalized season dates.
Central Zone duck season is Oct. 31 through Dec. 29 and Canada goose season is Oct. 31-Nov. 15 and Nov. 24-Jan. 31. Youth hunt is Oct. 24-25.

Early Canada goose season is Sept. 1-15 and the daily bag is five honkers in the North, Northeast and Central zones and two in the South. Teal season is Sept. 5-20.

Here are other dates: North Zone — duck: Oct. 17-Dec. 15; Canada goose: Oct. 17-Jan. 9. South Zone — duck: Nov. 14-Jan. 12; Canada goose: Nov. 14-15, Nov. 29-Jan. 31.

Grand American returns

The Grand American Trapshoot returns to southern Illinois Wednesday through Aug. 15. This is the event’s fourth straight year at the World Shooting and Recreational Complex in Sparta. The complex features a 3.5-mile row of traps, 1,000 campsites, sporting clays, skeet, archery and cowboy action shooting facilities.

More than 7,000 shooters are expected to attend the Grand, started in 1893.

Did you know?

Scientists believe spiders have been making orb webs for at least 160 million years.

Bass lakes

Earlier this summer we published a top 10 list of bass lakes. Based on information from some anglers, we did not include New Gillespie City Lake. That may have been a mistake, based on what biologist Jeff Pontnack has seen of the 216-acre lake, which he calls one of the top three in the state for bigmouths.

“In terms of numbers of bass three pounds or larger, the densities are extremely high,” Pontnack said. “It’s just phenomenal. Anglers do see to have some trouble catching them, but they are in there.”

Critter corner

In the wilds of Illinois in August ...
Young skunks are moving.
Cicadas call.
Pheasant hens renest.
Second litter of squirrels are born.
Adult gobblers flock together in bachelor groups.
Deer fawns lose spots.
Bucks start rubbing antlers.
Wild grapes ripen.
Fall forbs bloom in prairies.
Teal, shorebirds, purple martins and osprey start migrating.

This ‘n that

Public fishing is not allowed in Whitehurst Lake in Pekin, which is a private sub-division lake. ... Mount Olive New City Lake is home to a population of pure pumpkinseed sunfish. ... The 2008 pheasant season in South Dakota drew 176,180 hunters and pumped an estimated $219.6 million into the state’s economy.


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