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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

Illinois hunting and fishing

So many geese, so few shots

December 13, 2009 at 09:54 PM

Muzzleloader deer season went out the window sometime Saturday.

I think it was about the time the third phone call came in that followed the same basic pattern. “Dude, you gotta get out there. There are thousands of geese south of town.”

Get a few calls like that and a serious waterfowler had better drop any ideas of deer hunting. I had a chance at my muzzleloader buck on Friday. But Saturday, Sunday and the immediate future my life is revolving around a few thousand geese that showed up in Peoria County.

Big honkers. Cacklers. Specks. Snow geese. There are more geese around than I’ve ever seen. Maybe I’m just more attuned to the birds. At any rate, it has been fun but frustrating to chase these wily birds, which so far have been giving me the slip. The Farmer, too. He had a decent shot at one small bunch early this morning but struggled to come clean out of his layout blind. I fear the same problem, but so far have had no shots at feet-down honkers in my face.

The good news this evening was that oldest son Henry (below) got to spend a few hours in a layout blind and watch a few thousand geese honk around. He kept telling me to shoot, which is proof that he needs a little more time in the field, since most of those birds he was hollering about were 500 yards away. Brian and Jacob Rushing also joined us this evening, but to no avail. Such is goose hunting.

Illinois hunting and fishing

Meanwhile, across the road a group from town did a fair amount of shooting and wound up with five birds for the day. Pictured below is Cory Thompson of Elmwood. I think. He told me his name this evening as we left the field. But after two days of chasing these birds and losing sleep (in between child care, church and the other demands of life) I can’t even remember my own name. So Cory, if I got your name wrong, sorry. Don’t bother telling me my mistake tomorrow, though. I’m going goose hunting.

Illinois hunting and fishing

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