Dust Bowl in Texas

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Dust Bowl in Texas

Postby AverageGuy » Tue Feb 13, 2018 2:22 pm

Well what a difference a year makes. Spent the last 4 days in Texas chasing Bobwhite quail. The area we hunted is officially rated an Extreme Drought at the moment. The covey counts were down 85% from last year on the same ranch, (which was an exceptional high). The bigger challenge over the bird numbers however was the extremely brutal scenting conditions. And the birds were very jumpy, commonly flushing wild as we approached dogs which were cautiously pointing them from 50 yards off the birds, and when they did not flush wild the birds often ran out from under the dogs' points. Often the scenting conditions were so brutal the dogs could not relocate the birds when they ran and their ability to get solid productive points on singles was just about nil. I was able to watch 8 different dogs across 4 breeds run, and across the board things were difficult.

I thoroughly enjoyed the trip none the less as every day I follow good dogs in pursuit of wild game is a Blessing.

Spud pointed 6 coveys and one single for the Trip. I took very few photos while he was on the ground and I was carrying a gun, but got a few when I was running him while carrying a camera only. He turned 2 the week before and I was very pleased with how his nose and search compared with some very top notch pro string of EPs and ES. Our last drop of the trip was with a very talented EP in a comparatively open pasture. Spud got out over 400 yards on the Alpha as he and his bracemate ripped it up in opposite directions. I shot a couple of birds on that drop and it was a nice end to the trip.

Spud pointing his first covey of the trip.

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Another Covey Point

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Another Covey Point in an impossible spot for a good photo

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One of the EPs we hunted with is the Dam of last year's Runner-Up Winner at the AMES Plantation. That white speck in the center of this photo is her. She is a really talented animal and a treat to hunt over.

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I also was privileged to hunt over the 2017 National Champion Cover Dog which is a walking trial run on wild Ruffed Grouse. He was a Special dog as well and the only dog who had 2 productive points on single bobwhites. One of them was on a bird that was obviously somewhat close based on how the dog was pointing as I walked in to flush. A rabbit flushed from the cactus directly in front of the dog's point. I said nothing as the dog's breeder/owner/handler moved into release the dog. As he did, the single bobwhite the dog had been pointing flushed and I was able to make a good shot on it. We got a good laugh out of that.

Here is the dog beside himself excited at the prospect of being loaded up.

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Point

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Point

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Point

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Last Evening Sunset

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Sunrise Leaving the Ranch. A big bobcat jumped out of the weeds and ran down the road in front of my truck for 50 yards, 5 coveys of birds graveling and a few deer before I hit the Blacktop.

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Spud and I Hunted Doves in Mo and Ks, Hunted/worked Sharptails in Alberta, MT, WY and SD, Prairie Chickens in SD and KS, Huns in Alberta and MT, Bobwhites in IA, MO, KS and TX, Pheasants in SD, IA, MO and KS, and Waterfowl in Alberta, IA, MO and KS. We will hunt Geese a few more times over the next 2 months and then it is on to Spring Turkeys. A Blessing of a Second Season for Spud and I.
Last edited by AverageGuy on Tue Feb 13, 2018 7:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Dust Bowl in Texas

Postby Willie T » Tue Feb 13, 2018 3:42 pm

Thanks for another good post AG. I enjoyed following along with you and Spud this season. I pray western Texas, Oklahoma, and south west Kansas get rain this spring and summer. The current extreme drought the farmers, ranchers and upland birds are dealing with really has their backs against the wall.
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Re: Dust Bowl in Texas

Postby AverageGuy » Tue Feb 13, 2018 4:55 pm

Amen, Willie T.
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Re: Dust Bowl in Texas

Postby orhunter » Tue Feb 13, 2018 5:43 pm

The season that never ends. The pleasure of hunting isn't measured by limits of birds. Beats watching the Olympics on TV.
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Re: Dust Bowl in Texas

Postby jfwhit » Tue Feb 13, 2018 10:59 pm

Same experience in Oklahoma. So dry and hot. Fewer birds than last year. My experience with the quail activity was similar to yours.
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Re: Dust Bowl in Texas

Postby Bigearl » Wed Feb 14, 2018 12:39 am

Willie T wrote:Thanks for another good post AG. I enjoyed following along with you and Spud this season. I pray western Texas, Oklahoma, and south west Kansas get rain this spring and summer. The current extreme drought the farmers, ranchers and upland birds are dealing with really has their backs against the wall.
Willie

Ain't that the truth!

Thanks for the pics AG! That setter was looking mighty good, and Spud looks great as always.
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Re: Dust Bowl in Texas

Postby mtlhdr » Wed Feb 14, 2018 9:03 am

This
AverageGuy wrote: every day I follow good dogs in pursuit of wild game is a Blessing.
and this
orhunter wrote:The pleasure of hunting isn't measured by limits of birds.


I really appreciate the time you put into your posts and have thoroughly enjoyed tagging along with you and Spud this season. Hats off to the both of you.
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Re: Dust Bowl in Texas

Postby JTracyII » Wed Feb 14, 2018 9:19 am

Great season AG! Really hoping for rain here in OK. Forecast for Spring and Summer does not look good, but things could change. It is supposed to be a dry Spring and very hot summer. Very bad combo. Hope those that come up with such forecasts are wrong this time. We have had almost no precipitation of any kind this winter. No real snow, ice, rain, nothing. It is supposed to rain a little Saturday and have chance for some twice next week. Hope it happens.
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Re: Dust Bowl in Texas

Postby LongHammer » Wed Feb 14, 2018 12:36 pm

Sounds like you were hunting in Arizona. I can't even remember the last time it rained. It's been dry as a popcorn fart and birds just run away or bust if anything gets within 50 yards. Glad you made the best of it. You have the right idea why train when you hunt nonstop. I don't recall you ever posting a dove hunting pic. How does Spud like all the shooting?
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Re: Dust Bowl in Texas

Postby AverageGuy » Wed Feb 14, 2018 1:17 pm

Spud loves to dove hunt. Pic from this year.

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Re: Dust Bowl in Texas

Postby Deuce » Wed Feb 14, 2018 3:10 pm

mtlhdr wrote:This
AverageGuy wrote: every day I follow good dogs in pursuit of wild game is a Blessing.
and this
orhunter wrote:The pleasure of hunting isn't measured by limits of birds.


I really appreciate the time you put into your posts and have thoroughly enjoyed tagging along with you and Spud this season. Hats off to the both of you.


Couldn't have said it any better than this. Looking forward to season 3.
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Re: Dust Bowl in Texas

Postby Drahthaar1108 » Wed Feb 14, 2018 7:11 pm

Awesome, thanks for taking us along.
Hope their rain will start soon. Forrest
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Re: Dust Bowl in Texas

Postby J D Patrick » Thu Feb 15, 2018 7:02 am

excellent quality post! hope it gets to raining that way some
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Re: Dust Bowl in Texas

Postby LongHammer » Thu Feb 15, 2018 1:18 pm

After posting above I walked out of the concrete bunker I work in and it was raining. Still hasn't stopped. I will send some your way.....
"The problem with quoting info from the internet is that you can never be sure it is accurate" Abraham Lincoln
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Re: Dust Bowl in Texas

Postby RowdyGSP » Thu Feb 15, 2018 5:45 pm

I gotta say with a bunch of snow on the ground here in Idaho and temps in the single digits, that country and weather looks like a nice escape. As always, love the Spud pics!
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