This one got away

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This one got away

Postby mtlhdr » Thu Dec 27, 2018 12:05 pm

Had a super fun day yesterday chasing quail with Chancey. The most memorable bird of the day was one that got away. We'd been chasing a covey around one side a little draw (got a double off a point of 5-6 birds and had opportunities at a couple other birds) when I decided it was time move on. We crossed over to the other side of the little draw and hunted our way back down to the main creek bottom. I felt like I hadn't seen Chance in a little while so I looked down at the Astro and low-and-behold it showed him sitting a mere 61 feet away. (As an aside, my only complaint with the Astro 320 is the differentiation between the "on point," "treed," and "sitting" notifications and the fact that I can't set an alert for "sitting" like I can for "on point" or "treed." I find that the Astro does a pretty poor job of differentiating between the three and most of the time it tells me he's sitting he's actually on point. So I find myself frequently looking at the unit when I haven't seen the dog in awhile to make sure he's not "sitting" somewhere on a bird. Anyways, back to the story...). I move a few yards in Chance's direction and find this:
Image

I angle towards an oak/manzanita complex and the bird(s) sit tight. As I get closer I notice this:
Image

This little hen was hunkered down as low as she could get against the base of an oak. I thought the picture was worth sacrificing the shot at the bird. After I snapped a second picture she got nervous and flushed. Cool sequence, cool picture, and cool memory...
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Re: This one got away

Postby jlw034 » Thu Dec 27, 2018 12:51 pm

Now those are some great shots!
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Re: This one got away

Postby RowdyGSP » Thu Dec 27, 2018 12:58 pm

That is a great couple of pictures. I do not think you will regret sacrificing the shot with the gun for the shot with the camera on that hen. Nice!
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Re: This one got away

Postby bullfrog » Thu Dec 27, 2018 5:25 pm

I recently bought a point and shoot camera with a good zoom to take hunting. Nothing fancy but should help take shots in the field. Phone pics are fine for the tailgate but they don't turn out too well in the field. It's left me thinking about the dilemma of possibly missing the only shot of the day in order to get a pic. The more I think about it, most times I'd rather remember the point than put a bird in the bag. Some of my hunting partners have a very different opinion. Of course pics of the retrieve are great too.
I think you made the right decision to shoot with the camera. Those are incredible pictures that will help you celebrate great memories from that hunt. Nice work!
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Re: This one got away

Postby orhunter » Fri Dec 28, 2018 10:41 am

Pictures last longer than a bird on your dinner plate.

I was up scouting for deer with the dog a couple summers ago and she was rooting around looking for Mountain Quail. A gorgeous adult male flew up the hill and landed around 5 feet away on a limb and just sat there. I had no camera so I missed the shot of a lifetime. He was a real beauty.
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Re: This one got away

Postby AverageGuy » Fri Dec 28, 2018 12:12 pm

Beautiful photos. Well Worth the tradeoff of not shooting the bird I expect.

I hunt alone more often than not which makes the choice to take a photo of a point more difficult than when hunting with Friends who can be ready to shoot while I photograph. The retrieve photos are much easier to get as are the photos while hunting waterfowl or doves.

Spud and I took a short hunt this morning and he did some excellent work on moving pheasants ending in a beautiful foot and head up point well off the birds he had been pursuing cautiously for some distance already. I silently debated with myself as to whether to dig out the camera or push ahead to flush and did the latter. Made the wrong call as all that flushed was a hen.

We were on our first day of hunting sharptails and prairie chickens back in Sept. Weather was cold, rainy and windy. Spud went on point about 150 yards out, up and over a steep hill between he and I. When I crested the hill I was immediately disappointed to see Spud was standing tall on a head point indicating the birds were some distance out in front of him. Problem was there was a tall tight fence between he and I and he was only about 15 yards from the fence. I knew my odds of getting over that fence without the birds flushing were very poor, so I dug out my camera and was trying to get zoomed in and focused when a small group of prairie chickens went up in easy range to shoot a double, or possibly a triple. I did not get a photo or a shot at the birds. Which on grouse under those conditions loomed larger than it might on a hunt where shooting opportunities are more common. Should have been digging the camera out while I was chugging up that hill. My best point photos on that trip came when I was limited out and walking back to the truck on the best weather day and cooperative birds of the trip ...
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Re: This one got away

Postby mtlhdr » Sat Dec 29, 2018 9:38 am

The photo was definitely the right choice. At some point the memories and photos start to blend together but that little hen will will always be distinctive.
orhunter wrote:I was up scouting for deer with the dog a couple summers ago and she was rooting around looking for Mountain Quail. A gorgeous adult male flew up the hill and landed around 5 feet away on a limb and just sat there. I had no camera so I missed the shot of a lifetime. He was a real beauty.
Those mountain quail truly are striking birds.

AverageGuy wrote:I did not get a photo or a shot at the birds.
Yeah, that happens. Thankfully not very often tho. When we're having a good day getting into birds I'm more apt to push the boundaries to get a good photo (get closer, right angle etc).

This was the last covey of the day. Chance had been working this slope real hard and it was obvious birds had been nearby recently. He swung down off the slope and locked up.
Image
Unfortunately I misjudged where the birds were and ended up with a long going-away shot that I missed. But I did get a nice photo.
Last edited by mtlhdr on Sat Dec 29, 2018 6:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: This one got away

Postby ANick » Sat Dec 29, 2018 4:24 pm

I wouldn't bat an eye trading the shot for the photo.

Especially shots like these. Not often you get to put the photos of the dance itself, rather than just the curtain call at the gate or the truck.

These are jewels. :)

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Re: This one got away

Postby RowdyGSP » Sat Dec 29, 2018 7:17 pm

orhunter wrote:Pictures last longer than a bird on your dinner plate.

I was up scouting for deer with the dog a couple summers ago and she was rooting around looking for Mountain Quail. A gorgeous adult male flew up the hill and landed around 5 feet away on a limb and just sat there. I had no camera so I missed the shot of a lifetime. He was a real beauty.


Harvey, I'm curious how you distinguish male and female mtn quail? I mean I always did the ol' taste test, but without gutting one, I couldn't tell ya which was which. Plume size but then gets confusing with females vs first year birds.
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Re: This one got away

Postby orhunter » Sat Dec 29, 2018 11:48 pm

Eric: The plume on an adult male is unmistakable a good four inches long and their feathers shine. Juveniles and females look fairly similar, sort of dull in color, no sparkle.

Every time I find a few of them, so do the hawks, they don’t last long. Their numbers can vary quite a bit from year to year and area to area.
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Re: This one got away

Postby Willie T » Sun Dec 30, 2018 8:25 am

Great pics! Some of y'alls prowess with a camera really impresses me. A few cell phone pics, usually the standard end of day glory shot is what I end up with. Well done!
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Re: This one got away

Postby Drahthaar1108 » Wed Jan 02, 2019 8:07 pm

Beautiful. Forrest
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