I got your inquiry just as I was getting ready to send you my end of year report. Like all years, this one was unique, but I would have to characterize it as challenging. The early season was very dry and warm, and I recall the dogs kicking up dust running the field edges. The weather allowed some farmers to disk their fields which caused the quail to move to other areas. One farm where we had found 5 coveys last year was Fall plowed and we found none. Looking at my records, this past season was about on par with 2012 for us, a year in which we found very few coveys. I feel like the birds were there, but the conditions were not good for finding them. When we found coveys they were in good shape with good bird numbers, but I limited my take even more than usual, taking only a bird or two per hunt. We revisited farms that we’d not hunted in a while, but overall the first half of the season was slow. Once January hit, the weather played a role again, but with snow and cold. The back roads get dicey then and our hunts were limited. When we got out, we found some coveys and enjoyed our days out.
As you may recall, my wife, Elaine, is a tag along and carries the camera on all of our hunts. She got some good photos this year, and it’s nice to be able to look back on our “family outings.” Our Gordon Setter, Aspen, is now nearly 5, and I saw a great leap in his ability, even with fewer bird contacts. I got to “blood” some new-to-me guns, so every bird we took was a trophy in our view.
It’s so nice to have access to good places. I am fortunate to be able to be a member and get to wander such nice farms. Thanks, as always, for the continued work you do to provide these opportunities for us.