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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

Scattershooting at deer, rabbits and ice

December 30, 2009 at 07:50 PM

Rambling through the outdoors while wondering how loud some bows will be this weekend.


Well, the Farmer and I ambled through the uplands Tuesday afternoon in two Stark County ditches that normally yield a few coveys of quail and a few pheasants. What did we see in the fluffy snow? Coyote tracks. Some bird tracks. A few rabbit tracks. One set of pheasant tracks and a few little quail tracks. As for living things, the only critters the dogs could raise were a lone rabbit. He, of course, came with Hawk on point and me dismissing the point as worthless. So I was out of range and the rabbit will live to see another day ... or coyote.


So we head out in a few hours for the latest Illinois firearm deer season. Due to the variety of tags I have left, I will be bringing a shotgun and a muzzleloader. While I had planned to bring a bow, as well, I found an interpretation that made that seem illegal. So the bow stayed in the truck.


I’m betting hunters will do pretty well this weekend. There was plenty of grumbling after the last few seasons and from what I’m seeing, the deer are yarding up pretty good. Plus, with lots of layoffs, vacations and shaky ice, there will be plenty of guys looking for something to do. Shooting a deer will be a good option for many. If the weather is decent, we could easily top 25,000 deer when the two weekends of late-winter season are over.


Hope your holidays were good. I spent the past week sitting around the house with friends and family, sipping, eating and relaxing. I did not hunt or fish at all. Just relaxed. And for almost the entire time I left the computer off. Sorry for the lack of posts on PSO, but I needed the break. Now it’s back to reality. Lots to do in the days to come. Lots of deer stories and pictures to catch up with. And hopefully a few more to come.


Incidentally, there’s nothing to this rumor that firearm deer season has been expanded to every weekend in January. And there’s even less to the rumor that leftover tags can be left to shoot bucks. No sirree. This late-winter season is antlerless-only.





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