Category Archives: Successful Days Afield

50 Shades of Blues and Bobs

A few photos from the last few hunts of the year.  We were lucky enough to manage to find several coveys of both Bobs and Blues.  We kind of like those cottontops!

It wasn’t easy and we had to work for every bird, but it was sure worth it.

We turned the dogs loose, chased some birds and made some friends along the way.

The end of a great year!  Lets hope that 2017 is even better!

 

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The Little Things

She’s standing motionless, Tail erect, Feathers waiving

Looks intense too, Her eyes speak in silence

Close the distance, Quietly, Poised and ready

Expect it, Prepare to be startled

Glance back, She’s still stone, Heartbeats rising

Continue forward, One step then another

You hear it first, The sound unmistakable, Suprisingly loud

Spin to the left, One bird

Frantic wing beats, Quartering across, Feeling rushed

Mount and swing, Slap the trigger

Way behind, The others explode, Chaos

Too many, Can’t choose

That one, Cock bird, See the white

Swing through, Feels right

Dead Bird! Dead Bird!, Start the chant, Keep your mark

She delivers and wags, That-a-girl!

Black bars across a white breast, Beautiful bird, Not a feather out of place

She’s moving again

 

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Scaled Quail

Scaled Quail.  My unicorn. The ghost that eludes me.

I’ve had some suspected run-ins with them in the past but I (or the dogs) had never been able to get any of them pinned down.   They always seemed to quietly excuse themselves from a good dog’s point.  Leaving nothing but broken dreams and tracks in the sand.  I never saw or heard them flush.  They just vanished.  They are known for making men and dogs crazy.

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This time, they pulled the same ol’ dirty trick.  Two dogs on point, quail tracks everywhere but no birds to flush.  They had vanished. Again.  Dogs relocated and then moved on, but we kept returning back to the scene and hunting in every direction from that point until we finally pushed them to a point where they were forced to fly.  Too many tracks going in every direction to know which way they went.  Several more points and relocations ensued.  I wasn’t actually expecting the flush because I didn’t know the birds were there.  Hide seemed confused as well.  However, I did make the mental note that if we did have birds in front of us, this would be their exit.  The cover went from sparse grass on a sand dune to a broad stretch of dense but fairway slick, native grasses, thanks to the cows that grazed this pasture during summer.

The unmistakable roaring of wings came from my right.  I spun around and began to mount even before I saw them.  I picked out one bird and grassed it.  The second wave rocketed up at the shot.  I picked one, swung, and let the second load of 6’s fly.  Too slow.

I still wasn’t sure if I had just shot my first cottontop.  Everything was rushed and I didn’t know if it was Bobs or Blues.  Hide decided that he was going to retrieve this time. That’s a change of pace!  And it usually results in a bird with far fewer feathers by the time I get my hands on it.  The one time I don’t want him to retrieve!  He scooped it up and brought me our bird.  A retrieve even a lab guy would be happy with.  Not a feather out of place.  I had my first blue!

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Scaled quail, aka: Blues, Scalies, Cottontops…runnin’ little devils!

 

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A mixed bag and two tired dogs.  Life is good.

A mixed bag and two tired dogs. Life is good.

I always wanted to get a few blues mounted, as they really are a gorgeous bird, but these are headed to the freezer.  I guess we will have to chase them next year.