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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

Deer feeding in force tonight

November 19, 2008 at 06:34 PM

The other night my wife nearly hit a big buck as we were driving home in the dark on Illinois Route 8.

Tonight, while hauling home some drywall just at dusk, I drove the same route hoping to have a better look at what precipitated that near miss.

The answer was easy to see. While the fields along Route 8 between Peoria and Elmwood usually hold deer, Wednesday night was unbelievable. The deer were out in such numbers in some fields near Edwards that they looked like cattle.

Closer to home, near the spot of our near-miss, a group of does was feeding just inside the field edge near the road. No wonder that big buck was there the other night.

All of which got me to thinking, I can’t wait until Friday morning, cold or not.

I had the same feeling after talking to local taxidermist Dave Emken the other day. He said he figures really big bucks had been “doed up” for the past few days but were finally starting to search again. “I bet there will be plenty of big ones killed this weekend,” he said.

And my excitement level only increased after talking to my buddy The Farmer this evening. He was in the combine counting down his last 36 acres of corn to harvest. In those final rows he flushed a buck, a doe and three rooster pheasants. In the morning we’ll go after those pheasants. By this weekend, with ever more corn out, all of us will be going after those deer.

Good luck to all.


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