Thursday, October 27, 2011
Day Two. The Gate and Joel's
The Merkel 47E 20 gauge
Kaiser with the first bird of the day.
The Merkel 47E and my father's 20 gauge French over and under.
Although while at the motel I was beat tired, for whatever reason I could not fall asleep. The last time I checked the clock it was 5am. Managing a few hours of sleep I finally woke up to head out to The Gate. Just like the day previous, within the first 10 minutes quail were flushing. Again for whatever reason these birds were also very wary. They either held extremely tight or they flushed wild far from us. Kaiser gave me 10 points for the day. Some were false points from old scent but many were legit. Of those legit points I only managed one bird from them. I literally shot like shit. Shooting is a perishable talent and since I spent no time at the clay range this summer it was clearly apparent. Most birds were small loose coveys flushing in singles or doubles.
Within a few hours we finally found a large covey of about 25. We chased them through a draw managing a couple and missing more than I care to admit. The birds literally held tight. At one point we rested for 10 minutes, once we began moving again there quail flushed just feet from where we were resting. Talk about holding tight. I lost two this morning. One I hit my father saw the bird go down and then proceed to run into a tree. Kaiser followed but lost the scent as the trees roots were dense. The other we lost cause I hit one bird and while we were moving to retrieve it Kaiser went on point. The hit bird must have ran somewhere and kaiser couldn't locate the scent.
We stopped hunting around 1pm after my dad's over under had trouble closing completely shut so we headed back to the Rover. While heading back we ran into more and more quail. All in all this morning we must have seen at least 150 birds. Incredible.
After taking an afternoon nap we headed to a new area. Quail called in the background. We headed toward them. In no time we were on birds. We spent the last few hours of daylight looking for more birds but didn't find quite as many. Previous years have been spectacular but this year they were hard to find. I know the birds are still there as there was fresh track everywhere. If I were not so tired I'm sure I would have been able to move into the high grounds to find them but I simple didn't have it in me.
This day I took 4 quail losing 2. Dad didn't manage any for the day. Pics to follow.