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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

Illinois hunting and fishing

Attacked by birds

November 10, 2009 at 03:31 PM

So there I was all day Monday, sitting quietly in my ground blind and minding my own business when suddenly I was attacked by birds of all sorts.

Cardinals. Sparrows. Goldfinches. Flickers. Woodpeckers. All at very close range. All completely unconcerned about me inside my little tree-surrounded ground blind.

And finally quail. Yep, a covey of about 15 quail surrounded me at one point last night and I swear they were pecking bugs off the outside of the ground blind. First time I’ve ever been that close to quail for that long without shooting. Kind of neat, really. I had seen the little suckers running through the standing corn nearby as I walked out last night and it wasn’t long before they moved into the grass of the ditch in which I was sitting.

I also had a close encounter with a mouse and heard lots of other critters snuffling through the grassy ditch.

The deer I had been hoping to encounter were not so cooperative. I did see a doe early Monday morning but passed on her while waiting for the buck I was sure to follow. Of course, he never materialized. Unfortunately, that was the only deer I saw in about 7 hours of hunting.

During one break in the morning I drove to my goose blind nearby only to scare two honkers away from the front of the blind.

Between the quail and the geese, I think they are trying to send me a message: Give up on deer hunting and pick up a shotgun.

Not yet. But I may give up on the ground blind hunting. For me it’s just not nearly as enjoyable as sitting in a tree stand and being able to see all around. That’s a part of the experience sadly limited when your only window on the world are a few small holes in dark blind.



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