November 6, 2003

Outdoor Corner

by Chris Feeney

While it likely will never compare to the tales of yester-year when hunters bagged limits of quail on a regular basis, I must say that I was very pleased with the numbers of my favorite gamebird that I discovered this Saturday on opening day of hunting season. We discovered four different coveys on a quick pass over one of my favorite hunting spots (READ Ė Donít bother asking if you can go with me next time) Saturday afternoon. We didnít get started until late but boy was it worth the wait.

Of course it doesnít say much for my hunting skills or the shooting abilities of my comrades in arms as out of all those fluttering quail we ended the day with just two birds taken. Thatís terrifically poor shooting when you stop and consider the second covey rise was thunderous with an estimated 25 to 30 birds flying in every direction all around us. Lets just say there were a few more than two shots fired.

In our defense the next two groups of birds had some natural defense as they arose in some of the woolliest cover this side of the African jungle. A guy had to fire off his first two rounds simply to clear a path through the underbrush in hopes of getting a clear peak with shot number three. Even when we found the singles after that, our luck was little different as the quail kept to the cover and continued to perfect their escapes. Oh well, just leaves more for next time, and four coveys guarantees there will be a next time.

I never picked up my gun again after opening day last year. Six hours of walking with nary a bird between me and the three dogs was more than enough to convince me to start duck hunting and looking forward to deer season. Unfortunately this year I am looking forward to deer season and yet still want to get out the bow as much as possible in the next two weeks. Duck season looks promising and the buddyís new blind sure makes life nice at the lake. Now toss in the lure of birds for the bird hunter and whatís a man to do? Go hunting as much as physically possible, or at least as much as the wife will allow.

The verdict is still out on the pheasant numbers. I felt like I heard much more cackling this spring than past, but that did not translate into a higher number of sightings on Saturday. Iíll get back to you on this one.

Speaking of wife allowances, there were lots of stern looks being passed between spouses the other night at the annual Pheasants Forever banquet in Memphis. There were more than 200 folks on hand for the dinner banquet and benefit auction. Wildlife prints, artwork and other collectibles were sold to the highest bidder (sometimes to the displeasure of the highest bidders significant other). Hats off to the committee and all the supporters for making this event an annual treasure for local wildlife enthusiasts, and not so enthusiasts for that matter. Itís a fun night for all involved and raises a lot of money for the local cause Ė providing improved habitat for wildlife right here in this community.

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