I've been out for a few days with Nick, a new hunting mate and his two amazing dogs, Jack and Louie.We walked over many wet field, the dogs getting on point once they'd hook a whiff of quail, and then we'd flush and shoot.
I'm sure we walked many a mile, because by the end of the weekend my legs were weary from lifting them over the long wet grass and my arm was sore and tired from carrying my big Lanber 12 gauge. This season there isn't as many birds around, so Nick regaled me with stories of his hunts last season. There was a seemingly endless supply of quail.
But this year, whether it's the availability of the right agricultural habitat the quail prefer, or maybe it's the weather no one can be sure, but we are sure that there just isn't as many birds. Same goes for ducks. But that often signals a big year the next season. Nature is a fickle beast. Like a woman, she'll make her mind up as she pleases. She keeps us humble men on our toes. I kinda like that.
She certainly did keep us on our toes with the wild winter weather. We had gale force winds and squally rain at times. You could see the spray of shot from the gun move in the wind and hit the grass a little off to where you aimed. At night when we hunted hare and rabbit, Nick almost disowned his .22 in disgust. It seemed to be no match for the ridiculously strong wind. Thankfully I took my .22 Magnum, which seemed to handle the wind a bit better. I bagged 3 hare and 2 rabbits. I've already cooked a pork sausage and hare tenderloin bean brew for breakfast. A meal fit for a hunter warming up for working a very cold day.
The simple things. Brilliant. Encouraging. Heart warming.