We opened the back of the Beast and it became readily apparent the drought hit the area very hard! Still in the throes of a hot summer and little rain, the vegetation was only a distant memory of what it once was. We wondered if there were any birds to be had at all in the area.
Cap, Ruby, Ace and Bandit hunted hard and really did a good job with the little running birds! We actually started seeing quite a few coveys, to my surprise. This area did get some rain during the summer, at just the right time. We located a few of these "drinkers" hidden in the local terrain by the local conservation group and also several cow tanks and water holes- many more of those. Wherever there is water, we found tracks and birds.
The sandy soil, rolling hills, shin-oak, sunflowers, grass, sand spurs and pump jacks all made up the local scenery in the South East Corner of New Mexico. The birds are the Cotton Tops, The Scalies, The Blue Quail. They run like the wind. Until the don't. And then they hold like a dream for your dog! A busted up covey is as much fun as any bird in the county and a gray blur erupting out of a shin-oak, grassy spot in front of your dog's nose is a challenging shot- even without the 30 mph wind and blowing sand. We moved 8 coveys on the nastiest weather day we were there. I have to hope for another wet spring and summer here. When the birds are plentiful in New Mexico, it's a quail hunters paradise.