>Twenty-Four Coveys and the Final Hoorah!!

>Gary Ruppel and I headed to Kansas at 0’dark-thirty Thursday morning to chase birds in great quail country for the final weekend. It was great to say the least. We loaded his dog trailer with a mixture of 10 bird dogs from Labs to Pointers to setters to what he called a “novelty”…my FB English Cocker, Ellie. By the last day of the season, Gary was convinced that Ellie was an awesome bird dog…very animated and energetic…and she was HECK on those late January Roughnecks!!! We moved 24 different coveys of quail which included a nice junk-yard covey of scaled quail. There were plenty of roosters around to keep it exciting…there were times when the dogs were on point, and I expected a single quail to find a brilliant iridecsent rooster erupting from the cover! One of the highlights was working down a shelter-belt tree row on the last day with Gary and one of his labs. Gary was talking on his cell phone when he noticed the dog acting birdy…he closes the gun and puts the phone between his shoulder and ear and shoots a large rooster through the trees without dropping the phone! The rooster dropped dead on the opposite side of the shelter belt. I couldn’t believe it either, but saw it with my own eyes!

As I was cleaning my gear and dogs this morning, I couldn’t help reflect on the 2008-09 gunning season! It’s been a great year! I was able to chase my dogs at least once a week for the past 6 months on nothing but wild birds! We put over 16,000 miles on the Tacoma! What a great year indeed! I’ve made lots of new friends and memories to last! My dogs improved significantly, but still need some work! I’m very pleased with them!!! Karen has been great to me…picking up the slack while I was chasing the girls…I feel very blessed! My dogs are thin and tired…but man did they enjoy themselves! Autumn was indeed made for pointing dogs afield!

Below are some of the photos from the last Hoorah! I’m already making plans for this Fall!

6 Comments Add yours

  1. >Shawn, What a season for you! You are very blessed to have three awesome bird dogs with wild birds galore . . . oh, and a girl that will put up with your chronic absence during the hunting seaon. I enjoyed your post. Andy

  2. >Shawn: that’s what’ll make a great bird-dog… lots of birds, and especially wild ones! I only managed 7,000miles on our Tacoma in four months… and never left the northeast. I also didn’t get anywhere near the wild bird exposure you did. Hope we’ll get to meet up in 2009.bestA.

  3. DaleHernden says:

    >Thats it! I’m moving to Kansas.Dale

  4. Matt Ortiz says:

    >Shawn,Looks like it was great way to end the season.Matt

  5. jeff says:

    >Shawn, those are excellent photos, that make me jealous of all that wide open prairie and all those birds.Two years plus have passed since the last Kansas trip for us, and we hope to get back out that way in ’09.If you don’t have some kinda camera mount on your shotgun, how do you find time to take all those pics *AND* shoot?jeff

  6. >Thanks for all your comments you guys!Jeff…I miss a lot of birds while trying to get a good photo. The photos last alot longer and mean more to me! Although you can’t eat them!

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