Texas quail are by FAR our favorite bird to hunt! We had the pleasure of spending 3 days with West Texas Quail Outfitters hunting near Alpine, Texas. Chasing scaled quail in the shadow of the Davis mountains on crisp west Texas days is about as good as upland bird hunting gets. The guides, Ryan and Josh, are hard working guys and did all they could to put us in the right places. They were an absolute pleasure to hunt with.
But know that hunting wild birds means that bird counts are at the whim of the cycles of mother nature . This year finding birds at times was a challenge and required covering a lot of ground to hit the coveys. It reminds you that every bird is indeed a gift from God.
Tex went to southern Colorado yesterday to find a quail or two. The quail were sparse but the cactus were not! Here are some pictures from the day.
Solid point on a cholla cactus.
We spent some of December looking for quail on public land. Hunting public land can be challenging because of . . . well . . . the public. But birds are there if you are willing to work to find them and the price is right! Here are some of the pictures of that effort . . .
A bird in hand.
The biblical drought that tormented the western quail country for the past decade has subsided for now. The moisture provided the basic life elements (water, plants and bugs) allowing the quail to return to areas where they seemingly were gone forever. This is a wonderful testimony to nature’s amazing ability to recover when given a chance. We took advantage of the bird rebound with an end of season hunt.
A beautiful cock and hen
Weather, moisture in particular, drives quail population more than anything else. If you hunt quail in west Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico or southern Arizona, this graph is a total bummer.
Also, Texas is on fire . . .
We love West Texas quail hunting for a lot of reasons but mostly because we get to hunt behind these beautiful pointers. I can’t imagine hunting without them. Below are some of the superb animals at First Shot Outfitters. These are hardworking dogs, tools of the trade who spend their lives doing exactly what they were put on earth to do. I can’t think of a place I would rather be than walking up on one of these puppies pointing the way to old Bob.
West Texas Bobwhite quail have pink faces from feasting on prickly pear cactus. These cocks were taken southwest of Sweetwater on a perfect December morning.
Wild west Texas Bobs and the Garbi shotgun. The title sounds like a magazine I’d like to get.