Illinois Outdoors at PrairiestateOutdoors.com
RulesIllinois Outdoors at PrairiestateOutdoors.com
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

Using deer for compost

July 31, 2008 at 03:29 PM

Here’s a story from the Associated Press about using dead deer for compost. Funny part to me is where it talks about “public complaints about the smell.” Duh.

WVa spends $2.6m to compost dead deer
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP)—Composting dead deer won’t become a cottage industry in West Virginia.

Deputy state highway engineer John Walker says the Division of Highways has no plans to expand a pilot project that produces compost from deer killed along state highways.

The state has spent $2.6 million over the past three years on the project that has existed for more than a decade in the Eastern Panhandle and in northcentral West Virginia. Walker says that includes the costs of hauling the deer to a facility for composting, then transporting the compost to flower beds.

But Walker says the project produces only a few truckloads each year. Besides the cost and low yield, the state has had to deal with public complaints about the smell.

Maryland has two such deer composting facilities.

Story and comments
Illinois Outdoors

Asian carp numerous, but snagging slow

July 29, 2008 at 07:07 PM

Snagging has started slowly below Peoria Lock and Dam this week with the wicket dam partially back in place since last Friday. Joe “Photo Joe” Egli of South Pekin was out Monday and got skunked. He talked to a few anglers who snagged some on Sunday. No doubt that will change for the better. The problem right now for snaggers is that the Asian carp have not yet stacked up below the dam. But they will. Maybe more than ever before.

Flathead’s Picture of the Week is the above shot of a silver carp jumping near the Chillicothe railroad bridge. He said all indications are that Asian carp populations are booming. The picture below “shows the size of the silver carp spawned late last summer when the Illinois River came up, and the size of the silver carp spawned this spring.” Flathead said sampling efforts turned of large numbers of both groups of silver carp. Bighead carp were also sampled, but in very low numbers.

Illinois Outdoors

Story and comments

Vegan teacher fired

July 29, 2008 at 04:34 PM

Here’s an interesting headline I missed yesterday but wanted to notice.

State board upholds firing of vegan teacher

FOX RIVER GROVE, Ill. (AP)—The Illinois State Board of Education has upheld the firing of a suburban Chicago art teacher who taught veganism and animal rights to students and told them not to tell their parents.

Former fishing guide 45-year-old Dave Warwak of Williams Bay, Wisconsin, spent eight years with District 3 in Fox River Grove before he was fired in September.

Warwak doesn’t eat any animal products, including meat, dairy or eggs.

Warwak says he’s disappointed with the board’s ruling and that he doesn’t plan to change his message.

School board vice president Steve Knar says the state board’s decision makes him glad for district administrators.

 

Story and comments

Here’s how a DNR should work

July 29, 2008 at 01:34 PM

I got this e-mail today from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. For some reason, this made me even more depressed about the sad state of our own DNR here in Illinois

DNR Director continues public forum schedule

DES MOINES – Richard Leopold, director of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, is holding public forums around Iowa through September, with the next session at the Pine Lake State Park Lodge in Eldora on Thursday, July 31.

“I’m looking forward to sharing some of the important initiatives underway within the department, but more importantly, I really want to hear from Iowa’s citizens. One thing I am particularly proud of is the rapport that the DNR has with the public. This is a relationship we value highly within the DNR,” said Leopold.

The public forum begins at 6 p.m. with Director Leopold outlining the department’s top 10 priorities, work being done to develop environmental indicators for the state, providing an update on sustainable funding for natural resources and discussion of local issues. Another hour-and-a-half will be devoted to answering questions from the public.

More than 80 people have attended the forums so far, which have been held at Gull Point and Walnut Woods state parks.

 

Story and comments
Illinois Outdoors

New respect for 10-pound bass

July 28, 2008 at 08:33 AM

No, I didn’t see a 10-pound bass last night. But as I was sitting at the computer at home and typing away, I heard a voice through the open window.

“Jeff, I’ve got a big fish to show you.”

This happens now and then, with people stopping by to show off fish, deer and turkeys, though not usually after dark.

In this case, Steve Neal of Elmwood really did have a big fish. He had caught a 24-inch bass at about 2:30 p.m. on a 10-inch purple worm while fishing in a strip-mine lake in Fulton County.

When he first pulled the thing out of his livewell I thought for sure it was 9 pounds. The head was huge, the mouth enormous. But then I saw the body: not fat. No gut. Maybe with eggs this fish would have pushed toward 9 pounds. But as it was, as huge and impressive as was Neal’s bass, it was still just over 7 pounds on my old scale.

And I still can’t imagine what it will be like to see a fresh, flopping 10-pounder in person.

Story and comments

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