Lady Hunter. Lucky husband that has a wife that turkey hunts! A picture from last spring season. Thank you to the Pollard family for sharing their success with such a nicely composed picture.
Bobwhite Quail. Last hunt of the season. Six quail for 11 year old Belle is a good day. From Jerry C., a long time member and good developer of quail dogs.
Upland Birds. With the help of Matt S. and his Brittany's we are addressing a buddy hunt occurrence amongst upland bird hunters most notably between those that own and train their own bird dogs and those that do not but hunt with those that do through teaming up on the buddy hunt list.
From all those that share hunts on the buddy list upland bird hunters are the least likely to sustain that hunting partnership on subsequent hunts or seasons. Deer, turkey and most of all waterfowl hunters that do team up for one hunt are far more likely to repeat shared hunts for years to come. The difference with the upland hunters is centered on the perceived value of the hunt itself. The article addresses that issue.
The article does not attempt to solve the issue of self guided upland buddy hunts not recurring between the same hunters, it merely describes the causes. An informational piece written for the non-bird dog training and hunting hunter that desires to try a buddy hunt with those that do train and hunt their own bird dogs. Perhaps with the non-bird dog hunter having read this article before a buddy hunt with a bird dog hunter that hunt may be more of an enjoyable day than an exercise in frustration. This is a work in progress and feedback and edits are welcome.
This article was written for a non-upland bird dog owner audience. Bird dog hunters most likely will not enjoy reading this information.
A thank you to Matt S., for making this article possible through his dedication to accurately record a single hunting season in pictures.
Matt is a solitary hunter of Brittany's.
What Matt did for us was to take a picture of whatever he harvested on each of the days he hunted. He typically starts at first light and quits an hour or so before dark. The intent was to show what the typical upland bird hunter can achieve on any single hunting trip.
While his dogs look similar he hunts over two and when one is pictured with the birds that dog accounts for all the birds in that picture.
Of the upland bird hunters that have been with their Association the longest, in his case Matt has been a member since 1989, they typically hunt alone to enjoy the solitude and company of their dogs.
While most of the reason for the solitary hunting is two fold and primarily due to the hunter and dog relationship. Extending into that is it is very difficult to find a good hunting partner where dog performance, hunting style and personalities match. The other part of the solitary upland hunter is due to the non-organized hunting style of the most productive hunters and its difficulty for the non-bird dog hunter.
The non-bird dog upland hunter, typically a pheasant hunter, will approach a field as a geometric problem to be solved equally walking all portions in a predetermined pattern. Bird dog hunters consider wind, contour, cover quality, bird activity and dog feedback that all combine in a field pattern that will completely frustrate the non-bird dog owner attempting to follow along. The difference of course is the amount of bird action that each approach will achieve. While both approaches will yield birds it is most likely the bird dog approach to yield more birds in a shorter period of time. However, the greatest difference is that the non-bird dog owner is more interested in bird numbers in the bag and qualifies a good and bad day based on limits achieved. The bird dog owning hunter qualifies a good day based on dog work such as point leg and tail position, sit at flush, work range, retrieve to hand at sit, stand-off, track and relocate, honoring, retrieving, track and recover runners, etc., be it for a retriever, flusher or pointer.
For those that do own bird dogs, dog ownership alone is not cause enough to make for a successful upland bird hunting partnership between two hunters. All the qualities of a good bird dog hunt listed above must be fairly well distributed between the two hunters and their dogs. Should one be out of sync with the other then the enjoyment of the dog work begins to degrade. This issue itself is the greatest detriment to bird dog owners teaming up for hunts, after this issue it is the hunter's personality that then matters the most.
The range of bird dog hunters most often expressed as personality does follow that of the "Stages Of Hunter Development" commonly read in a variety of articles. For the bird dog hunter these stages follow directly to that of their dog training skill level ranging form the first bird dog where the basic level of performance is yet to be demonstrated to that many dogs later when the hunter seeks truly the tranquility of the day above all else.
The first stage of a bird dog owner is that when a hunter trains and hunts his first dog. That may have been as a child growing up under the mentorship of a seasoned bird dog hunter or a late in life hunter that decides to cross over to the realm of the bird dog. At this point there is much indecision and concern about dog performance and the hunter frequently does not have the wherewithal to accurately assess and effectively adjust the differences between the dog's current level of demonstrated performance and that which is desired. The new dog owner typically responds with desire and confidence gained from reading a book or two and that fragmented information gleaned from more experienced dog owners. This hunter plunges headlong into upland bird hunting and will achieve the widest range of possible results. Success is measured primarily by the number of birds in the bag and frequently so regardless of the dog's performance with all birds within shotgun range shot at whether pointed, flushed or jumped.
The next stage in bird dog hunter development is that when some level of experience is gained on dog training either through book reading, seminar attendance or joining a dog club or attempting the field trial circuit. This is the stage where the greatest disservice to bird dog hunting occurs by the hunter's ego becoming the all important measure of success. This may certainly gain momentum to becoming out of control should that success come more easily than deserved by the hunter and due to the quality of the dog. This is a case where the dog's capability exceeds that of the hunter. The hunter of course takes the credit. Success is measure by field trial performance, bag limits achieved and who has the better dog with such hunters rank ordering others based on dog performance alone.
Further development of the bird dog hunter occurs, for those that do not get stuck in the ego mode, when one progresses to work to refine his desires in the dog's performance through more closely matching dog performance development to his desired hunting style. Pointing, flushing, retrieving, hunt range, check back, retrieve to hand at sit, sit at flush, good on pheasant, quail, sharp tail, ruffle grouse, etc., become the focus of effort rather than bird counts. Dog performance becomes an issue not so much for recognition by others or a "body of experts" it is more for the hunter's hunting enjoyment. This is the stage the hunter refines for himself that which he is after for the long term and not just for that next season, field trial or hunt test. This is also the turning point to the final stage in the bird hunter development that has traveled from the bird count stage where good and bad days are measured by limits, through recognition (ego) stage where dog performance and hunter quality is rank ordered amongst other dog owners, through this one where it is on refinement of what is really desired to the final stage of tranquility.
The tranquility stage is achieved when the bird dog hunter becomes a master having mastered his own personality for what he truly wants through being able to train and hunt dogs to his desired standards, recognizes dogs are not perfect and accept less at times, does not seek the approval or recognition of others and limits are not the objective. The enjoyment of the day watching dogs work birds becomes paramount. This is most easily achieved by hunting alone with the dogs as the presence of any others not at this level detract from what is most likely the greatest recreational and enjoyment activity for that hunter. This reason far more than all others is the cause of the solitary bird dog hunter.
Let's tally: 1 hunter, 2 dogs, 11 hunting days, 37 pheasants, 14 quail. Matt and many others will say it is not the birds in the bag it is the quality of the dog work and those that seek quality dog work will always get birds. These hunters are typically the best shots as they do not pressure themselves and they are shooting for the dog, not for themselves. For these hunters the birds will come and they will achieve more limits than others. They get limits as a secondary product - what many seek as the only objective.
Deer Hunter. One more in a series of deer pictures sent in by a very successful group of hunters that travel over a 1,000 miles to hunt in their Association. Congratulations to you all and thank you for sending in your pictures. There are some very impressive mounts on more than a couple of walls out there.
Offroad. No off road access by any vehicle on any MAHA lease for any fishing, scouting or hunting. Park and foot access only. The only exception is on MAHA designated wetlands and limited to the designated parking area, trails, blind location and only during state waterfowl seasons.
Deer hunters get yourselves a deer cart.
The reason: In a previous update, earlier posted and had to take down on legal advice pending action, we discussed the loss of a prime lease by 4 members misusing an ATV during the fall firearms deer season.
The 4 members involved have been dismissed from the Association. As a result, we feel ATV restrictions must be seriously reconsidered and revised in the club rules.
Until then, ATV's will not be allowed on Association property for any reason during the off season, which includes spring turkey season and fishing.
Snow Geese. We had some calls recently from a couple of landowners on snow geese and they are starting to arrive in larger numbers and we pass this on since we have many areas with geese. We would recommend Cass B (Cass A is closed), Bates D, Holt, Atchison and Livingston Counties on the Missouri side as the areas to scout.
Upland Birds. Kenneth traveling from Arizona issued his final seasonal report with an excellent picture layout and season long detailed hunting account. While the birds were a big part of the hunt all will quickly see it is the dog work he enjoyed the most. It is this quality of feedback that returns a confidence that what we believe to be true is confirmed by others.
Deer Hunter. Roger W., another local hunter, tells of the hard hunt he experienced this past season.
Deer. Brent S., a local hunter, sent in a letter and hunting account of a short hunt as well as a rack picture sure to please. Brent is truly one of those intense and skilled hunters that takes a very leisurely approach to his hunting. From several short conversations Brent easily shows while remaining humble he has a deep understanding of Whitetail Deer. Thanks Brent.
Land Run. This past week while out meeting some landowners and renewing contracts this one landowner told us of the two racked bucks on his place he had been watching since summer. He said one was big and as as far as he knew it survived hunting season. He went on to tell about how he has not had cattle in the one pasture in a couple of years and that the old mineral feeder while gone the surrounding ground where the grass will not grow the deer come to lick the minerals as there is always tracks on the ground at that spot and each year he'll find a shed or two around the barn. While walking around and talking the walk went to the barn area as he wanted to show the mineral spot. And, just as he said there this shed. Not a big shed, but a shed nonetheless.
Traveling Hunters. Two more successful deer hunters one each from archery and firearms season. These two members scout and hunt hard and it paid off. While we can tell the seasons hunted from the pictures our reservation system of pencil and paper was long ago destroyed. As one week is completed the sheets are thrown away as we cannot have the clutter of old weekly reservation sheets just lying around. Part of the promise we have for those that send in their pictures that we do not tell where they hunted. Congratulations guys, two good looking racks! Thanks for sending in the pictures.
Pheasant. Matt S coming up on his 16th membership year sent a couple of pictures of a recent hunt.
Deer Hunt. Brian was able to hunt after getting a transferable landowner tag through his Association and came up with a nice wallhanger to add to his collection. Congratulations Brian on a successful hunt and thank you for sharing with us.
Admin. From summer 2004 to February 2005 your Association membership increased by 36 hunters from last summer's 818 to the current 854 total membership including the 51 that are currently inactive. The largest block of the new members are within the upland bird discipline with the remainder spread across the other hunting interests.
Resident members, those living in Kansas, Iowa and Missouri, make up the majority of the waterfowl hunters and are relatively equally spread amongst the remaining hunting disciplines. There was a continuation of a slow moving trend of declining resident upland bird hunters with a corresponding rise of non-resident upland bird primary hunting interest memberships. Otherwise, no significant change in resident membership levels occurred.
Non-resident membership (those residing outside of Kansas, Iowa or Missouri) continued to increase at what has become the average over the last several years of a 2% annual increase. We currently have an all time high nonresident membership level at a flat 40% up 1% since last summer. The non-resident members come from the states highlighted in green.
One revelation that became apparent this year and looking over past statistics indicate it has been the unobserved case for several years is that the farther a non-resident member travels from his home state to hunt the central mid-west the more likely he is to renew his membership, those states have the most stable membership levels and these members have the longest track record of successive seasons hunted without any inactivation's.
Turnover continues to be highest amongst the non-resident rifle deer hunter that appears to be the trophy room hunter that once harvesting his first mid-west quality racked buck moves on to another species. Turnover is least amongst archery deer hunters both resident and non-resident and waterfowl hunters. Upland hunters reflect a plurality split between a core segment that hunts regardless of bird cycles and renews for decades and the cyclic increase and decrease members following bird numbers renewing only during up years. Turkey hunters reflect to a lesser degree that of deer hunters in all categories. For the socially conscious it appears divorce and other financial degrading causes are a leading factor in overall renewal failures.
What all these numbers mean to the Association and its hunters is what level we are willing to sustain. Some members may remember several years ago when we had 259,000+ acres under lease. That was a tough year on your Association staff and showed us our limit and was made only possible by John Wenzel's addition to the Association staff in 1995 freeing Jon Nee from many other tasks to concentrate on the Association's core product - habitat. Since that time we have settled that between the time and road miles your staff can expend in any give year we can sustain 230,000 to a maximum of 240,000 acres with less than 235,000 being the optimum. Before that experience we had often stated the arbitrary figure of 950 for our membership cap. That was a line we drew just to answer that question. What we have learned since the middle 1990's is that we can effectively sustain between 230,000 and 235,000 acres of lease contracts and that allows for a membership level in the 800's, not the 950 we once thought we would allocate.
The non-resident factor many will cite as making it possible to allow many more members into the Association due to the fewer number of hunting days (pressure) on the land. This has continued to be the case that our increasing numbers of non-residents has in fact decreased the total number of hunting days hunters have been in the field. Almost half of the non-resident hunters hunt that one valuable vacation week a year with the next largest segment spending about 13 days on the ground typically on one trip for deer hunting and two trips for upland. (Spring turkey will account for a long weekend fly-in/rental car hunt of 4 days or typically less than a week hunt.) However, just as with most other things in life this advantage does come with a consequence. That consequence is the non-resident hunter requires much more telephone time to ensure he is headed to the right region of the state, the right lease and the right habitat for what he is after. Comparatively with a resident hunter, telephone time is spent making a reservation and that is about all. The difference is a five minute resident telephone conversation versus the 30 minute non-resident telephone conversation. This may seem to be a small issue, however it has turned into a staff management problem that many will attest to is settled by the cellular telephone.
The bottom line is that your Association has essentially been capped off at its membership level within the 800's for several years. We are comfortable at this level. We plan to remain at this level.
Missouri. Missouri Department of Conservation 2005 Wildlife Code Changes of interest to MAHA hunters: Pheasants. Male pheasants may be taken from November 1 through January 15 north of Interstate 70, and also in that portion of St. Charles County lying south of Interstate 70.
Fall Firearms Turkey Hunting. The fall firearms turkey hunting season will be October 1 through October 31 annually. The season limit of two turkeys of either sex remains unchanged for the fall season, but both turkeys may now be taken on the same day.
Fall Firearms Deer Hunting. The November portion of the 2005 firearms deer hunting season will open November 12. The closing date and dates for other deer season segments will be announced in early summer.
Pheasant. A trend that seemed more prevalent this year than in past seasons have been the number of pheasant hunters finding crop stubble of all types to be more productive than earlier experiences. Many of these reports came from the increased number of first year Association members telling about the birds they found and what they hunted in. This compares to many local members that focus as their preference the brushy draw or tall grass. Several older Association hunters have long ago recognized this to include Matt, highlighted in the earlier update, that sent in pictures last year to include his dogs on point in a wheat stubble field. Reminders such as these from across the range of Association hunters keeps most of us from becoming too arrogant in our hunting by believing our methods are the only or the best methods.
Bobwhite Quail. Randy with Bullet and some quail from an arrival day hunt that didn't start until 2PM. Two properties, two coveys and three quail. Not every day is a limit day when out quail hunting.
Upland Bird Hunts. Dean and Pam on upland bird hunting for the third season running. He simply says it is good. Having members show a running track record of good seasons is always whatwe want to see.
Whitetail. A 4 year non-resident member, with a 190+ lb, 140 inch, grain fed Mid-West whitetail. He spends as much time scouting as he does hunting and his success has proven that the scouting has paid off. This is just one of several whitetail he has harvested in his Association nd reinforced the idea expressing after hunting the central mid-west he has lost motivation for whitetail hunting his home state.
Lease Update. Some of the behind the scenes details about your hunting Associayion from this past season good for members to know.
The first is every year we lose habitat to farm improvements. Our lease contract does include a provision that obligates the landowner to maintain the wildlife habitat in the condition it was when the lease was signed. Failure to do so is breaking the contractual agreement and cause for withholding the end of season payment, contract renegotiation or discontinuation of the lease. The adverse effect on the membership is not limited to just the loss of the habitat on that one farm. The loss extends into overhead costs of searching for, negotiating and processing the lease for replacement land. Typically a day's worth of time or more spread over several days, a tank of gas, accountant costs for the new contract. Even the cost of additional signage and mapping contributes to membership overhead.
Next and thankfully for our members that card others, an upland bird hunter encounter another two during a hunt and the agreed to a card check exchange that seemed to go well. The good member however thought something was amiss and discussed with us the encounter. It turns out the other member had his adult son hunting with him while on the family membership the son listed was 14. This we consider theft and resulted in a new membership opening. We would also have desired to have a trespass citation issued at the time of discovery, however we are glad to be rid of a thief. The cost to the membership was additional hunting pressure without the financial (membership dues) land contract support to provide for that hunter.
A member asked at the start of the season if he could drive in to get a deer if he needed to and our lease and office to landowner coordination allowed for this. The member was given the green light as requested to pick up a harvested deer. The member reinvented this authority to drive in and out all season to hunt the back side of a remote farm. He dug some serious ruts. The landowner then used this as cause to raise the contract costs at renewal. Our response was to have the member call the farmer to pay for the damages and there will be some money exchanging hands as a means by which the member may retain his Association membership. The landowner then did renegotiate the contract and while happy with the monetary agreement with the member the landowner did forbade any future off road vehicle access in all forms on this farm to the disadvantage of future Association hunters. The landowner (an investment corporation) suggested we meet the tenant farmer in person to ensure it wouldn't happen again. That will take an entire day and a tank of gas to patch. Additional costs to the membership.
Overall it was a good hunting year with few incidents and the ones listed above are meant to inform the membership there is a lot more your staff does than simply sit around and talk hunting. Knowing this, it is far easier to have patients with us if we are not always in the office when a member calls. Leave us a message and we will call back. Thank you to all the good members out there and that is about 99% of you for the great feedback, hunting accounts, pictures and ease of reservations.
Goose. Douglas P., attempts the impossible of trying to get his dog and child to both pose for a single picture. Far more difficult of an achievement than bagging a goose. Thank you Douglas it is good to hear from first year members.
Traveling Hunters. A successful hunt from a dedicated group that travels over 1,100 miles one way to hunt deer each year on Association land. Many of the resident members are astonished at the success of some of our non resident hunters. Some feel they are getting special treatment. They are not getting getting special treatment. They come from states that don't have the quality of hunting the Mid-West has to offer and take full advantage of every day from sunrise to sunset. Occasionally, non-resident hunters stumble into a great hunt or two the first time out, but typically, it takes a year or two to become familiar with the maps, terrain and weather to put things together. Once the puzzle is put together it appears all they need is quality land and we have a lot of it.
Bobwhite Quail. Kevin sent in a great point picture that appears to be routine for his fine quail dog and a harvest picture that covers the extreme of this past January's weather where we had both winter's cold and very unseasonable warm days in the same week. The warm day he teamed up with another long time member for a hunt that ended early as it was a day when both dogs worked great, the shooting was on, energy to walk and most of the coveys cooperated with much singles action. The cold day was with high winds and finger numbing temperatures that made for a quick field day notable by his dog's good point standoff in spite of the winds. For those that know Kevin, if he were to write a book on quail dogs and quail hunting it would be an easy purchase decision.
Rare Safety Issue. Randy found a reminder about safety. Walking along a non-descript except for the tree covered ridge in search of quail he found a ground surface hand dug rock lined water well. The tree that had fallen across it courtesy of nature probably saved more than one creature from injury. Randy reinforced this natural blockage with additional tree limbs to further enhance it from becoming a trap.
Hunting Updates. We certainly appreciate the great string of hunting updates members have been sending in. They are certainly more enjoyable to read than anything we could create and would like to see member feedback continue in any form any member desires. The diversity of opinions and experiences amongst all the hunters will be shared by any one segment of the membership more fully than others and with multiple contributions more of those subgroups find their pleasure.
It has always been the expressed comment from members over the years they enjoy most of all having a "news" source consisting of information relevant to their recreational interests and the success or not of others within that interest or hunting discipline. It is for these reasons there will never be enough pictures of letters to fill this website and those that have sent in successive years of updates have developed a following when if broken are questioned by those that do not find that hunter's yearly contribution.
We also publish all to include the negative. To encourage all contributions we have adopted long ago a policy of anonymity of authorship and hunting location to further contributions both positive and negative. This allows success pictures and hunting accounts without giving away the hunter's hot spot and provides for less complimentary feedback necessary to keep the Association on track. While our Association is a great place to hunt it will not remain so without diligence and all those that contribute feedback in any form have an impact on the Association's staff in many ways. Thank you to all that have taken the effort to send in pictures and letters.
Upland Birds. Charles D., does it again and sets up a very well composed picture worthy of any magazine cover as well as an end of season report about his upland bird hunting and the trials and success of his wirehaired pointer. Thank you Charles for another great letter. Most can relate to the mixed feelings about the season's end. Good luck until next season, then I don't think you need it.
End of the Season: 2004-2005
It's January 31 and another great bird hunting season with the Club has come to an end. Tj (my Wirehaired Pointing Griffon) lay curled on the passenger seat as I drove across Kansas on our way home last night. I realized she had hardly moved over the last hundred miles. I stroked her shoulder and, without lifting her head, she moaned her pained approval. I felt that same fatigue, as well as many pains of my own. My right knee, which had been hyper extended and damaged 35 years ago, was aching. The surgery 3 years ago had helped, but hunting every weekend since late October had again taken a toll.
I felt satisfied and ready for the off-season, although I would never admit that to my wife. It's important for her to believe that hunting is an obsession over which I have little control. Our lives together just go more smoothly that way.
I reflected on TJ's development over her four hunting seasons. The first year had been almost magical. In her enthusiasm for the field she had overrun and flushed a lot of birds, but once on point, she was staunch and her retrieves were to hand without fail.
To the degree that the first year was great, the second season was disastrous. She became what my father called an 80-acre dog. Once released to hunt, she would clear 80 acres of CRP of any fur or fowl without regard to her hunting partner (me). She stopped being a pointer and became strictly a flusher and chaser. After getting what turned out to be good advise, I followed her across the 3 states of the Club's leases carrying my unloaded shotgun. The advise had been simply: "don't shoot anything TJ doesn't point." By the end of the second season, she was again pointing. We had survived the year of adolescence.
TJ's third season was one of great progress. She began to block running pheasants. It was not unusual to see her "get birdy and track for a short distance." She would then circle 30-40 yards down and across the wind with her nose high. It was wonderful to watch and appreciate.
This year, her tracking of wounded birds was a highlight. On a recent hunt, she tracked a wing-tipped rooster over a quarter of a mile across a light CRP field. As she pranced back with the pheasant held high, I was so pleased and proud.
As we drove through the Flint Hills, I reflected on what I had gained and learned from the year. It could be summed up with the picture I've attached and the phrase: "Happiness is a mixed bag of birds, getting the last mile from a pair of good boots, and sip of well-aged bourbon."
We wish you all a peaceful off-season.
Charles and TJ
Family. Mike and son Colt make their second addition to their web page with a last week of the season report along with two pictures of what many will consider the best part of the hunt. Thanks Mike, good luck to you and Colt next season. Good looking dogs!
Whitetail. Larry, a whitetail deer hunting member from NC was on a roll. He had a lot of time and one tag left to fill. He called the office open to hunt anywhere. We recommended a new farm a long distance away that had never been hunted by a member for whitetail. This being a new lease that fall our only knowledge of deer on this property came while posting this land from a ladder at dusk. A case of luck simply from being on the land. While nailing up the sign we saw a heard of whitetails bouncing over the hill. We had a quick glimpse of a couple of respectable racks, but weren't sure of the size.
Larry walked the farm and found sign of a big deer. He set up and rattled in this buck from over 200 yards to pose broadside for a 15 yard shot. He wasn't in his stand for over an hour. Hunts like this only happen once in a lifetime.
Scouting. Fresh deer shed found on January 30. About the earliest we found one.
Admin. Thank you to all that have sent in a rush of updates: upland successes, late goose season and several trophy deer. We will get them out this week as each and every one of them is greatly appreciated and the same must be true for the now over 900 distinct IP addresses that visit this update page every day! More visitors each day than we have members! It seems many more folks appreciate the efforts of those that send in their feedback and pictures to include the non-hunting owner of one outdoor group where a friend of ours tells us he reads this page to learn how to talk to hunters.
Special note to the late in the season to join handful of new upland bird hunting members. From our last week of the season tour/hunt across three regions in Kansas and the earlier tours of Iowa and Missouri, trust there are plenty of carryover birds, more than we have seen for a while. Next season, in many areas, with a dry spring may put us back to where the longer term members remember during the early and mid 90's when the dog work was at its exceptional level.
For the most part many of these hunters had good hunts with several tempered by less than one year old dogs and a few with geriatric dogs at 11 and above. Of those that did team up with other members with more experience on the land they reported some of the better hunts in terms of birds in the bag. Several others found what it means to hunt the tall grass and a couple more why the coveys are able to survive so well during the season. Overall, these hunters indicate their enthusiasm for planning next year's hunt recognizing one reason there are fewer bird dog hunters than deer hunters being the dog development effort requirement on top of learning a new bird or habitat.
From our perspective we are reminded that even during the late season many non-residents told us they had some of the best field dog work than they could ever get compared to their home state and were please with the bird numbers. The remembering part is to keep in our minds on how good we have it even during our less than memorable days in the field as local comparison is frequently referenced to up and down years. The non-resident hunters tell us that even our down years are good seasons.
Bobwhite Quail. Dean from Nebraska sent in a number of pictures (to be published later) and a letter adding to his earlier season reports giving all a better idea of our quail hunting. The one at right is his moving in on a nice close working GSP pointing a single quail from a covey flush just a few minutes before. This was the last Thursday of the season after the cold windy front moved in and just as the snow began to fall. Bird hunters can appreciate the difficulty of quickly finding a fresh single after a covey flush and all the more so for those that were out on this day as it sent the both of us back home early rather than continuing to withstand the wind. It is dog power such as this and hunters that can develop such bird dogs that makes for the great field days. Thanks Dean, good luck next season.