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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

Open Blog Thursday

November 19, 2009 at 05:50 AM

A new gun to sight-in, new ducks arriving and a dog biting me to go pheasant hunting all have my attention. Help.

FROM Loren Cook:

“It’s my observation that when checking the RSS feeds I notice more stories placing hunting in a negative light.  Some examples are ‘Indiana teen hunter shoots self’, ‘St. Louis deer hunter dies after shooting’, ‘Hunter accused of illegally killing record buck’, ‘Man dies after shooting self while deer hunting’, and ‘Deer poaching leads to record Neb. Fine’.  I thought Prairie State Outdoors was a pro-hunting Web site?  I understand that these things happen but there are so many anti-hunting groups out there that use this material to further their cause.  I just hate to see PSO give them the ammunition.”

FROM Ray Marshalla, DNR waterfowl biologist:

“Geese know when the season is closed.  I have experienced that situation many times.  Even when we closed early due to the quota being reached I can remember geese flying over me at 25 yards while pheasant hunting in blaze orange a day or two after the season ended.  I always see geese in fields they never use all hunting season the day or two after it closes. Quite amazing! Geese in the duck decoys over robo ducks when the closed segment occurs seems to happen every year to me.  If the season was open they would never land by a robo!”

FROM John Hartmann, USDA wildlife specialist:

“You (actually Flathead) have great photos of the ‘seagull with jewelry.’ I wanted to thank you for the observation information you provided on the website. We are still collecting reports of tagged ring-billed gulls that were banded in 2007. The orange tagged gull that you observed was banded by us “USDA/Wildlife Services” at Dime Pier in Chicago.  We tagged the gulls in order to determine movement patterns of gulls from various nesting colonies in the Chicago area. We are especially interested to know if gulls from outside of Chicago are coming into Chicago during the summer months and if the Chicago gulls stay in the Chicago area or do they leave.  We appreciate the information that you posted.”

FROM Ryan Hulett:

” I was reading your sub article about wanting readers opinions on shows and it got me thinking about one person who does not have his own show currently, but holds his own in an industry that thrives on viewer reviews and the who’s who has to be on TV. Not sure if you’re familiar with Randy Oitker, but he is a class act and his resume speaks for itself. 

“Check out and also and search his name. You are going to find one of the best kept secrets of the hunting industry.  I could go into detail on what Randy does and what he has accomplished but I will let his resume speak for itself. Not only does Randy travel the globe (he was in London in April setting and breaking his own Guinness book records) but he is a home-grown product right here near Plainville, Illinois. Thanks for all of the good stuff you put out on PSO and keep em coming.”

FROM Bill Stephens of Industry:

“I really enjoy the venue of Prairie State Outdoors. Sometimes I see a parallel in the comments, feedback section to the (Controversial?) Tred Barta TV program. I have not seen one of his programs for awhile, that has been by chance not choice. Tred’s format is somewhat bordering on being ‘Out there.’

“When I first started watching his programs I was somewhat turned off by his arrogance and eccentricity. The more I watched and watch him fail on some of his attempts I then started to appreciate that I felt he is the ‘real deal.’ He seems to be his own worst critic at times. The episode where he was trying to kill a coyote with his bow was enjoyable. That was something I could relate to. I have taken a couple of coyotes with my bow and it was as exciting as taking a deer with a bow. Fred concluded that program with no coyotes killed. On his next program that I was watching, he is hammering Yellow Fin Tuna. I have concluded all my off shore trips with no Tuna on board. He wins, he can eat the Tuna, I am sure I would not be filleting out the coyotes. I can hardly stand their smell when skinning them.

“I have been very fortunate to be able to meet and talk with many of the TV outdoor celebrities over the last eighteen years at different sporting shows. Watching their show after meeting them kind of makes me feel as if I am with them on their adventure. Most are very easy to talk to; a couple of them however were complete jerks. Sometimes I have to force myself to remember the only reason that the TV show you are watching is on the air is to ‘Sell you something!’

“The TV programs costs lots of money to air, which is why there is so much STUFF out there to buy. Sunday evening when we were leaving for the deer blinds I grabbed my pack. It weighs almost 12 pounds with STUFF in it. When I returned back to the truck that evening, I had not even opened the pack to see what Stuff had taken the hike with me.

“I believe there is an outdoor show for about any interest There is one show that I simply cannot stand but I have the ability to change channels and wait until ‘The guitar player gets off his buffalo’ to return to the ‘toned-down’ outdoor programming.”



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