Tuesday, December 30, 2008
It never gets old! Too darn cold in SD- even though they are et up in birds still. I figure I'd have no problem hunting I single digit temps if I was already there, but to drive 2 days to do it? Naw. NM is out of blues. The pros and the dedicated hunters alike say the birds are WAY down. I do love that country...... So I decided on a return to KS. Good birds, low pressure and lots of public land. Will hunt out of Hays and points south- as per DNR.
Thursday, December 25, 2008
I am fortunate to be able to hunt right outside my back door. Peaches (top) and Ace (bottom) are both pointed on Woodcock. I have a creek and swampy bottom that runs along the back of my property. The Woodcock hit this creek every year in their migration from up north to the nesting spots on the gulf coast. They are such an overlooked species down here- the season is only a month long- and most bird hunters don't even know what they are. It's like shooting a butterfly- they juke and jive and twitter...... It sure is fun and my dogs love it!
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
The bottom picture shows 8 mos. old Lily locked down on her first covey with Robert going in for the flush. The top picture shows me holding a bird harvested in the rise with Lily and Ace, her daddy. You know, in this case, the apple didn't fall far from the tree. Lily went on to be one of the go-to dogs on the string by the end of the trip for Robert. I may need to grab a dog out of the next litter. I was going to wait one more year, but he's throwing great pups and I do like working with good ones......
I came across this picture of me, self-taken, after a day hunting blues in the TX panhandle. You can't see it but there is a limit of the little cotton-tops on the ground by my knee. We were driving out after a frustrating day, thinking about moving on up to SD, when I saw a bird flush to my left. I stopped, grabbed my gun, Ace, and a pocket of shells and stepped off the graded sand road of the ranch. Right then the world exploded when about 30 blues got up all around me! I mean, we were in the middle of them- and a bunch more ran off into the brush. Ace locked up to the flush and I watched as they scattered out along a stretch of flat, brushy, sandy, grazed-over pasture. The sun was at my back, the breeze was in my face, it was 30 deg. and there was a big grin on my face as we set out to some of the best shooting I've ever seen. Ace locked up time after time pointing two and/or three of the little buzz bombs before they erupted out of the pointed cactus, shin-oak, or grass pile. What a great time! We took our time, easing along and hitting all the cover, ditches and vegetation. What seemed like 5 minutes later (actually an hour or so), I grabbed for more shells and came up empty- with a dog on point, the sun on the horizon and the temperature dropping like a stone. I had one shell left in the A.H.Fox 20 ga. double and was one bird shy of the limit here in TX. (Limits never held much fascination for me- I rarely get close enough to worry about them on quail- but today it would be nice to round it out.) Ace was intensely pointed at the base of a cactus as I eased on up alongside him. I glanced at his face and it was set in that stoney look bird dogs get when they are dead center of the scent cone- almost mesmerized by the smell. I kicked at the shrub and 5 gray blurs came out of that cactus heading in all points of the compass! As a lefty, I locked down on the one heading from my left to right, checked his location down the barrels and pulled the trigger.......
It was a day to remember.