Quail Hunting Dog Power
Quail hunting dog power in terms of one perspective on upland bird dogs and hunter styles. In all cases of the information we provide in this web site we strive to develop reasonable expectation of the hunt quality we offer. Our experience has shown to raise as discussion topics a range of interests greater than ours. This allows for better hunt quality agreement from those with varied backgrounds than our own. This discussion on quail hunting dog power is such a case.
For the rest of us these two hunters are self employed small business owners. They on appearance have plenty of time to hunt, in reality like all small business folks the line between their life and work is a fine one. When quail hunting they seem to do well, They will also tell of more non-limit days than limit days.
Quail hunting dog power is that which describes a dog's ability to first find (point) and then allow the hunter a shot opportunity. Refinements such as retrieving, honoring, steady to wing, shot and drop are not part of this discussion.
We rather will focus on one aspect why some hunters of seemingly good dogs do not experience the same success on the same leases as other self guided hunters. That self guided aspect is another topic beyond the scope of this article.
The many limit and near limit pictures on this web site sometimes develops expectations in others that every day has plenty of birds in the bag. That is not true. Every day should be a good hunt in terms of plenty of land, good cover and freedom from other hunters. That is a good hunt. After that it is a mater of hatch survival, dog power, shooting skill and the willingness to walk.
The bird dog loving community largely evaluated by field trials have made great point of conditioning a dog's field or hunt pattern. That pattern is largely composed of having a dog that "quarters" being a better dog. A quartering dog or one that swings like a pendulum across the front of the the hunter is very effective covering uniform and widely spaced cover. This type of behavior is a poor producer on our linear cover.
Linear edge nature of our habitat requires a dog that can run its edge on the downwind side The same dog must learn to select where to penetrate that edge cover. This avoids not spending energy/time on less productive open fields or interior to the wooded cover habitat. Essentially, a dog that runs circles is often a case of a dog conditioned to quarter. When on linear habitat will a circling/quartering dog spend half his time on far less productive cover. That is the cover outside of that edge Bobwhite occupy.
A local adage to describe such a dog is one that covers half as much ground in twice the time of a good or high-power quail hunting dog.
Different dogs, harvested quail. The coveys are there. The hunting land available
When it comes down to the upland bird trilogy of the hunter's willingness to walk, shooting ability and dog power there are those that easily possess two of the three. Those that have the most success always have the third. The most import of the three for quail hunting is dog power suited to linear edge habitat that joins protective cover and food source.Quail Hunting Dog Power - One Hunter's Report
Several years ago both Jimmy [last name deleted] and I stopped shooting jump and wild flush birds. We shoot at only birds pointed by our dogs. Since then our limit days dropped dramatically. The payback was that both he and I have more covey locations marked on our maps and can be on more coveys in a day than we ever remember having before.
Both Jimmy and I talked about how to make this good thing better and decided we would not shoot on the covey rise any more. Both he and I have had enough single shot doubles on covey rise that we believe no matter how well placed a shot may be on a rise the chance for wounded, un-recovered birds is high. So we started this season shooting only single points. A four in the bag day such as this [he references the picture above] will probably be the norm. It will only be the rare day we have a limit on the tail gate. Our dogs seem unaffected. They hunt just as hard with one a day on retrieve as when we shot everything in gun range. Each one here represents one covey.
I'm still working on getting a point picture for the wall and this was the best of this trip. The birds all held for as long as I wanted to take pictures. This Brit is just so small the cover quickly conceals him making the beeper all the more necessary.
We did have some drama on the trip.
The pup faced down a demon.
At least for a little while.
We did have one unwanted affair as the pup was able to catch a turkey. It nether ran well or could fly. We pulled him off it easy as the turkey was larger than he could handle. We didn't want any of this. The down stroke was he pointed two more turkeys after that.
Overall, another good trip. Did not see another hunter or hear a shot. We were on a good number of birds, good dog action with only one farm not producing any coveys. We added two new coveys to our inventory.