Friday, March 28, 2014

Company business

bird dog on the office floor

It's a rainy Friday, bird season is long gone and there's really nobody around the office today. Seemed like a good day to bring some company along.

He's not thinking about spreadsheets or bank drafts, but what's stirring between those ears is anyone's guess...

..if the line on the UVA-MSU game gets to 1.5 I think I'll take some action on the Hoos.

..eventually that Russian guy's gonna bite off more than he can chew. 'gardener' a job description in Greenland?

..natural gas is a viable alternative to oil-based fuels.

..wonder why the kids are so averse to flossing?

..this is a helluva lot softer than the garage floor.

Monday, March 10, 2014

That's a wrap

March 1 clocked the end of the 2013-2014 quail season, and as such was the last day of wingshooting until September. It's in the books, and that's just as well.

I decided to go off the menu and hunt somewhere I'd never been, a good three hour drive from home. Several people who ought to know told me this place held birds. In retrospect I shoulda asked them exactly where.

Canal WMA is a long, narrow stretch of property, not much suited for anything but hunting. The diversion canal that forms its spine was built by the Army Corps in the 1980s to re-route some of the flow from the Santee Cooper lake system back into the Santee River.

red cedar after an ice storm
Red cedars and ice storms don't play well together

We had a nice walk, saw the spoils of the recent ice storm, scared a few geese out of a dove field, but didn't move a single quail.

dog pointing geese
That's a goose in the water, one of a dozen
bird dog looking at the water
I'll just wait here and see what happens..

You can grade a season by how many birds you shoot or by how many coveys you find and there's nothing wrong with that.  Birds are what we're in it for.

But worse than going and not finding any birds would be not going at all.

Eyes out the windshield, not the rearview.

bird dog running down the road

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

This guy gets the award

A story in the Minneapolis Star Tribune last Friday details the quest of Thurman Tucker, a guy who moved to the Twin Cities area around the time I was born and has been working ever since to restore quail populations in the state. Keep in mind that Minnesota is on the fringe of native bobwhite settlements.  They don't even have a quail season.

Undeterred, Thurman started his own non-profit to support the effort and later merged it into Quail Forever. The guy is a purist if ever there was one, devoted beyond imagination and persistent in the face of what most would consider impractical. And we need a few more like him.

Thurman Tucker, quail restoration pioneer
Thurman Tucker
photo courtesy of the Star Tribune

Why? "I'm 70 years old, and I like to stay with a job until it's done."