Monday, December 27th, 2010...1:44 pm
Quail Hunting – Midland, TX 12/5/2009 – 12/7/2009
Part 1 of my notes from the 2009 – 2010 hunting season
Hunting this week with Ted. Made our first round with the little old ladies bird dog. Em is 12 and Dottie is 9. This pair of English Pointers can still out hunt all the young guns that know too little and run too fast. They have both really slowed down but they do a nice job and are fun to hunt together.
We found two coveys and killed two birds. Really bad shooting with lots of opportunity to for both of us to look bad.
There was still some trace snow on the ground in the shady areas. We could see blue quail bird tracks in the snow as we went after the singles.
Next we ran Click and Vegas. Click had a real nice find on a covey of Blues. We killed a couple of birds from the singles.
Our third round was Sage and Richard. They worked well together but I generally prefer a bigger running dog than I get from this pair. One of my favorite combinations is to run a big running pointer and a medium range GSP. Sage and Richard both make great foot dogs but it’s seldom that either gets out more than 200 yards.
Sage had a nice covey find.
That afternoon we went to North East pasture. No birds but the cover looks great.
Found a few more coveys in the last couple of rounds. There are this year birds but not like the last couple of years.
Today we hunted from the Quail Buggy.
Ran Em and Dottie first. No birds during the first round. I find that Blue Quail tend to get moving a little later in the day than Bobs. I have a habit of starting my day early and prefer to be on the ground around 30 minutes after sunrise but I find that does not work as well with blues as it normally does with Bobs.
Our second round was Click and Richard. Click found one covey. We got 6 birds. Nice singles work from both dogs.
Our third round was Sage and Vegas. Sage found one covey. We didn’t do any good on them.
We decided to try Em and Dottie again. Em found real nice covey. Both dogs found singles and we killed 4 birds.
We ran Click and Richard back to truck. No birds on that round so we broke for lunch.
The first round after lunch was Sage and Vegas. We found one covey and Ted killed one bird
Next we ran Merle and Dottie. Merle ran really well but did not find any birds.
Next was Sage and Vegas. We found 3 coveys but only killed 2 birds. That happens with Blues….
We tried Merle and Dottie again. We dropped Merle right to the location that the last covey landed to see if he could find some singles. He busted a single and went with it. Dottie pointed a single.
Merle came back and ended up right in the middle of the covey. Got him to stop for a second or two. We have a lot of work to do with him in the Spring and Summer.
We ran Click and Richard again. Click had another really nice find. Killed one bird. Click found him and retrieved. He was also steady to wing and shot.
Ted noticed that Clicks urine was a dark rust color. We brought him
in to the after hours emergency vet clinic to get him checked out.
All is good.
Cold, damp and foggy. Yesterday was hot but today it is about as cold as I prefer for quail hunting.
Ted headed north to avoid a winter storm so I am scouting and running pups. I “hunt” a good bit by myself nowadays but I find that I seldom shoot anything when it’s just me. I tend to work my younger dogs when I am alone. I only kill birds for them when they have reached a certain point and need to be finished up or when they do a particularly good job on a covey.
I am using google maps on my iPhone to find the right roads. It really works well. The advantage to using a aerial photo over a standard topo map is that you can see the private roads that don’t show up on normal mapping software.
A good chunk of this particular lease has plenty of oil well roads on it but there is no map. It ALL looks the same and getting around on it has been really challenging.
Once I started using the maps on my Iphone, it all came together. It really helps that I can also see my location on the map as I move around. It has made learning this lease very easy.
Em and I took the first round. She likes to go first and I don’t mind. It’s rare that it’s just me and her out together. We had a nice round. She stayed in with me really well the majority of the time except for a couple of big casts.
We hunted the South East pasture. The cover in this area is some of the best I have seen. It’s a nice mix of broom weed ragweed bunch grass. Brushy cover and mesquite.
While Em was on a big cast, I walked up a nice covey of Bobs. It is rare to see them on this lease. Over the last 3 years, I have only ran into 3 bobwhite coveys in Midland.
I ran Cash and Merle and then Sage and Richard from the buggy. Cash and Merle ran well but did not get into birds.
Sage had a real nice find and we did some dog training. Richard needs some work on staying steady.
The temperature has kept on dropping and now it’s too cold to hunt from the buggy. There is ice forming on the bushes and my gun is also covered in ice. I really don’t need to flush birds in this kind of weather.
On my way out I ran into two road coveys. I worked cash on the second one but did not go after the singles.