Opening Day

The second day of quail season found me side-hiking a hill trying to keep my feet under me without making an enormous amount of noise. This is much more difficult than it sounds in the cactus filled canyons outside of Phoenix. I was joined by my good friend Austin early in the morning and we bounced our way through a mesquite filled wash to a canyon located off the beaten path. This particular canyon is located inside a wilderness area which is means no quads or ranger which in the end means not too many other hunters are going to be wandering into this area. When we exited the truck on the wilderness boundry, our ears where filled with the coos and calls of quail all around us. After loading up at 6 am, we stumbled over and flushed more birds than we could count.

First bird of the day...

Birds began to fall quickly to our 12 gauges, but it appears I am not the better shot. Austin limited out while I ended the day with 5 birds in the vest. In my defense, I piled up several birds but was unable to find them (even as I write this I know it sounds weak).  In a desert where every crevice and rock is guarded by a wide array of thorned plants, quail have a unique way of escaping underground never to be found again. By ten o’clock, the sun was hot and we were running out of water, so we turned our course back to the truck.

Wilderness Area...

The little canyon was simply brimming with birds and the early morning was perfect weather for hiking and shooting, but unfortunately the Arizona desert heated quickly under a hot October sun. I appreciate the close proximately to home that quail hunting affords me, but I think that I will be waiting till the weather abates and the fishing turns off. Hopefully, I will be pointing the truck towards the Rim in the near future and take advantage of the cooling fall weather to chase some bigger browns on those crystal streams.

Final Bird

The Canyon

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