What’s Happening Now-Post Season 2018-2019 Spring Report
Cross your fingers,knock on wood, do a rain dance…….it might of finally happened.The rainfall since October has been almost unheard of!! Record rainfall set in some areas and long since dry stock tanks full. In some cases the dams just blown out. There are lots of creek bottoms that are normally dry now have been running since October. On years like this it seems that the quail will be so desperate to breed and repopulate that gamble quail will have a brood and as soon as they are of age she will go and find another partner. Monogamy will hopefully not apply this year.There has been reports of single male quail reaching out to the fringes of there normal range.standing on rocks and making a caw calls.
Folks over in New Mexico will tell you the populations will be drastically different from year to year – as bad as having just a few quail one year and the next having large abundant coveys. Those are scaled quail that have those large population swings in NM. Texas has the same thing….it seems like these states have benefited from large hatches in the not too recent past and present. While Arizona has been in large decline all through those years. Why hasn’t Arizona seen the swings? There are lots of options like over hunting and predators of the sky. The truth be known, it is most likely environment. The high desert only gives little to survive on during years of severe drought and it would seem on years that had decent amount of winter rain the prickly pear wont fruit. If there is no filliree to eat, what is left? On a good note, insects will be much more prevalent this year and they are important for the oil on the quail feathers during the juvenile stage.
It’s been seventeen days and the dogs are getting back into their regular routines. You can see in their eyes every time I jump in the truck that they are ready to go, not ready to be finished with the season. A dog’s desire to work, to find and to please doesn’t disappear as the season closes. Now it’s on to resting and training to keep the fun going all off-season. The next seven and a half months will bring a lot of revamping and replacing equipment and eyeing those rainfall numbers.
Spring brings breeding season for Gambel’s and Scaled quail so these winter storms that have pounded the west bode extremely well for the hatch. Desert dwellers should be able to start seeing the beginnings of the hatch in the next month or two. Considering that last year the call counts were 50 percent below the 10-year averages. Some of our snow birds and locals have complained of a cold, wet winter. The quail hunter is jumping for joy at every single storm.
In the off season it can be difficult to find comparable pastimes to quail hunting. Though fishing brings much excitement, it’s not the same has working with your dog to achieve a goal. To keep occupied in ways other than cleaning guns, maintaining calls and breaking in new boots there are a few Arizona opportunities to get outside. The AZ Game and Fish Outdoor Expo is March 30-31, 2019 at Ben Avery Shooting Range. It’s fun to hang out with like-minded sportsmen especially when getting the youth involved. We also support Arizona Outdoor Adventures which is a kids camp operating during the summer months. To find ways to volunteer or donate, check out their website here.
“To enrich and positively impact children’s lives through fun outdoor activities in the peace and quiet of nature.”
” It shure is a fabulous time to be in the Great Southwest deserts. In this case it is the Arizona desert. In spite of the unusual inclement weather of last week this Camp turned out to be perfect weather. The desert Critters we’re right on time with their evening chorus. Absolutely outstanding daytime weather for a terrific Desert Mountain hike. The kids also received a beginners lesson on how to set up a tent. Campfire time is always very special.” -Dan Priest
Remember When you purchase Q5 and Quilomene upland hunting vests, you are helping a Child experience camping and the great outdoors. A percentage of the proceeds go to Arizona Outdoor Adventures, a non-profit501(c)(3 organization dedicated to providing healthy outdoor activities for underprivileged children. Wont You Help Out A Kid Today Go to www.azoutdooradventures.org for further information.
The Valley of The Sun Annual Banquet will be March 30rd, 2019 at Ben Avery Shooting Facility. This year, there will be an optional sporting clay fun shoot prior to the banquet: you all should come join in on the fun. Click here to buy your ticket now!
TIP: FOLLOW THE BIRD
Gambel’s quail are tough. They can be hit hard and still run. Here’s a practice that can really make a difference in limiting the number of lost or crippled quail. Typically, a hunter will shoot a bird and automatically his gun will come down to watch where the bird drops. Try following the bird down with your gun up and ready to shoot. If the bird looks like it’s about to run off, shoot again. A bird can run off and be gone in the time in takes to bring the gun back up to shoot. But here’s a red flag: Safety must come first in this situation. Always be aware of where other hunters and/or dogs are in order to prevent any injuries/mishaps.
For some great information on dog food, visit Dog Food Advisor (http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/).
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