Early quail season has been HOT in Arizona this year. I have held off on any serious pursuit of quail up until the first weekend of November because of it. Not only is it too hot for the dog by mid-morning, but the risk of the dog running in to rattlesnakes is a bit higher than I’d like. This year it took until the first week of November to get a good freeze and some slightly cooler temperatures in the corner of high desert I like to pursue quail in.
The quail numbers are good according to AZGFD surveys and so far we have not had any outings in which we didn’t see birds. Shooting them as always is a whole other matter. This is a good sign though, while I don’t mind an armed hike, they are better when you have a few quail for the table. Plus the dog needs a few birds to fall for her to keep the faith!
Not only is this cool country to pursue quail in, but has some cool historic sites scattered among the scrub oak hills. There are multiple mining claims delineated by burnt old wood post and cairns. There are scattered piles of old cans and bottles. We even found a rim fired .50-70 Govenment shell which was manufactured for the US military from 1866-1873 and used for the Springfield 1866 trapdoor rifle. Makes you wonder just what kind of activities were going on that caused that shell to end up on that remote hillside. Another hunter in pursuit of deer? Miners fighting over a claim? Who knows, but it sure is fun to hypothesize the origins of that lonely shell casing.
We got a bird to hand and missed a few more. The rabbits were exceptionally evasive today and they stayed a few steps ahead of us.
All in all a great beginning to the year with many more days chasing birds to come!