Friday, October 14, 2011

Tonto Quail

Desert Canyon at Sunrise
It has been awhile since the last post due to a packed fall break. So I am going to start with quail hunting on Saturday the 8th. After the previous weekends shut out we went to a completely different location, one of the nice things about Tonto forest is there are thousands of good places to hunt quail. We picked a canyon off the side of a busy dirt road at sunrise and started to hear quail calling right out of the car. A few hundred yards later the first quail flushed, I mounted the gun, took a shot, and the bird went down. My friend Josh yelled great shot; nope he's running on the ground. After a 10 min search through the cholla, we lost that bird. This left me wondering if I was in for a repeat of last week’s hunt. We moved on up the canyon and heard several more quail, but never saw any of them. After looping around the backside and coming down another canyon we split up to cover more ground. I continued to hear birds and jumped two more both of which I missed.
The Prickly Stuff

After an hour of this I hooked up with Josh to plan what are next move would be. He had ended the streak by getting the first bird of the season, and this showed some promise. We talked, planned and then set out through some flatter country. We both felt that the quail were holding very tight in the cactus and we needed to slow down and take our time. After a short walk we thought we heard one move in some brush, we moved around the brush for 30 to 40 seconds when the bird finally got nervous enough to make a break for it, 2nd quail down. We tried this again only 40 yards from there and bird up, shot bird down. This time I wasted no effort in racing in on the downed bird and actually found this one on the ground. Finally I felt the relief of getting the season started.

First Quail of the Year
We did this for another half hour but the sun was really starting to get hot. We managed to get one more bird out of the morning, but we have figured this area out for the early season. A lot of the birds where in small coveys and were holding very tight. Good luck to all who head out to hunt.
Quail Country

Mornings Harvest

1 comment:

  1. Great stuff Marc and very nice birds. Looks like you had a great morning in the field. I'm hoping the season starts to pick up as the weather cools off. It's been a slow start for just about everyone I've talked to. Best of luck.