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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

Firearm season starts with a bang

November 20, 2009 at 10:06 PM

Yes there was standing corn, for awhile anyway. And does. And bucks. And all in all, opening day of firearm season was very enjoyable.

My day got off to a good start when a group of does walked into the standing corn I was hunting alongside in Peoria County. Five does went in and four walked off into the timber. Meat in the freezer.

But as I was hunting, the combine fired up. By 3 p.m., the corn was gone and I was hunting a picked cornfield.

As the combine rolled, I passed on not one but two bucks. One had five points on one side and a busted rack on the other (only the brow tine was left). With both sides there, I would have gladly taken the 20-yard shot that presented itself. Maybe next year.

As for the next buck, he was just too young. I promised Tim Walmsley I’d let a little buck walk today if one passed near me. Why? Good question. Must be those stickers Bea sells about letting little bucks walk.

I also shot twice at a coyote that I may or may not have hit tonight at 5:01 p.m., give or take a few minutes if my calculation of legal shooting time is off.

Anyway, I’m back at it in a few hours so this has to be a very brief report.

I’m hearing mixed reviews from most hunters. In the area of Peoria County where I am hunting, there has not been much shooting. And much of the shooting I can account for has resulted in misses. Is that due to standing corn? Who knows.

All I can say is that I saw plenty of deer today. Enough that I will surely dream of deer when I close my eyes tonight. I just hope the deer I dream of have both antlers still intact.

Good luck to all the gun hunters this weekend.


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