Snuck in another quick morning bird hunt today prior to heading to the office. Again I picked a public hunting area based more on its location to work than because I know it to hold lots of birds. Today’s hunt was with my young Springer, Pip, and we chose a random starting spot that we were hoping would allow us to hunt this piece of ground differently than those that have come before us.
The small area we hit had a decent amount of deer sign for its size, as well as boot tracks in the old snow. But just as we made the swing back towards the truck we came across the pheasant tracks. By reflex i gripped the shotgun a bit tighter. We went 20 yards – nothing. Then 40 -yards and still nothing. Except for the bunches of blackbirds that would jump from the cover in front of us from time to time. I am sure it was grackles and maybe some starlings, but they seemed to like the area pretty well and with the sun to our back it made for some exciting moments until each time we realized what they were.
We neared the end of the field when again a group of about dozen birds jumped from the cover in front of us – but these things were a lot noisier than the blackbirds. Quail! Another 18 or so jumped a bit further out. Then, just as I realized Pip exactly where Pip was another dozen or more exploded right around him. I am sure we ran into a couple of coveys (or more) that were milling about in the sun on this fine morning – but I have not seen a covey of this size in very long time – if ever. Against Pip’s wishes I chose to avoid pursuing the birds beyond the initial flush in hopes that this weekend my wife and I can find them again.
After a quick picture session – which always takes longer with a Springer – we headed back towards the truck. Our adventures took less than an hour – photo shoot included. I will be back very soon – with reinforcements.