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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

Fathers, sons a key to deer hunting

November 17, 2009 at 09:16 AM

Another firearm season is rapidly approaching and it got me to thinking about fathers and sons. This Sunday in the Journal Star (and here on we will have a story about a father who hunts with his daughters. I think it’s a great story (written by Stan Morris, not me, so I’m not bragging).

Every time I hear about a story like Sunday’s it makes me smile. Daughters are increasingly getting out in the field with Dad, and that’s great. But the fact is, fathers and sons remain more central to the deer hunting experience.

Last night during a planning meeting for our Elmwood AllOutdoors Show, all three of the other male committee members (Larry Dozard, Russ Nash and David Vaughan) told stories about hunting deer with their fathers. I hear similar stories all the time.

While I never got that chance growing up in Buffalo, N.Y. (through no fault of my father, we just didn’t hunt), I do look forward to the day when my boys will be able to join me as active participants in a deer hunt. Right now they are too young. They are tag-alongs. And that’s fine. But being more than a tag-along will be a neat experience. Bittersweet, somewhat, since it will mean they are growing up. Yett something I’m really looking forward to.

That said, it will be tough at first to accommodate both Henry and Victor, since they are so close in age. But it’s obviously possible. For proof, here are some pictures from the October youth season of brothers who shot deer while hunting with their father.

The first set is of Chase, 9, and Chance Hunziker, 8, who both shot does while hunting with father Chad (whose Hunziker’s Deer Scent I have been using all season and plan to use during firearm season). Chad has done a good job getting his boys outside for years now and can look forward to many years of hunting together.

Both kills came out of the same stand, Chase (first picture below) on the Saturday of the youth season and Chance on the Sunday.

Illinois hunting and fishing

Illinois hunting and fishing

The next set is of brothers Jake and Matt Osmulski of Elmwood, who both got bucks during the youth season while hunting with their father, Scott Osmulski in Carroll County. Jake (first picture below) shot a 6-pointer and Matt shot a 7-pointer. The only downside for dad is that the boys already filled the freezer. That meant he has not been eager to shoot any does during bow season.

Illinois hunting and fishing

Illinois hunting and fishing

And here’s a picture of Josh Cook, who shot this 6-pointer while hunting with his father Thad on the Sunday of youth season. Writes Thad, “You can tell by the
expression on his face he was pumped! Check out the smile on his face! We had a great time and I think (know) he is hooked for life.”

The first picture was taken just seconds after the shot while Thad and Josh were still in the stand. That’s a happy kid.

Illinois hunting and fishing

Illinois hunting and fishing

Seeing these pictures illustrates to me one more reason why I love hunting. People who don’t hunt don’t understand the bonds it builds with your friends and family members. In this increasingly hectic world it’s a chance to slow down some, spend time together and build memories.

Anyway, here’s to the fathers and sons who will be share time in the timber this weekend. May you all have a safe, successful and memorable hunt.


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