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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

Dad, I’m sick of squirrels

November 23, 2008 at 09:23 PM

The final day of the first firearm season ended without a bang in our corner of Peoria County.

No shots for me, Flathead, Grampa Joe or Flathead’s wife. Slow night.

But not a bad night. This was the oldest boy Henry’s second deer hunt. And we all agreed it went better than his first last year. Same result: no deer. But he saw more. Watched more. Was quieter. Seemed to have a clue. And he came to a conclusion any deer hunter can probably agree with after a crunchy weekend in the woods.

“Dad, I’m sick of squirrels,” he said after being fooled yet again by a tree rat.

We were hunting in a hillbilly blind created by Flathead. When we showed up, Henry said, “Dad, this looks like the back of a pickup sawed off with a topper on it.” Smart kid. Because that’s what it is. Now before you go calling it an eyesore, understand the thing can still be towed out of the timber. So it’s only a temporary eyesore. And when you’re hunting with kids, as we were for the second straight night, the sidewalls help hide some of the fidgeting going on inside the blind.

Not that I blame the boy. The only deer we saw were out in a cornfield as we walked out. “Maybe next year,” he said. “Maybe next season,” I thought, but did not say it, because getting the hopes of a youngster up too high can be very dangerous.

At any rate, my first season ended as it started: one doe down, one buck let walk and two evening hunts with my boys that went better than expected. All in all, I’d call the season a success so far. Hope yours went well too.


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