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

Where are the doves?

August 25, 2010 at 03:52 PM

I drove around quite a bit today hoping to get pictures of a big flock of doves. I am still hoping.

Only what I’m hoping now is that not seeing many doves was not a bad sign. Surely a 57-degree night didn’t send them packing. Or did it?

Whatever the case, I didn’t see many doves. Didn’t see one in the field I will hunt opening day. And didn’t see as many as I had been seeing on country roads.

My fears were heightened when I ran into Mike Hitchcock today. He has some nice dove fields out west of Canton near Double T State Fish and Wildlife Area.

One of the first things he asked me was, “Are you seeing many doves? Because I’m not.”

That’s not good. Usually this close to the Sept. 1 opener, that area will be covered in birds.

And with 50 degrees in the forecast for tonight and Thursday night, things look dicey.

But here’s my hope. This cold weather will bring birds to us from the north. They will have a week to get accustomed to the area, to find fields and gravel and water. And then by next Wednesday, we’ll have some hot shooting.

That’s my hope, anyway.

My other hope is that today was just a fluke. That there are doves everywhere else and I just missed them. So tell me, are you seeing many doves lately?

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