Posts tagged: quail
HUNTING — Eastern Washington's pheasant season ended Sunday in a weekend of winds gusting to 70 mph at the top of the 49 Degrees North ski area where they toppled a cell phone tower.
I figured I had a better shot at chukars in the Snake River canyon where I could loop into bowls out of the wind.
Indeed, I found some pleasant hunting interspersed with high-wind exposure as I hiked around basalt bands on the ridges.
But I was surprised that in 4.5 hours of covering a lot of ground, my English setter, Scout, found only two coveys of chukars. The dog locked up solid 80 yards away from the first cover as the strong winds telegraphed their scent to his nose. But the covey flushed wild as I approached, caught the wind, and appeared to be setting wings for a wind-assisted flight to Montana.
The other covey cooperated in making my hunt successful.
But that was it. I covered some great private land where I've hunted with permission numerous times and never have found fewer than three coveys.
So now I'm wondering: Should I have been hunting the highest slopes that were open to the high winds? Is that where the chukars were hanging out?
The hunting season for partridge and quail runs through Jan. 20.
HUNTING — While hunting pheasants on Sunday, this is how my English setter, Scout, defined the idiom, “Got 'em dead to rights.”
Many hunters get all excited about opening days — forest grouse and mourning doves open Sunday.
But the best and safest hunting for a bird dog is later in the seasons, when the field is cooler, damper and there's been more opportunity to get in tip-top shape after the dog days of summer.
HUNTING — I don't want to jinx the odds, but a lot of upland bird hunters are noticing this is the driest weather we've had in several years for the peak period of the wild quail, chukar and pheasant hatching season.
Upland bird chicks are particularly vulnerable to hypothermia if cool, wet weather persists in early June.
Last year's season was boosted by a good second hatch of birds.
This could be the year the first hatch blossoms.
CONSERVATTION — Quail Unlimited president Bill Bowles has announced on QU website that the nation's oldest quail advocacy group has folded .
Mismanagement in the national conservation group's operations has been charged for several years.
Bowles advised members to turn their allegiance to Quail Forever and related organization, Pheasants Forever, to continue the fundamental work of advocacy for upland bird habitat preservation and restoration.
That's a good recommendation. Quail Forever/Pheasants Forever have a 4-star Charity Navigator rating.
HUNTING — Ouch. The first week of June is prime time for the first hatch of pheasant chicks in southeastern Washington. Once again, it's being greeted by rain and cold weather, which is a sentence to death by hypothermia for the young birds.
Quail and pheasants have a built in response to nest again if their first brood fails.
Keep your fingers crossed.
HUNTING — Here's the latest Yakima region hunting update for deer, elk and birds, from Yakima Herald-Republic outdoor writer Scott Sandsberry.
UPLAND BIRD HUNTING — Hunters chilled at the thought of what the cool, rainy spring was doing to nesting pheasants and quail in June.
Indeed, the hatch isn't anything to crow about, but it's not as bad as hunters may have feared, at least in the Snake River region.
Surveys by Idaho Fish and Game biologists indicate quail and Hungarian partridge had modest reproductive success and pheasants did better than the did last year, although last year's hatch was pitiful.
Idaho partridge populations of both are down slightly from 2010 and long-term averages. Pheasant numbers are up from last year, but still be low the averages.
Read on for details in a story by Eric Barker of the Lewiston Tribune:
HUNTING — I was pretty confident going into today’s hunt. I had a shotgun and an English setter that covers real estate like the wind.
But the valley quail didn’t fly.
Instead, they challenged us to a footrace through the Lincoln County sagebrush.
The birds won, by a mile.