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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 8-29-10

August 29, 2010 at 04:35 AM


Teal shot last year at Rice Lake, tops among Illinois River public sites. Teal season opens Saturday.

Good goose opener?

If banding results are accurate, local goose hunters should see plenty of honkers when the early season opens Wednesday. Goose reproduction was 12 percent above the five-year average in west-central Illinois. Surveys showed 2.31 immature geese per adult.

Early season runs through Sept. 15. Hours are one-half hour before sunrise to sunset. The daily bag is five in the North, Northeast and Central zones and two in the South Zone.

Walleye tour schedule

The Illinois Walleye Trail has added a few new venues for its 2011 tournament schedule, but will still focus mainly on the Illinois River. New this year is a Mississippi River event and a tourney out of Ottawa.

No membership is required and the entry fee for events is $200 per team. Learn more at or call Bob Kidd at (309) 527-6328. The IWT is a qualifying circuit for the Cabela’s National Championship and the AIM Walleye Circuit.

Here is this year’s schedule: Oct. 10 — Henry; Oct. 24 — Hennepin; Nov. 7 — Rapid City, Mississippi River; March 6 — Spring Valley; April 9 — Ottawa; April 10 — Spring Valley.

Did you know?

Forbes Magazine ranked the fish hook as the 19th most important tool of all time.

Fishing award winners

Maui Jim of Peoria won a best of show award for its Guy Harvey Collection of sunglasses at this year’s ICAST event in Las Vegas. Other winners at the sportfishing industry’s annual event were Koppers Fishing & Tackle’s Live Target Hollow Body Frog (soft lure), Shimano’s Waxwing Sub-Surface Swimming Jig (hard lure), Frabil’s FXE Stormsuite (apparel), Lowrance’s Elite-5 DSI (electronics), Rapala’s Sufix 832 Advanced Superline (line), Shimano’s Stella FE (freshwater reel), G. Loomis’ NRX (best of show and freshwater rod) and Sebile’s Soft Weight System (terminal tackle).

More friends needed

Friends of Rice Lake hopes to purchase a goose hunting pit or two for Double T this fall. But to make that happen, the new non-profit group needs more members or a few major donations. Visit for a membership application.
Or mail your name, address and check ($25, $50 or $250) to: Friends of Rice Lake, P.O. Box 4004, Bartonville, IL 61607.

Critter corner

In the wilds of Illinois in September ...
Ducks, songbirds, monarch butterflies and bats migrate south.
Muskrats build lodges.
Rabbit breeding finally ends.
Snakes enter winter dormancy.
Swallows stage in large flocks.
Persimmons and hazelnuts ripen.
Acorns fall.
Puffballs and other fall mushrooms appear.
Aster and goldenrod blooms.

This ‘n that

South Dakota’s statewide average increased to 6.45 pheasants per mile, compared to 6.26 last year and the 10-year average of 5.71. Highest counts were near Chamberlain (17 birds per mile), Pierre (13.95) and Mobridge (10.85). The South Dakota season opens Oct. 16. ... In an otherwise difficult time, some encouraging news for Wildlife Prairie State Park is that attendance is up 15 percent this year and Midwest Living Magazine recently cited Prairie Park as one of the best state parks around.


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