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Arizona ML quail!

Old 02-01-2014, 10:55 AM
  #1  
Fork Horn
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Default Arizona ML quail!

Well, I finally got to go hunting with my new (to me) Navy arms Pietta double, discussed here http://www.huntingnet.com/forum/blac...e-shotgun.html . My business associate graciously invited my to hunt quail yesterday with him and 2 other buddies. We had 6 dogs to help us.

We headed out at 5:30a.m. and drove for an hour and a half or so to our desert hunting location. First, we hunted a location known for Gambel's quail and jumped a covy within 45 minutes of walking. The dogs had some great points on some singles and doubles, which held nicely for us. My hunting partners all had 20 or 28 gauge smokeless burners, and were shooting fairly often. I conserved my shots for fairly good ones, as to not hold up the show reloading.

I think I shot 3 times in the morning hunt, missing all (yeah, I am a little rusty)! Twice, I had issues with the unfired barrel shot coming loose after firing the other. I wonder if 2 over shot cards would help?

The afternoon hunt, we drove to an area known for scaled quail. Scalies are a bit bigger than Gambels and are much more scarce. We ran into one or two more covies, but they turned out to be Gambel's. I got two more shots, and connected on my second one--a fast crossing shot.

Okay, so the picture below misrepresents my success--my hunting partner put all his quail in with mine I got one out of five shots, but I don't feel too bad, because one of the other regular hunters got 1 (with many shots). The second hunter got 2, and my business associate got 5 (he is an expert shot, and hunts every weekend of the season.)

On the drive out, my associate was driving and saw a covy run across the road. He stopped the truck, jumped out and shot the only scaly. He asked if I wanted to take it home, so I did--what a great guy!

Gauge & me & quail:
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Old 02-01-2014, 02:10 PM
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Great story Don. Sounds like a fun hunt.
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Old 02-01-2014, 06:19 PM
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excellent story, great hunting with a black powder shotgun. And might I add that is a beautiful looking dog there.
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Old 02-01-2014, 06:46 PM
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Thanks, Semi and Cayugad. Gauge is a 2-year-old male German shorthair who, along with Hanna, a 4-year-old GSP, pointed us to several quail. Gauge was a little rough at it, but Hanna was a pro. This was my first time hunting over dogs, and it was quite a treat.
Originally Posted by cayugad View Post
excellent story, great hunting with a black powder shotgun. And might I add that is a beautiful looking dog there.
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Old 02-02-2014, 02:33 AM
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That's a wild looking landscape behind you, Nice picture, dog and gun.
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Old 02-02-2014, 05:32 AM
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Okay, so the picture below misrepresents my success--my hunting partner put all his quail in with mine
That's OK Don. Here's the story "edited" for the Internet so as to fit the picture.

My 2-year-old male German shorthair Gauge was already excited when I parked the truck at our favorite quail hunting spot. I think he must have caught scent of the first covey when I opened the door to let him out. He began ranging the scrub upwind of the truck as I loaded my 12 gauge Navy arms Pietta double barrel caplock.

I had just seated the overshot card on the second barrel when he came to a classic point fifty yards out. When I eased up behind him and whispered a word of praise the covey of five Gambles broke for the clear blue sky, and the first two birds fell to the Pietta's smoky roar. What a great way to start the day. We didn't follow up on the singles because I never take more than two birds from a covey of that size.

A twenty minute walk to the West brought us to a small ravine we know well. It always holds a bird or two. I could tell by the way Gauge locked up that this was going to be special. When I kicked the brush a few feet from his nose a fat scaled quail broke for the sky. In my excitement I muffed the first shot, but dropped him with the second barrel. I could tell by Gauges stare into my eyes as he retrieved the bird that he was not happy with the miss. Dogs are so judgmental.

We began a wide circle intended to take us back to the truck and it wasn't long before Gauge was locked up again. It turned out to be the biggest covey of Gambles we've ever encountered. I don't know how many birds there were, but they scattered like fourth graders let out for recess. I took one to the left and one to the right. Gauge approved, forgiving my earlier miss.

Back at the truck we shared a sandwich as we admired the five birds. "Let's head for the house fella", I said. "We don't want to take any more birds from this area. Tomorrow we'll try the old Landry ranch up north."

Gauge & me & quail:


Last edited by Semisane; 02-02-2014 at 08:45 PM.
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Old 02-02-2014, 06:23 AM
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Semi, maybe I should run all my hunting stories through your editer!
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Old 02-02-2014, 06:30 AM
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Originally Posted by pluckit View Post
That's a wild looking landscape behind you, Nice picture, dog and gun.
Thanks, Pluckit. My business associate actually framed the picture for his office. He's quite the bird hunter--has mounted quail and pheasants all over his office.

All that cactus was quite rough on the dogs--he kept having to stop and comb out dead cactus cobs. He said he doesn't even hunt where there are jumping cholla any more, because it's so hard on the dogs.
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Old 02-05-2014, 09:11 AM
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That's a wild looking landscape behind you,
Northern and southern Arizona have some rugged mountains it is the central part that has the flat open desert.

It sounds like you had a great time Don. Were you in the Crown King area?
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Old 02-05-2014, 12:01 PM
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Robert, we were in the San Carlos Reservation. We each had to pay a $5+$15/day fee.
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