Reports at this date are as follows: The desert is in better shape than it has been in several years and Gambel’s quail began pairing very early this year. As of the end of March and early April, baby quail were already reported in some areas. The last good rain was the third week of March and since then, it has been dry. There has been enough past rain to create a nice green-up all over the desert.
Dave Lukens is a long time Arizona bird hunter. A few weeks ago, he posted quite a few quail hunting videos on his YouTube channel. Won’t put them all up here but here is one I thought was especially educational that shows how Mearns’ quail will run in and through heavy cover.
Spring is a great time to be on the desert and scout for next year. Cottontail and jackrabbit season is open all year long creating a great springtime hunt opportunity while scouting for next year’s quail. By the way, jackrabbits are great eating along with cottontails. A guy can’t go wrong with jackrabbit backstrap jerky.
Here’s an interesting bit from Pointing Dog Journal, Eastern Encounters:
The most important training tool is duct tape. Tear off a piece the size of your mouth, then use your imagination. People who holler at their dogs or constantly blow whistles have forgotten that dogs have ears also and can actually hear better than their owners. All the extra noise just reinforces bad behavior and reminds the dog to avoid you. Silence is the best teaching tool.