Friday, November 8, 2013

Back from the Serengeti

It's amazing what a difference a year makes, or in this case about 9 months. When I was last in south Texas the ground was barren, dust clouds wafted from beneath your feet and even the rattlesnakes had to get creative when hiding. A wetter than normal spring and summer have transformed the place into another land. It's not Africa, but at first glance it could be.

South Texas bobwhite country

Of course every silver lining has its dark rain cloud. Covey counts indicated a supreme number of birds going into the season, and for the first time ever I was there within days of the opener. All this grass, however, means there are many, many more places to hide and these kids are quite adept at hide and seek. One dog relocated seven times and we never caught up to the covey.

Not every covey gave us the slip, though.

pointer on point in South Texas

And quail weren't the only game in town with wings. Thanks to a late night, tequila-aided decoy set and blind fabrication by two of my fellow travelers we enjoyed a stellar morning of duck shooting, bagging five limits in an hour while watching a beautiful sunrise over our shoulders.

TX duck hunting

More plentiful than ducks or quail were the dove which, thank you Mr. Murphy, aren't currently in season. Several mornings while sitting outside enjoying my coffee I noted that I could easily have shot a limit in about 30 minutes without leaving the patio. The locals said they tend to a be a here today, gone tomorrow species in that area, highly sensitive to changes in the weather.

Back to that grass. Seems that the wet weather aided a bumper crop of other species, too, and made them somewhat reluctant to announce their presence. We came inside of three feet of two different rattlers, neither of which made a sound. Maybe I need to get hit once to ease my mind because snake boots alone sure don't do the trick.

South Texas can be a god-forsaken place when it's hot and dry even if you're partial to sweat. It sure does respond to a little precipitation, though, and it's a thing of beauty when it does. The one constant through any extreme of weather is this:

south TX sunset


  1. VERY happy to hear dear old Texas is recovering from the drought! That first pic with the clouds is wonderful.

  2. Good to see it bouncing back. Glad you got some feathers in the bag too!