Wednesday, September 2, 2015

From the dumbass file

When you're stuck in the no-man's land between the whole country's opening day (yesterday) and your own (Saturday) and it seems there's nothing to write about but your own bitterness, the innate stupidity of certain Americans comes to your rescue.

Seems three old boys in Major County, OK, just couldn't wait another two days til dove season opened, so they set up a blind and some mojo decoys in a field and started hunting. The creative juices didn't stop flowing there, either. Anyone can build a blind from branches and weeds, so why not step it up a notch and build one out of weed.

Sunday morning, August 30th, did not start out like a normal day for game wardens Phillip Cottrill (Garfield County) and Lt. Frank Huebert (Major County). A passer by called in and reported seeing some mojo dove decoys spinning in a field. The wardens arrived to find 3 guys dove hunting over bait. Strangely, they were using dove blinds that were built out of marihuana* plants. The dove poachers were in possession of 45 dove, marihuana buds and a pipe.
But the fun didn't stop there. Wardens accompanied one of the boy geniuses to his residence to obtain ID where they found hawk and owl fans and talons. And yes, they also found the requisite meth and needles and more pot.

While most of the day would be labeled what my kids call an "epic fail", there was one bright spot. They all shot a limit.

Here's to your opener. This year, don't settle for the same old same old.

* After several vigilant spellers spoke up, The OK Dept of Wildlife noted in a later post that the laws in OK spell marijuana with an "h", so that's how they wrote the report.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Has it been 10 years?

The last step in the morning routine is standing at the dresser and loading pockets with keys, wallet, chapstick, a pen and, if I'm lucky, a few dollar bills. A quick check of the calendar hanging over the dresser confirms the day and date. Yesterday morning I noticed some fine print at the bottom of the Monday square and my eyes no longer what they used to be, fetched a pair of readers.

Once in focus it read:
Aug 10, 2005 - PF launches quail conservation division Quail Forever (QF)
Yes, it's a QF calendar.

Hard to believe it's been that long since PF jumped into the quail world. At the time, Quail Unlimited was still in existence and although it was facing some headwinds, it claimed quite a few members. Many saw the formation of QF as a direct assault on QU, an attempt to wrestle away the disgruntled on the hunch that more would follow. Others saw it as a move to use PF's reputation to tap a group that up until that point hadn't jumped on the quail conservation wagon.

History being the great teacher that it is, I don't really care why they did it, I'm just glad they did. Ten years and 15,000 members later they are helping conserve quail in 27 states. There would have been a huge void nationally when QU folded up the tent had QF not been established and actively incubating local chapters.

Grass roots conservation organizations like QF and PF are an invaluable link the chain of restoring and maintaining gamebird habitat across native ranges. State and federal governments can't do the work alone. It takes people working locally and lobbying nationally to keep the movement going. If you haven't joined QF or a similar organization already, step up today. 

Friday, July 31, 2015

Beating the heat (or trying)

We finally got a break from the oppressive heat and humidity today, but the last month or so has been almost unbearable. A few weeks ago I asked my wife how she'd feel about moving to Canada. "Montana," she said, "but not Canada." We'll see.

The only time we can get out and run is right around sunrise, so the dogs and I have been hopping over to the game management land not far from the house.  There aren't any quail, just doves and deer and rabbits and hogs and lots of space to run. It's fun for an hour or so until the temp starts rising.

Bird dog pup follows another
Show me how this is done

Bird dog pup looking up
Are those dove on that wire?

Bird dog pup in profile

Dog looking at cloudy sky
Even these don't beat the heat
Bird dog pup looking back at me
You coming?

Pup with deer turd in mouth
I was proud until I realized this was a deer turd

Bird dog pointing field mice
Field mice. Again.

Bird dog pup looking through grass
If we can just get this look on birds someday...
It's something to do until the real seasons arrive. That and try to grow more bobwhites. Stay tuned for an update on our Great Bobwhite Revival in a couple of weeks. Things are picking up steam.