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

Duck blind allocation being discussed

October 20, 2008 at 10:58 PM

John Stewart of Stewart’s Archery has brought an interesting situation to our attention here at Prairie State Outdoors.

Apparently duck hunting procedures for Lake Mattoon may be revised at a meeting Tuesday, Oct. 21 at Mattoon City Hall.

Stewart said currently there are eight blinds on the lake that are all located on property owned by the city. He writes, “These blinds are ‘owned or occupied’ by 8
different people. These blinds have been given away from one hunter to the other. The only way for ‘Joe Hunter’ to hunt is by being asked by a blind holder by invitation only. The new proposal would be the creation of a ‘Mattoon City Waterfowl Association’ that would be made up of the existing 8 blind holders. These 8 blind holders want to get a lease agreement with the city for the hunting rights of the City owned lake for a period of 10 years. This meaning that no one will be able to hunt except the blind holders or someone that has been invited by a blind holder.”

Well, Stewart thinks that is unfair. He writes:

Lake Mattoon is city property that we all pay for and should have a right to use. There should be an equal opportunity for all hunters to hunt the lake. Many towns and conservation areas have this type of hunting but have a first come first serve basis on the blind spots every morning. There are also others who just have a public drawing once a year for the blind spots and they are given to the lucky hunter whose name was drawn for the entire year.

The whole issue is very interesting and reminds me of the situation that existed on Lake Decatur when I lived there. Hunting blinds were allocated to individuals basically until they died. And there was a waiting list of people who wanted a chance at one of the blinds. I’m not sure if that’s still true, but it made for a tight-knit group of hunters and not much room for newcomers.

Stewart suggests people who want to learn more about the situation at Lake Mattoon can call Kyle Keefer at (217) 549-2798.

Seems to me the days of granting someone a duck blind for life on public ground ought to be gone.

 

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