Cool country, wonderful birds, tough dogs, soulful men…
These are the enlightened words of a fellow pointing dog (foremost), scaled quail, & Spanish smooth-bore aficionado who I spent the day with this past Saturday. Sinewy Dave Kruger, MD and his leathery brother Kraig (both sadly plagued with Chukar-Hunter’s Disease) met up with me at 0’dark-30. We journeyed southeast to the windy Colorado prairie, not just in search of scalies with pointing dogs, but to revel deeper in our glorious Upland Tradition. What draws us to the water, woods or our mountain coverts? Or, in this instance, the Colorado prairie?
Upland gunners who wrote about their experiences afield have handed down our beloved traditions–lore steeped with echoing bells, the dank fragrance of autumn grasses, Hoppe’s No. 9 solvent, and gun smoke. (Side-note: Brother Andy just informed me, “There ain’t any scaled quail writers because no one wants to publish a bunch of swearing!” But I digress!)
The Colorado short-grass with its incessant wind blowing dust in my eyes and mouth and far-ranging pointing dogs were the setting and visage of Saturday past. Miles were covered, birds were pointed, and smoking hulls were ejected. But more importantly, friendships were created as we shared birddog-wisdom, blood (from the hellacious cholla), and dust and sweat from the miles.
This upland tradition rejuvenates us, creates friendships that last and memories that are emblazoned upon our souls. We have so much to be grateful for!
Happy Thanksgiving to all…
2 Comments Add yours
Hi guys, new to your site and I really enjoy the articles. Just spent two days hunting south of La Junta and got goose egged. Saw two mice, one rabbit and a guy entering the spirt world. Glad to see someone having success it’s what keeps me going back. Any Advice would be appreciated.
Mike…thanks for stopping by and the note. The way I find scaled quail is to find patches of dense cholla…they’re out there. This is a good year for Colorado scaled quail!