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.....
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):
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.
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.
“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.
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.
Copyright (c) 1993 - 2022 doublegunshop.com. All rights reserved. doublegunshop.com - Bloomfield, NY 14469. USA These materials are provided by doublegunshop.com as a service to its customers and may be used for informational purposes only. doublegunshop.com assumes no responsibility for errors or omissions in these materials. THESE MATERIALS ARE PROVIDED "AS IS" WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EITHER EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANT-ABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, OR NON-INFRINGEMENT. doublegunshop.com further does not warrant the accuracy or completeness of the information, text, graphics, links or other items contained within these materials. doublegunshop.com shall not be liable for any special, indirect, incidental, or consequential damages, including without limitation, lost revenues or lost profits, which may result from the use of these materials. doublegunshop.com may make changes to these materials, or to the products described therein, at any time without notice. doublegunshop.com makes no commitment to update the information contained herein. This is a public un-moderated forum participate at your own risk.
Note: The posting of Copyrighted material on this forum is prohibited without
prior written consent of the Copyright holder. For specifics on Copyright Law and
restrictions refer to: http://www.copyright.gov/laws/ - doublegunshop.com will not monitor nor will they be held liable for copyright violations presented on the BBS which is an open and un-moderated public forum.