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.

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Scattershooting

A Web log by Jeff Lampe of the Journal Star

North Dakota ducks, grouse

October 22, 2008 at 06:14 PM

If there’s a finer state in this union than North Dakota, I’ve yet to spend time in it.

Surely it’s not Illinois. At least not when it comes to hunting.

This morning near Jamestown, ND I was fortunate enough to shoot five ducks (two gadwall, two green-winged teal, one pintail) and a Canada goose. Birds were everywhere. Hunting partners Tony Dolle from Ducks Unlimited and Bob Whitehead from Outdoor Guide magazine were mostly content to watch the scene. Because we passed up more shots than I will probably have this Saturday for the Illinois opener—if The Farmer and I are even lucky enough to draw in at Emiquon. Seeing that many birds in one pothole was inspiring.

But it was only the start.

After eating too much food for lunch, we headed out and got to shoot a pair of sharptail grouse. Randy Renner from Ducks Unlimited shot another bird that his dog Autumn did a fine job finding. We saw probably 70 sharptails, but they were skittish and tough to hunt once we got outside of a standing sunflower field. Even so, it was again inspiring.

We saw game all day. We saw grass all day. We saw water all day.

If it wasn’t for my wife and my three boys I wouldn’t come back. I’d just send for Hawk and live life wandering the grass and potholes, working just enough to hunt. Good thing I’m married, I guess.

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