Tim K. and I went out to Kansas to hunt the last three days of the season with Cal Robinson of http://kansasquailhunts.com. We had 11 dogs with us including the new puppy Wild Apple Guinevere. The weather was perfect except for Saturday afternoon when it was really a little too hot to run the setters Rigby and Maggie. Had we known the temperature was going into the mid-70s we would have run them in the morning.
The stars of the trip were Chasehill Little Thud and his nephew Wild Apple Spot. It was really exciting to see the two of them roll across the open prairie. Four hundred yard casts were not unusual and the furthest find that produced birds without a relocation was well over 200 yards. The biggest and best surprise of the trip was Mel Pfiefle’s puppy Molly, Elhew Unsinkable, she just seemed to find birds every time she was on the ground and probably had more finds than any other dog on the string. I hadn’t been quail hunting since the last time I was in Texas about 5 years ago when the drought was really affecting the birds. In many ways I liked Kansas better then Texas especially since we were walking and not riding horses as we did in Texas. The prairie is much more rolling with no big canyons like the leases I hunted on the West Texas for 15 years. There was also a lot less in the way of things that can stick you and the dogs– just a little bit of prickly pear and no mesquite nor any sign of feral hogs. The last six years I went to Childress we also had a ton of deer on the leases which were always a distraction especially for the young dogs. We only saw a couple of deer while hunting in Kansas.
There’s always great memories from a trip like this and one was at the end of the first day when we ran Maggie, with Molly and Jonathan. Combined we had four coveys in about an hour hunt. It was warm and a little swim in a tank seemed to refresh them part way through the hour. One thing we learned is you can’t carry too much water for the dogs. I was used to having a couple of big jugs on my saddle in Texas and it’s a lot more of a load when you’ve got to put two or three water bottles in your bird bag. Even the dogs that had never drank out of a bottle before were soon coming looking when they started to heat up.
I’m not really one for hero shots but since Timmy wanted to take one of Thud I figured I might as well share it here. Tim had never really shot wild quail before and it took him a few coveys tho get the hang of it. But we were both knocking them down when given the opportunity.
We carried 11 dogs out to Kansas and brought a 12th back with us for a guy in Knoxville. There were six in the trailer and six in the back of my truck. Each dog had its own compartment and we got very efficient at running out a couple of chains at a stop. This was are last stop Monday somewhere in Missouri. We got fuel, fast food, and got the dogs out then were back on the road in just over 1/2 an hour. Even the new puppy was a happy traveller by the end of the trip.
Tuesday it was 70 here in Kentucky and I went over to the WMA and worked a few dogs. We were able to find at least two woodcock and possibly more as Mollie stopped a couple of times but moved before i could get to her. The next two weeks look pretty good here in Kentucky and I’m sure I’ll get lots of time to work the dogs.