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 9-12-10

September 12, 2010 at 06:11 AM

104

Fish and game violations written by Illinois conservation police officers over Labor Day weekend.

Area’s top bow spots

The Oct. 1 opening day of archery deer season is just a few weeks away but some bowhunters are still scrambling to find a place to hang a stand. Each year Illinois offers more public areas open to bowhunters, some that offer a decent chance at a deer.

Here’s a list of the top 15 public spots in central Illinois last year in terms of archery deer harvest: 1. Jim Edgar-Panther Creek 236, 2. Clinton Lake 216, 3. Jubilee College SP 102, 4. Starved Rock SP 81, 5. Sand Ridge 62, 6. Siloam Springs 59, 7. Banner Marsh 44, 8. Siloam Springs-Buckhorn 39, 9. Big Bend 34, 10. Marseilles 34, 11. Marshall 33, 12. Spoon River State Forest 33, 13. Mackinaw River 23, 14. Green River 19, 15. Argyle Lake SP 18.

Overall, last year’s archery deer harvest of 3,688 on public land was down 6 percent from the year before.

Ever go skishing?

The newest fishing craze in the northeast is for anglers to don wetsuit and flippers and swim out into the ocean with rod and reel. While some purists frown on the practice, manufacturers have started producing products with the skisher in mind.

Don’t believe me? Fire up Google and check it out yourself.

Did you know?

Over the past three seasons, more than 60 percent of the ducks shot in Illinois were mallards. Gadwall are the second-highest species in Illinois at just under 10 percent and green-winged teal rank third at just under 7 percent.

Griz-ified benefit

Among the most generous folks you’ll meet in central Illinois is Milt “Griz” Wernsman. So it comes as no surprise that Griz has yet another cause to champion.

The latest focus of his attention is The Children’s Center of Tazewell County in Creve Couer. To help raise money for the school, Wernsman is holding a benefit fund-raiser Saturday at the East Peoria VFW Hall on Meadows Road from 5-8 p.m.

Griz has assembled an impressive list of prizes and auction items for the event, including duck and goose calls, guns, bows and an original carving by Bill Swango.

Tickets cost $6 for adults or $4 for kids. Add $1 at the door. For tickets or to make a donation call Griz at (309) 678-2159.

Bluebird nest results

Drum roll please ... here is “Bluebird Herb” Unkrich’s final tally for his 95 nest boxes in 2010. Out of 179 nests, Unkrich counted 770 bluebird eggs, 612 hatchlings and 562 fledglings. That’s up from 2009 when he had 482 fledglings. The last nest fledged on Sept. 1. Unkrich offers to turn in nest reports for any other bluebird enthusiasts in the area. E-mail him at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Birding bits

The target starting date for this year’s ultralight-let whooping crane migration from Necedah National Wildlife Refuge in central Wisconsin is Oct. 5. A group of 13 birds are being groomed for this migration, which is the earliest starting date on record.

This ‘n that

Sign-ups are underway for Presley’s Outdoors big buck contest, which this year offers a Kawasaki ATV as top prize. ... Raise a rod to Matt Molitor and Dave Cufaude of Manito, this year’s Anglers of the Year for the Central Illinois Bass circuit. ... Lakeview Museum has an exhibit of art and artifacts from the life of John James Audubon that opens Friday and runs through Jan. 9. ... Powerton Lake will be closed to fishing Sept. 20-22 for more levee repairs.

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