Illinois Outdoors at
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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

A visit to bird dog heaven

April 30, 2008 at 10:07 AM

Sorry updates to the site have been slow the past few days, but I was spending some time watching the 2008 national champion bird dog (Whippoorwill Wild Agin) in northwest Mississippi and southern Tennessee.

Internet connections were few and far between, so any Web work had to wait until today. In fact, when I called for a reservation at the Value Inn in Walnut, Miss., I was told “We don’t have any of that Internet here, but they’ve got a WiFi hotspot at Subway next door.” Yes, in Walnut, Miss., the local Subway sandwich shop doubles as an Internet cafe. Go figure. One other tip about Walnut, if you plan on staying at the Value Inn, bring cash. Rooms are $45 per night cash, $52 per night on credit card. And don’t worry about a reservation. When I asked for one, the clerk said, “Don’t worry about that honey, we’re not busy on Mondays.”

As I said, the focus of my trip was on bird dogs and I saw some great English pointers trained and bred by Dr. Jack Huffman and his son Larry Huffman. The Huffmans live on an impressive 1,700-acre farm (Whippoorwill Farm) that is carefully managed for quail and bird dogs. Famed outdoor writer Nash Buckingham used to regularly hunt the same farm years ago, so there’s history every step of the way. Plus, the Huffmans are about 6 miles as the crow flies from the 18,000-acre Ames Plantation, scene of the National Championship field trial each year.

I’ll have more about my trip and a visit to the National Bird Dog Museum and Field Trial Hall of Fame in this Sunday’s paper. One thing I’m sure of is that I’ll having people ask me if I want, “Swee Tea.”


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