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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

Illinois hunting and fishing

First duck hunt a success

October 31, 2009 at 10:18 PM

Somehow, in the years since old Buck passed on, I’ve forgotten how much I enjoy duck hunting.

Saturday brought it all home. Ah, it wasn’t just Saturday. It was weeks of watching the Duck Commanders show. It was two weeks of building a duck blind. And it was one morning in the blind with my son and my buddy The Farmer. We shot just two ducks. Many shot more. My friend Rick Miller and his crew shot 24 ducks in Blind 29 at Rice Lake. Nate Herman and his crew shot 23 mallards in a Peoria County corn field.

By those standards, our one gadwall hen and one spoonbill hen paled in comparison. Even so, we had a ball. The blind we had worked so hard on was big enough, comfortable enough and brushed well enough. The boat we had hustled to paint this week was fine. The wind was wrong. Too much south, which whistled into our faces and gave the birds too little room to finish. But we still had action.

Best of all, the oldest boy Henry enjoyed himself. Sure, somehow he got cold on a 40-degree day, a fact that still mystifies me. But instead of getting mad, I went home and got him a heater. I should have known better. Kids get cold. I should have just brought the thing in the first place. From now on I will. Because thanks to Mr. Heater, Henry made it through his first opening day of duck season with a minimum of complaining.

That for me was worth a limit of ducks. Here’s hoping your waterfowl opener was also a success. And here’s hoping the eldest boy and I can share many more mornings in a blind watching birds overhead.

Illinois hunting and fishing


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