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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

Last-minute duck blind

October 23, 2009 at 01:03 PM

When neighbor Chad Anderson started tearing out his porch recently, the resulting pile of wood made something click in my brain.

“I must build a duck blind,” I thought.

Forget that duck season was just weeks away. Or that I had no blueprints or even much working knowledge of how to build a blind. The one year I had my name drawn at Rice Lake, buddy Rick Miller basically provided the pieces to a ready-made blind. All we had to do then was to screw the thing together.

Not so this time. Nope. I’ve spent plenty of time (too much if you ask my wife) plotting, scheming and working on my blind. It has been a ton of fun, actually. We now have a 10-foot wide by 4-foot deep blind with a tongue-and-groove floor. Almost all of it was built with free wood, the best kind out there.

The end result is not perfect. Not even close. I learned plenty about how I will build my next blind. I wish it was deeper and dug into the bank better. And I wish I’d started earlier, since finding willows with leaves is pretty tough this time of year.

So I’ve still got a full day left to cut brush to hide the thing. Plus there’s a canoe hide to build and a dog ramp and the interior benches. But if we had to, we could hunt out of the thing today.

That’s one reason I’m more excited about this duck season than I have been in years.

We probably won’t shoot many birds out of this blind. A few geese. Maybe some mallards later in the year.

But it will be a good place to take the kids and to spend a few hours watching the world come alive this waterfowl season.

Illinois hunting and fishing


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