I spent the first week of the new year hunting quail in NM. While the rest of you were in single digits or negative temps, we were hunting in t-shirts. It got cold at night but was in the low to mid 60's most of the week during the day. Not much shade from the sun so that wore on the dogs pretty quick. We needed to carry lots of water.
We started our trip in the southwest part of the state hunting national forest land and targeting Mearns and Gambles. We didn't move large numbers but all managed to get some action. I didn't get a nice male Mearns but did end up with 1 female. I did better on Gambles. Each day we'd move only 1 large covey and then follow up on the singles.
After 4 days of hunting there we moved east to go after scaled quail. Numbers were much better on them. We moved a good amount at each place we got out to hunt. Those suckers run! The dogs would point and you'd see the birds 20-30 yards out in front of the dogs hightailing away. We'd have to move quick to try and flush them or they just ran.
The terrain there was tough. Everything out there stabbed, poked, or cut you. We needed to boot the dogs because there was lots of sand burrs, cactus, mesquite, you name it. So between the weather and terrain, it wore dogs out.
It was a great trip. I did manage to kill all 4 species of quail.
It's tough driving 2,400 miles from home and trying to put yourself in the middle of birds. We bought BLM maps and just drove to areas until we thought we saw decent cover or areas to target. It is pretty rewarding when you are successful.
Very cool. Tell us more about the dogs. Looks like 7 GSP's, 3 setters (Red, Gordon, English) and 3 French Brits?
Did the GSP's handle the heat the best?
Actually all dogs seemed to handled it about the same. My oldest Murphy never handled heat well so he was the worst.
Yes we had 7 GSP. My 3 and my buddy who owns Blackridge Kennels with his 4. I bred My dog Connor to a female of his and kept a pup and so did he so we had mom, dad, and two kids.
My friend with the setters has 9 year old Emma (red), 7 year old Pepper (Gordon) and 2 year old Rye (Llewelyn). Rye actually came from a kennel in NM. Emma has big range. Pepper is a really nice dog with medium to long range and quick pace. Rye is coming along nicely too.
The 3 French Brits were probably the most well conditioned of all the dogs. 10 year old Ellie (liver and white) and 7 year old Gage (tri color) and 2 year old Libby (ticked liver and white). These dogs have a medium range and no quit hunting drive.
All dogs did pretty well.
This was the first year I noticed a decline in my Connor. I noticed stamina and range drop off. He’s 9. It was tough to swallow because he’s been a really good dog. I was really happy with his son Billy although he wasn’t steady to any shot so need to go back and work on that. But he hunted well and had a bunch of finds.