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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

Good stories don’t require antlers

October 02, 2008 at 10:11 AM

As you may be aware, we are giving away more than $1,600 in deer hunting gear from Lone Wolf Stands to lucky readers who submit stories to Prairie State

And entries are starting to trickle in. Most are about deer hunting. But not all. And there’s no requirement that your story has to end up with a big buck. For a perfect illustration of why, here the following story from achery deer hunter Don Osborne of Mattoon.

The Big Tree

Last year I set up my ladder stand about 15 yards behind a huge ash tree hoping deer would walk into my shooting lane from behind it quartering away from me as they moved down a small brushy runoff. 

A hot doe walked in just about dark but was nervous and kept looking behind her. I knew what that meant as the rut was on so I waited. She moved on after a couple of minutes. Soon a nice 10-pointer walked past the old ash tree and stood quartering away looking only at the doe ahead. 

Just as I was about to make an easy shot I heard brush breaking and loud grunting behind him. I knew the big boys will many times follow a smaller buck so I let off and waited. I was about to run out of daylight but the noise was getting louder and was coming from just behind the old tree. 

As a matter of fact it got close enough I could swear it was just in front of me. 

Just when I thought I couldn’t hold my bow up any longer I saw the biggest old fat opossum I had ever seen walk out of the dried brush. I swear I didn’t know an opossum could grunt.

Not all deer stories end with big antlers but they are the most fun to tell.


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