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I took the dogs out today and since I've been hearing good reports of woodcock I decided to hit the swampy/woody cover that is close to home. Once in a while the dogs find a woodcock in the area but today wasn't one of those days. We didn't find any so I didn't want to post in any of the those threads. The dogs did search the area well and did have a point.

They ended up finding the liberate quail that have been out since early December. These birds started to run and the dogs had several relocations on them.

The birds kept running through the briars and didn't stop when they got to a small creek. The wind was in our favor and the dogs were able to relocate some more.

The birds kept running up hill and Nittany and Blitz did a good job of not putting too much pressure on them. They had several more points on them as the quail ran through the briars.

The quail circled around and headed back down the hill so the wind was no longer in our favor. I don't know if the birds did this on purpose but the dogs got a little closer to them on a relocation and there was finally a flush of a single quail. These birds seem to run a lot in the woods but when the dogs found them in the fields the quail would flush with a huge burst and get out there pretty far before landing. I'm not sure why they do that.

Since the dogs were all muddy at this point I figure I should just keep running them while I had the time. I was on a path when something in the woods caught my eye. At first I thought some squirrels on a log but after a closer look I saw that it was a group of hens. There was a rooster walking a little further behind them. This area had a lot of standing water in it and I was a little suprised to find these birds here instead of in the fields. The fields are in good shape and offer good cover. Here are some pictures of the fields.

I heard a couple roosters cackle before I left. One bird I heard was a pretty good distance away and had to be a 2nd bird. The other one I heard was the one I saw in the woods. Before we left I had the dogs rinse of some mud in the pond.

I hope to try again to find some woodcock but I may have to try a different area when I have the time.
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