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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

July 29: Picture of the Day

July 29, 2010 at 09:31 PM

Any hopes that The Farmer would draw a duck blind for us last weekend vanished pretty quickly at Rice Lake. His name was not called. No shock that.

Rice Lake attracted a crowd of 1,185, including Department of Natural Resources Director Marc Miller.

While that was down a little, it was still plenty of people.

So another season will likely open for The Farmer and me in the blind pictured above. You may recall I built this blind late last summer after the neighbor tore out his porch. Blessed with surplus wood, I had to build a blind. We didn’t shoot many birds, but optimism always reigns this time of year. At the very least, it will be much easier to get ready for the season now that the blind is already built. I’ll have plenty more time to cut willows and oak branches. Plus, there’s a nice natural stand of weeds and willows coming up around the blind, not to mention a fair stand of millet in a wet area not too far away. Oldest son Henry and I went out to plant a bit more millet this evening. I found some nice wet areas after last night’s 3/4-inch downpour and seeded some more. The work may not amount to much, but it’s fun to ponder the possibilities.

So while I would rather have received a frantic call from The Farmer telling me he was first out of the hat last weekend, I am still eager for duck season.

DRAWINGS DOWN: Rice Lake was not the only location where numbers were down last weekend. Anderson Lake had 300 and 260 showed up at Spring Lake. Anderson’s crowd was off the most, as the site typically attracts 700-800. “With no feed (in the refuges) the last few seasons, hunting has been poor and the hunters are catching on,” site manager Ed Oest said.


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