Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Quail Hunt

Been a little out of pocket over the last week. Some work stuff (smelly body stuff) and then I shot on down to Hobbs to do some quail hunting at the ass end of the season.

I don't know if I know less about birds or shotguns. For this venture, I borrowed the Old Man's Remington 870 pump.

It is a little known fact that Lea County has more oil pumps than any other county in the nation. As such, there are wide swathes of gummint land that has nothing but wells, cattle, and birds. The gentleman I was hunting with grew up in the oilfields, as his father set meters on wells. I've never known a person to have such intimate knowledge of such inscrutable landscape. Lea is flatter than shit and every direction looks the same. During the day, I told said gentleman that if he was to drop me off and take off, I wouldn't have the slightest clue in what direction to start walking.

In NM, it is widely held that Hobbs may be a Texan town, depending on which way the wind is blowing that day. The widespread harvesting of oil also gives the area a distinct odor. While there are some of the nicest people I've ever met located there, there is also a sector of the population that is completely lazy and useless. It's a bit of a hard town to describe.

I split out of Albuquerque Wednesday afternoon. It's about a 4 1/2 hour drive down there and the previous day I had been up in Red River, so I was a bit sick of the truck cab to begin with. I got into the area right when the sun was going down and almost ended up driving to Plano, Texas, because I couldn't see the goddamn signs.

We started out Thursday morning at 8:00 AM. I forget the trade-offs of rural versus urban living. My host has a 20 minute drive from his front stoop to the oilfields. We got out there around 8:30. I figured that we'd hunt until 1 or 2 in the afternoon and then head back to town. I guess that's not the way it's done. We didn't unload and pack it in until 5:00.

Quail are weird birds. I've become convinced that blue quail are some kind of supra-intelligent bird that Big Head engineered on the mother-ship. Their pretty sizable birds (slightly smaller than a light chicken.) Their defining characteristic seems to be their ability to run like all hell. From what I saw, the little shits can run faster than they can fly and, therefore, don't have to expose themselves. They just make you chase them until you're too fucking tired.

As to my performance, the first covey we found, first thing in the morning, I took the first shot and got the first kill. That was it. I crippled a couple others and my host assured me that I had dropped another one we couldn't locate, but as far as scorable shit, that first shot was about the best I was going to do.

Later in the day I took an extremely long shot (40-50 yards) and winged one. That's kind of a stupid shot to take with a shotgun, but I'm so tuned in to shooting rifles that it was almost instinctive (I haven't shot a shotgun in a decade and a half.)

Between the 2 of us, the total take was 9 birds. None of them were that ripped up, so I figure I can get 2 or 3 meals out of it.

My host had several firearms he let me try. First was his son's Remington 11-87. Thankfully, both him and his son are left-handed. The son had replaced the nice wood stock with composite so it wouldn't get fucked up in the field.

I tried this gun out and, I must say, the semi-auto is just way too easy for a dumb fuck like me to unload on stupid shots.

My host primarily shot a Browning Citori over-under. I didn't have a chance to take a crack at this one. Of the 9 birds we bagged, 3 were a result of him coming over a rise on a bunch of quail in the open and he just emptied the two barrels into the covey.

We got back to his house around 6:00 and cleaned birds for about an hour. I took him and his family out to dinner and then made it back to the hotel by 9:00, beat to shit.

Drove back on Friday and got into town around 3:30. I slept a shitload last weekend. Trying to run my fat ass after these birds just wore me out.

Season is not over til' mid February, so I might try to make down again. All in all, it was a good fucking time.

Sweet... Nice hunting report...

Go out and shoot a round or two of sporting clays at your local shotgun range before the next outing...

Bet you kill percentage will go up dramatically....

Needless to say I am jealous.

Oh I have my room booked for boomershoot...
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?