Singles Quail Hunting
Singles quail hunting much to our surprise while common to us is not common to other quail hunting states.
In Kansas, Missouri and Iowa singles points after the covey flush is every part of the hunt. A very reasonable expectation resulting from the environment of good scenting conditions. They provide in general terms six or more points subsequent to a 15 bird covey flush. The highest number from a single covey by this author being 17.
Singles Quail Hunting
How can we prove this picture is of a single Bobwhite point, we cannot. Save for it shows a single in flight. It is at left of the picture right at the horizon. The dog steady to flush, shot and drop, break on command allowing for this picture.
This was a January Kansas Bobwhite Quail hunting trip. The grass is a mixture of cool and warm season. It is part of a infield waterway surrounding a cornfield. The covey was 20 birds strong flushing down the waterway until breaking over into singles and sub groups.
Why This Discussion
The advent of the internet and home computer information research capability has changed this Association. We over the recent decades have blossomed as a traveling dog loving hunter's quail hunting destination. This has brought us into contact with a good many upland bird hunters from a variety of background experiences. They like all dog hunters seek better hunts. That leads to evaluations the value we offer.
Part of that value discussion has included singles points or the dog work after the covey flush. This includes smaller segments of the coveys and largely of single birds. This type of dog on bird action while entirely familiar to us locals appears to be distinct from many others. I'll off two illustrations to further clarify this point. One from Georgia and the second from Texas.Georgia Quail Hunting
The Georgia example is to hunt areas after lumbering called cutovers. Or, open spaces of downed tree tops within a larger wooded areas. This is protective cover. It is thick while open enough to allow coveys to be somewhat effectively hunted. However, to hunt after singles a futile proposition. This is due to the cover dispersing birds and hunter energy at a rate greater than the dog point action is gained. A simple matter of too much energy and time is required by this cover than the value gained. This is similar to how northern states woods grouse hunters describe hearing plenty of flushes, seeing but few and one in the bag for the day is a good hunt.Texas Quail Hunting
The Texas example revolves around a different set of environmental conditions.
Texas dry air and dust along with warm temperatures do not allow sufficient scent cone development from a single to allow for a dog point.
These two Georgia and Texas snapshots into their quality of hunt conditions are distinct from that of the central mid-west. Our experience for many is to fully expect a half dozen or more singles point for every covey flush. That being the basis for many that have hunted other regions than ours returning for the remainder of their quail hunting career.
Most mid-west hunters hunt a brace. They are by far the most conservationist minded hunters we work with. Bagging one bird each dog from one covey is common. They then move onto the next covey. Four coveys in one day entirely expected by those with good dog power. This makes the 8/day limit frequent enough to keep going.
Years ago had anyone told us we would have had this discussion we would have been skeptical. Today, we understand better how to express our dog action quality. The goal is developing reasonable expectations. We have also come to conclude that anyone that requires 20 coveys in a day for a good hunt not to be the type of hunter we chose to work with.
We continue this quality discussion with a different viewpoint that compares quality in terms of the hunt quality itself. Not coveys or bag limits counted. That hunt quality is private land free of public land's hunter mentality. Land in the region of the sate with a history of production. Control of hunter and dog pressure. Hunt on your own at your own pace. Hunt any time during the season. Hunt as often as wanted.
More Pictures of a Dog on Singles Points
The camera is on the nearside of the waterway giving example of its width. This brach runs 2/3d of a mile. It is one of three on this 1/4 section. The crop is milo. This is a region of open Kansas land. Far different than the wooded drainage common to Missouri quail hunting.
Singles point in a weedy milo field. Milo is manna and no hunter will pass on putting his dogs down on every milo field encountered.
An early January hunt just after a fresh snowfall. The single ran under the cedar tree to the far side then flushed without a shot opportunity. This was on a closed in woody drainage far different that the earlier picture. More are found in this cover. Fewer are bagged. All who will hunt in cedars will find this point rarely allows for a shot. This particular dog lacks style and the grimace he shows indicates the hot scent. This was an ideal cold, humid and light wind day allowing for long point standoff.
The dog cut the covey close and upwind. They flushed wild. After hunting several singles we returned to the original covey spot. There the dog went on point.
|Walking in for what was thought to be a repeat of all the previous singles. Point, flush, may be a shot and perhaps one in the bag.|
|The pup stayed steady until not believing the quail were there after the hunter having trampled over the spot.|
|More disbelief by the pup who committed to the quail being there. The hunter continues to kick the brush.|
|More kicking about. With the pup doing his best to be steady in spit of the hunter's interference.|
|Doubt was building that the pup was pointing mice. But the pup would not break point save to maneuver around the hunter's legs.|
|Finally a quail flushes with the now anxious pup wheeling around to watch.|
|Then the second quail flushed after a two second delay. Both being dropped as the pup fixes his attention on the spot where the first quail dropped. A clean double with dog remaining true to training of staying steady until commanded release. Well as steady as this situation would allow.|
|The mark of quality shooting is follow through tracking the falling second quail.|
|The moment before release and retrieve.|