>Gun dog trainer extraordinaire, Gary Ruppel, and I loaded up his dog trailer and headed east to chase birds on the Kansas prairie. We had a combination of bird dogs ranging from Grand River Labradors, Elhew Pointers, English Cockers, and of course my Grouse River setter … QUAIL DOG FANATIC Gretchen!
We started out in eastern Colorado with arctic conditions … boy, were there lots of pheasants! We saw 50 plus birds in the air at one time maybe more … no exaggeration! The commotion of that many birds at once is mind boggling.
With Christmas music blaring on the ol’ Chevy’s 250,000-miles-accumulated-chasing-birddogs-across-the-West stereo and Uncle Gary singing along in tune, we headed east into Kansas’ Winter Wonderland in search of birds … of course birds mean bobwhite quail. What else? We did see a few greater chickens and plenty of pheasants.
Quail were to be found in the rolling sand sage country south of my beloved Ar-Kansas River … our best day was Sunday when we moved 9 large coveys in 3 hours in a 2.4 mile area. These birds had never seen bird dogs or their counter parts carrying smooth bores!
My Christmas visions will be of staunch bird dogs on point and tornado explosive covey rises!
Happy Holidays to all … and I hope you all get to experience a setter (insert your favorite bird dog breed here) on point and the buzzing whirr of Kansas bobwhites exiting in organized chaos!
If you ever make it to Holcomb, Kansas … make sure to eat at the El Rancho! My favorite meal there is called the Kallback’s Yes (which has an interesting history with the name)!