Illinois Outdoors at PrairiestateOutdoors.com
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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
 

Scattershooting

A Web log by Jeff Lampe of the Journal Star

Quail, but few doves

August 26, 2008 at 03:20 PM

Well, I’m starting to get nervous.

Sunday the eldest boy and I visited our dove field with mixed results. He was thrilled because he got to shoot his BB gun at everything that flew. (NOTE: Had there been a chance he could hit anything, he would not have been able to shoot). And the dog was thrilled, because he got to run wild with no threat of a skunk to slow us down. True to form, he found a big covey of quail and held point for a long time while we realized he was missing and finally found him, tail up pretty tall and all puffed up.

Seeing those birds was great. Not seeing more doves was worrisome, what with opening day coming up on Monday. All told we probably saw six doves in a field that had been holding many more than that. And I’m not alone. Word from various state sites is that dove numbers have dropped in recent days. Maybe these cool nights are taking a toll. Fortunately, things have remained fairly dry. A cold rain now could be real trouble.

Then again, maybe we’re just timing our visits poorly. Maybe all will be well on Monday. Still, I’m starting to get nervous.

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