This AM I went thru the motions that since mid November have dominated my life.I loaded dogs into the boxes on the truck,grabbed my tracking collars,the 20 Gauge AyA, then texted my friend that I was suppose to hunt with to see if he was ready.His response was that “if you are burnt out we could can todays hunt”,I took the “out ” and replied “lets go for it next November”…sigh.It’s been a good year.
In 2015 The Quail Gods smiled on Arizona we had a decent Desert Bird crop(Gambels & Scaled) and The Mearns Quail hunting was nothing short of stellar.Rains at the right time made it happen.From my angle my dogs put it together,the old ones picking up where they left off from the prior season and the new dogs or in some cases puppies putting things together via learning what their noses are for.There were some downs of course,most notably the loss of D.B.O.’s Rebel Yell (Dixie) who at age 5 died of a heart attack.There was my usual banter with Lisa about dogs that should be doing better … but it was exactly that and the dogs in question needed more ground time which over the past couple of weeks they got it,not all are perfect yet but we have turned the corner.
Our Guided Hunts where up immensely,they to went off without much of hitch.Last year I brought on another guide in the form of Captain Jared Nelson who stepped up to the plate and hit a home run.Togther we worked a very intense schedule delivering safe and fun hunts,at the same time ensuring our clients did not gain weight via traversing some pretty rugged terrain.We enjoyed that as sore legs are part of the “joy” of Bird Hunting.For both Jarred and myself Guiding is our excuse to be outside all the time,it’s a great pleasure to share Arizona with people that get it.
Over the course of the season I got out by myself on days off,enjoying the space and the dog work,the highlights where shooting a double on Mearns Quail over Daisy then yesterday shooting two Arizona Quail slams.My final slam was completed on our last loop of the day,the only bird I needed was a Scaled Quail which was pointed and retrieved by Daisy.Very fitting as I thought Daisy would never turn on,She did yesterday.
I’ll be heading out to Texas and New Mexico for a few days of chasing Scalies and Bobwhites,however I consider my season done and I am looking forward to new Puppies to work with and older dogs to run.I hope your season was as good as mine!