Down South

A trip to the promised land, deep into southern Arizona. If you are into quail, cactus or Couse deer you’ll know that this desert is as good as it gets. This is the country between Arizona’s sky islands. Mountain fastnesses to pines and trout creeks towering above the desert below. The last holdout of the jaguar in the United States. This kind of country is as good as it gets.

Desert grasslands just before sunset

It was also a chance to hunt with a friend I have been meaning to look for birds with for a while. I was lucky enough he took me out on his stomping grounds in the desert grasslands that make Southern Arizona so great. The excuse was quail hunting but the goal was to see some new country and watch the dog work.

Idyllic

It was incredible to be able to poke around in this vast landscape or rolling hills and narrow valleys. The further we went just seemed to open up more country. A lifetime would be needed to really understand this area and I will definitely be returning.

Anticipation, what we will see over the hill?
Sunset swim

We ran into some birds and the dog was great. She seemed right at home in these grassy rolling hills and managed to avoid the hidden cactus with relative ease. At this point in the season watching her work is a lot of fun. She knows what she’s looking for and seems to head to the areas that look the birdiest with no encouragement necessary. At this stage in the season she is in such good shape she seems to glide across the hills without slowing. What a pleasure it is to walk behind a dog that has it figured out and is able to run all day.

Strong point in the ocotillos
Final sniff of maybe my favorite game meat out there, cottontail rabbit
Rough country, but a year full of long runs on the Arizona landscape has kept her paws strong and luckily never had the need for booties on the dog, turns out there is no substitute for keeping them out all year, not just during the season

The landscape of grassy, rolling hills and hidden springs was intoxicating. Century plants jutting from hillsides crowned in blooming ocotillo surrounded by a sea of grass. A unique area that is as beautiful as it is rugged. I can’t wait to return.

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