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

Chasing pheasants in snow

December 20, 2007 at 10:03 AM

Illinois Outdoors

I have always loved the snow and always will. And today only made me love it more. Tracking pheasants in the white stuff is a blast and makes a believer out of everyone when they see a dog getting birdy. Plus, it’s really nice to hunt an area that shows no signs of human footprints—even though the snow has been on since the first week of December. Habitat and well-rested ground often means pheasants.

So it was today when I hunted the Bradford Pheasant Habitat Area today with my buddy The Farmer, his nephew Daren Hamblin of Normal and Gary Hulin. We wound up with two roosters, saw another 18 hens and missed a shot at one wild flushing rooster. Not limits, by any count, but plenty of fun. And plenty of work. Walking through all that thick grass and snow wore me out.

But here’s one tip: Almost all the birds we saw were in the thick grass but not far from corn fields that still had stalks. The birds appeared to be roosting (right on the edge of the Bradford area along a road). We found them there more by accident than anything else, but thank goodness we did. One other tip: If you ever hunt Bradford, start on the south end and consider skipping the north unit, which is really mostly just a deer site. Here’s Darrin with our two roosters.

Illinois Outdoors

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