Well, Mother Nature finally decided that it was time for winter here. We spent Christmas Day here at an all time, record breaking high of 82 degrees. However, this week we finally had our first killing frost. As many of you know, I go to a little country church located in this community. There are actually a good many folks in my church who are older than me. I have asked all of them if they ever remembered a year that we went this late without a hard frost, and they all answered with a resounding,”NO”.
Now some of you may not know this, but the toughest day of the hunting season for our bird dogs to pick up the scent of quail is about three days after the first killing frost. That is because that is the day that the grass and weeds that were killed by the frost begin to sour and stink. That smell tends to mask the scent of the quail for the dogs, and they have a tough time for that one day or possibly two. That day occurred here yesterday. I was pleasantly surprised with the number of coveys located, and the number of dead birds retrieved, but the guides all noticed it and commented on the problems the dogs were having.
Speaking of hunting, I have always found it interesting to hear the disparity in what the guests say about how many coveys they moved compared to what the guides say. I’ve often heard guests say that they didn’t see very many birds.This situation almost always occurs when a group comes in with a very low bag limit. I usually just quietly ease over to that jeep, and count the empty boxes of shells. As best I can figure, these hunters must be shooting at a lot of sparrows and black birds during the hunt because there are a lot of empty shell boxes on the jeep not to have seen many quail.
I think that it is just human nature to want to blame our lack of shooting ability on anything except ourselves. Well, this week, I felt like Diogenes who went around searching for a truthful man. We had a guest come in from his hunt with a very small bag of quail. I was just waiting for it, but he got off the jeep and promptly said, ” We saw tons of quail, had plenty of opportunities, the guide and dog work was superb, but we could not hit a bull in the butt with a bass fiddle”. Eureka, an honest hunter!
In closing, I continue to watch the goings on in Washington with complete bafflement. Evidently, common sense is a flower that does not grow in everyone’s garden !