opening day for quail (no birds were harmed in the making of this adventure)

woodmoose

Administrator
Staff member
Contributor
So Earl and I headed to a secret location that we KNOW had quail,,,,walked for 3 hours and found none,,,,but still got a lot of great training in

one of the skills these dogs need to learn is to remain calm (laying down or sitting) during a "driven hunt",,,as soon as we parked and got going I hear some hounds,,,,so I recalled Earl and told him to sit,,,snapped the lead on "just in case",,,well them two hounds jumped a deer 75 yards from us,,Earl and I watched it cross the old road followed shortly by the hounds,,,Earl did well, only had to 'remind' him twice to stay calm/down. Once they were out of hearing I released him and he was all over investigating what went on,,,

then we did some "duck search" work in the edge of a lake,,,he didn't find anything but had fun looking,,,

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got birdy a few times,,,but knowing Earl it could have been sparrows,,,

back to the truck,,,found some good deer sign (fresh scrapes,,,community scrape, etc),,,,but no birds, no squirrels, no killing,,,

gonna have to be satisfied with deer meat for dinner,,,

on the way out I learned something,,,this bridge used to be a wood trestle bridge,,,,and now,,,,1st in the world (well back in 2009),,,,

shows how long it's been since I traveled that road,,,

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timber

Ten Pointer
Sounds like earl got a little work out anyway. Talked to guy not long ago who is about only one left around here trying bird hunt. He said about only way they find what coveys they do is using a side by side following the dogs. They have cover so much ground probably would find very few walking. Between the land he farms and what the other farmers he knows lets him hunt he probably has several thousand acres private farm land to hunt. Even with all that its tough finding many
 

nccatfisher

Old Mossy Horns
Contributor
If you hadn’t posted that sign I would have sworn I saw you. I was on GL and watched a big fellow walk up to a pond on GL with a dog. I was fixing to turn out and I heard dogs coming and held. The deer came between me and him, went to the pond then turned and came right by me. I held to the dogs came through and then went out of hearing. I never paid any attention to what the guy at the pond did or wasn’t close enough to see what kind of dog he had.
 

Bailey Boat

Twelve Pointer
WM, as you well know hunting isn't necessarily about the killing. Sometimes it's the company we have while poking around the woods and fields and sometimes it about the discoveries we make while doing so. You knew what you could have for supper before you ever left the house hat morning so it wasn't like you or Earl were going to starve at the end of the day. In MY mind the time spend with Earl looking around would have been rewarding all by itself and I'm sure you feel the same way...
 

NC Quailhunter

Six Pointer
Your story sounds a lot like my opening day. Went to a spot where I heard a good number of birds calling in the spring. Thought I had a good chance at them. It was me and a friend and two dogs on the ground. A lot of walking and talking to some rabbit hunters and that was about it except for a Woodcock flush near the end of the hunt. So not a total bust but not the way I wanted to start.
I am sorry to hear about your Aggie.
 

Lee

Four Pointer
It's hard to understand how we collectively let the quail population decline so drastically in one lifetime. Less than fifty years ago I would walk through the woods from my grandparent’s house to my parent’s house and jump three coveys of quail in less than a mile. Seeing quail was a daily occurrence and didn’t elicit any more response than seeing squirrels does today. Maybe I was more fortunate than some living on the transition line from the piedmont to the sandhills. Now I own a small slice of those same woods and haven’t seen a quail in years.
 

JONOV

Ten Pointer
It's hard to understand how we collectively let the quail population decline so drastically in one lifetime. Less than fifty years ago I would walk through the woods from my grandparent’s house to my parent’s house and jump three coveys of quail in less than a mile. Seeing quail was a daily occurrence and didn’t elicit any more response than seeing squirrels does today. Maybe I was more fortunate than some living on the transition line from the piedmont to the sandhills. Now I own a small slice of those same woods and haven’t seen a quail in years.
Clean Farming, More timber, more fescue. The decline of trapping and protection of raptors certainly hasn't helped, but I've hunted in parts of the midwest where you had to watch close for badger holes and skunks, and they have plenty of birds. So it isn't just that.

When someone says "the habitat hasn't changed" I wonder what they're smoking. It hasn't changed just like you may not notice yourself going gray. The habitat does change and when that same field had a brushy fenceline that now gets sprayed, the crops are roundup ready, the pasture isn't planted in the same grass, and that grove of woods has gone from 5 year old forest to 50 year old forest, it's a lot of change.
 

Steelshot

Spike
Lack of trapping = a lot of quail/turkey nests getting raided. Every year I stumble upon a few wild coveys but nothing like I used to find. Lack of habitat is another reason quail are becoming straw in the wind.
 
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