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#610681 02/06/22 03:23 PM
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mel5141 Offline OP
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This past weeks 2-3 day ice and snow event here on the Rolling Plains was a tough way to get a little moisture, but it was worth it..... Officially in the USDA's SEVERE Drought map area, the Bird hunting conditions have really been pretty poor all season.
The first moisture of any kind since September really perked up the Quail hunting quality.
Yesterday afternoon providing the most satisfying outing of the season thus far. Dogs felt invigorated, scenting conditions easily the best of the season, and birds were out feeding.

Put the dogs down at 3:30 and picked them up at 5:45. 10 coveys pointed and all the rises shot, 2 more coveys put up a bit "prematurely" by a trainee addition to the aging dog string.
Birds were in great body shape and coveys all above 12 birds ( substantial for this late in the season). Held to my self imposed "limit" of one bird per covey for this season, I managed to put 10 in the bag with the same number of shells (something I don't do as often as I once did)
7 juveniles and 3 adult birds which just about matches my season long bag of 72.6% juveniles.
Another perfect afternoon shaping up and we are going to hit the ground in just about half an hour , hoping for more of the same.
Sometimes all this effort seems to be really worth it.....

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Great to hear that you're doing well and the birds are there still, Paul. Ten covey rises in 2 hr. 15 minutes! Wonderful report.

SRH


May God bless America and those who defend her.
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That sounds like a great afternoon. Amazing how a bit of moisture can so positively impact things.
I hunted for about an hour this morning and had fun; it's always a treat to get out. Found 4 coveys, though one of those I bumped as the wind was wrong for when the dogs went by.
Here's the last covey of the morning (wish this site would allow Vimeo):



[video:youtube]
[/video]

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Paul; My experience in West TX, and my opinion, is we have enough for seed next year IF everything is right for us (I spent January out there). Glad you had a good hunt. As scarce as they were where I am I was afraid to kill our seed birds, but the birds I found were healthy and vigorous. Most covey were 10-12 birds, a few 8-10 and a few 14-16, but no 25 bird coveys and not a huntable population of quail, imho. I only saw 1 covey of blue quail in a month. Sounds like you had a few more birds than us, but no over abundance. Drought….go away! Very few hawks, scant road runners, but lots of Coyotes. Cotton tails and Jack rabbits were scarce too, but saw a very few. Take care.


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Great video!! They were locked on to that covey!!


Perry M. Kissam
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I love good bird dog work like yours displayed. We have stopped hunting quail on my farms entirely for the last three years. Friend ran his dogs on all four farms in the middle of January just to give them a bit of work. Found three coveys over four farms. 20years ago I had 12-14 coveys on those same farms. State game mismanagement service introduced turkeys on to my land and my birds crashed. Might just be a coincidence like Bic lighters and lung cancer but I never have had good turkey numbers and good quail numbers. So I gave up managing for quail after 20 plus years and enough money to buy a 32' Grady White boat, to let nature take its course. Some years we are up to six or more coveys and this year we are down. Sad to me, I miss the call of a Bob calling all friends.

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Here's a nice article on quail management issues in Texas that starts off discussing quail hunting in my hometown. I think you'll enjoy it.


A Texas Solution For The Decline Of Their Bobwhite Quail

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A beautiful intro para. (From Chris Dorsey)

“About a quarter century ago I shared a quail field near Albany, Georgia, with an aging quail plantation owner who, like me, also enjoyed hunting big game across the American West and beyond. As we walked toward a brace of his pointers that froze simultaneously at the scent of yet another covey of bobwhite quail, the man whose name I have long since forgotten, advised, “You can hunt all over the world for all manner of game…but, in the end, you’ll always come home to bobwhite quail over pointing dogs.” His inference was that when a man’s horizon nears, hunting bobwhite quail blurs the line between heaven and Earth.”

I experienced a bit of that a few years ago when a bunch of us over at 16ga were ordering new knives with “game bird of choice” engraved on them. I’d ordered one with another bird on it but the longer I dwelt on it the more Gentleman Bob and his call haunted my quiet. I changed my selection.

Last edited by FallCreekFan; 02/12/22 01:27 PM.
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[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

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mel5141 Offline OP
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I am rather familiar with the Rolling Plains Quail Research ranch. it is located @20 miles from where I sit at my ranch office typing this.
The idea/concept for the project was "Hatched" here on my ranch following a great Bird Hunting day.
I hope the idea carries on after my time, we dedicated quail guys are an aging group.
The work aimed at maximizing wild quail populations on my ranch are my largest single discretionary expenditure annually.

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