The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

July 7, 2013

OUTDOORS: More Canada geese have been killed


DANVILLE — On Friday more baby Canada geese (goslings) were run down by a vehicle near the bridge over Lake Vermilion on Denmark Road.

This followed 11 Canada geese killed near the same bridge around June 20th.

Conservation Police Officer Bill Cottrell and I are looking for any information on these killings.

Maybe you saw something, heard something or know something that could help us by sending me an e-mail or calling the IDNR hot line at (877) 236-7529. You can remain anonymous if you chose.

As of Friday, a $400 cash reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for these senseless killings.

If you care to add to this reward by making a donation, please feel free to e-mail me.

Please do not call as I will only have my cell with me this week but will be able to access my e-mail.

Somebody knows something on this and Bill and I would appreciate your help in this matter.

Eagle Scout project

to honor ‘Peck’ Lomax

Kheagyn Gritten of Muncie is working on his Eagle Scout project hoping to a memorial for Peck Lomax in Kickapoo State Park along Riverview Trail

“I am doing a eagle scout project to honor “Peck” Lomax who operated Peck’s Live Bait near Kickapoo State Park for 44 years. It was a landmark in our community. He always had a smile on his face and was a hard-working man”, Gritten told me.

“To Peck bait selling was his passion, he had a tank that held over 1,000 pounds of minnows inside his shop.”

“Peck and his wife Gwendolyn started selling bait in 1933. Eventually, the shop was open seven days a week from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.,” Gritten continued.

The memorial will be constructed in Kickapoo State Park on Riverview Trail. There will be a bench with Peck and his wife’s name engraved in it. There will be landscape timbers surrounding it, day lillies, mulch, and various flowers. Also he will be clearing out the area for the project and making a path to the area.

“I would like everyone to be able to enjoy this place and continuously remember ‘Peck’ and their loved ones.”

Gritten is seeking donations for his project and can be reached at P.O. Box 114, Muncie, IL 61857. For information, contact Gritten at 918-0625.

I remember Peck very well. It was Peck that weighed in my largest bass caught out of this area. I caught the fish at straight up midnight from the Red Ear Campground Pond which is an offshoot and connected to Long Pond in Kickapoo State Park;

I knew I had a good fish so I wanted to get it weighed quickly being I was in a Big Bass Contest that paid $500. In 1974, $500 was a nice chunk of money.

To me Peck was a salty old guy who never said much. Grumbling because I had awakened him in the middle of the night, he stumbled out to the shop and turned on the light. I remember he said two things to me. The first was “Wow!” as I held the fish up in the light and actually got a good look at it myself for the first time.

Peck put the fish on the scale and it tipped 8 pounds, 12 ounces. “That’s a keeper son!” was all he said. He turned the light out and went to bed.

I was in that bait shop many a time and most of the anglers of this area remember Peck and his bait shop and as Gritten said, the old bait shop was a landmark to our community.

Hummingbird update

I’m seeing a few more hummingbirds this week but everyone I talk to seems to talk about the shortage of these birds.

Sam Van Camp writes about the outdoors on Fridays and Sundays. Call him at 662-6559. Fax: 446-6648. E-mail: pamn