Monday, November 14, 2011

I'll take Amazing Things for $200, Alex

There are some things you just don't say no to.  Like when the boss asks if you'd like to come down to his lease in south Texas and go bird hunting.  Oh twist my arm.

It's a hardscrabble place to eke out an existence, especially if you're a bobwhite.  Especially in a dry year.  Yet for some reason, possibly proximity to the coast, the birds were there.  Thirty three coveys in three days and every one a bundle of dynamite waiting for you to get a bit too close.

Nature can be a mother at times, harsh, stingy, or hateful.  For whatever reason, though, she gives these locals what they need to survive in the place they are born.  And sometimes in the face of all odds they even seem to thrive.

A hot, dry, faded landscape where everything wants to bite you or sting you, predators waiting behind the next bush or looking down from above, waiting for a tiny little tasty meal to wander out in the open.  I've always had a healthy respect for these birds, one that bordered on reverence.  Lately it's grown.


  1. Chalk one up for the bucket list. I've always dreamed of going on a TX quail hunt. Have to live through your camera for a bit more. Jealous!

  2. Wow, it sounds like you found birds in spades! Congrats... there's nothing like a quail hunt in the Lone Star State.

  3. Holy cow! Needle on the envy meter just snapped off...

  4. I honestly couldn't believe we saw as many as we did. The odd thing is that the lease is managed pretty much exclusively for trophy deer. They'll clear overgrown brush in places and that benefits the birds, and they scatter supplemental feed on the roads (some corn, mostly milo) and that benefits the birds as well, but it's all done with deer in mind.

    The land is about 15-20 miles from the coast and they get something they call a 'marine layer' of moisture at night. I've never heard of it but there is heavy dew every morning, so I guess that's what has helped the birds survive such a drought. I know a family that hunts about an hour west that has called off all bird hunting this year to hopefully ensure carryover stock.