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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

Gobbles in the not so dark

April 14, 2009 at 03:01 PM

OK, so I hit the snooze button. Big mistake. Instead of sneaking stealthily into the woods this morning under the cover of darkness (as stealthy as a fat man can be) I showed up late, blundered in with way too much daylight around me and scared two birds off the roost in the exact area I had planned on seeing them and hunting them.

Meanwhile my phone was blowing up with calls from buddies who doubled up on Fulton County jakes (shown above). Part of me was envious that they are done. But the larger part of me is glad to still be hunting. Warmer days are coming.

Besides, even today’s morning fiasco was fun. The birds gobbled like mad on the roost and even on the ground for about 15 minutes. Woods where I had heard almost no noise suddenly came alive. There were gobblers everywhere. Now if they would just cooperate and keep on gobbling all day, I might have a chance. As it stands, I had a hen in gun range and was close enough to some gobblers early to make the hair on my neck stand up. All in all, it was a good second day of hunting.

I hope this sets the scene for a really good next few days. Temperatures are supposed to warm and the sun might even shine. That should get birds gobbling again. And this time, no snooze alarm. In fact, I’m setting the alarm back 45 minutes to make sure I can slip in with darkness around me. Hey, I need all the help I can get.



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