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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.

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A Web log by Jeff Lampe of the Journal Star

Pheasant hunting with Fergie

January 27, 2008 at 10:11 PM

Ferguson Jenkins is the real deal. Some celebrities who say they hunt make me nervous. Illinois OutdoorsMost of them, in fact. But I was fortunate enough to spend this morning hunting pheasants with Hall of Fame pitcher Ferguson Jenkins on a strip-mine property owned by Walt Frakes of Washington. Also along for the hunt was a crew that included former all-star catcher Ozzie Virgil (who is a very funny wild man), Joe Frakes (Walt’s son), Pat Tully and Brian DeLong of Washington and Cody Weinstein of Germantown Hills.

Fergie was in town after making an appearance Saturday evening at the Independent Sports Club’s wild-game feed at the Kickapoo Sportsman Club. The event raised about $7,000 according to a preliminary tally and attracted a crowd of more than 400. It was an excellent event, even if I wasn’t asked to be a judge in the home-made wine contest (hint, hint).

Anyway, after an enjoyable morning’s hunt, I’m happy to report that I’d gladly hunt with Fergie again. He’s a personable, easy-going person who is fun to be around. I’ll have a full story on the outing in the Feb. 3 Journal Star. Until then, let me tell you Fergie can also handle a gun. He did not miss a bird in close range today and was calm, cool and collected at every flush. Everything he did was so fluid. Not unlike the way he pitched, I’m told. Very impressive.

He said he spends most of his time from September through early January travelling around hunting with former Cubs Jody Davis and Keith Moreland. The hunt mostly deer but chase some birds also. Fergie sure looks like a natural out there. Here he is blasting a black pheasant.

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Here’s Fergie getting ready to shoot a rooster, while my little setter Hawk crouches on point (dog loses points on form for that, but at least he was solid) and Frakes’ Brittany Mac moves in.

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Finally, here is Fergie waiting patiently while Ozzie shoots at a black pheasant that eventually fell down and died from exhaustion. (Prior to Sunday, Ozzie said the only pheasant he had ever hit was with an Expedition while driving in Montana.)

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