The Time is Now

 The morning broke cold and clear. The mist rising from the dew covered grass brings visions of the most wild and timeless places in your imagination.

 You step out of the truck and look at the trees and the cover that says Bobwhite Quail call this place home.

Habitat at Black River Plantation
Habitat at Black River Plantation


 You take your dogs out of the crates put on the tracking collars and stand them at whoa. They stand quivering until you have your vest on and the gun in your hands.

  Two reports of your whistle and the dogs take off into the trees in pursuit of your quarry. After a short time in this amazing covert you get a point and a back. You take a minute to admire the sight of your dogs doing what you spent all summer working on.

Cash Backing Indy


After a moment of admiration you move in and get the flush. Up goes the covey in an eruption of fluttering wings and disorienting flight.. You shoulder your gun and it barks twice. You manage the first double of the season. 

 Your two dogs each get a retrieve. They bring them to hand and you examine the birds and are taken by the color and beauty of them.

Photo by Monica Brady


  After this brief pause you release the dogs again and you continue on to see if you can find some singles or even better another covey.

  This painting of a picture is my way of saying that the golden days are the days that we are hunting in right now. 

 We always read and hear stories about how the Golden Years are gone and they will never return. I don’t believe that. While it is true that Quail numbers have plummeted greatly over the years, there has been a conscious effort in recent years to bring the quail back.

 With the effort of conservation organizations and different state agencies the Bobwhite has become a focus of effort to bring the numbers back. Will the numbers ever be the same as the storied days of old? Probably not because of the loss of habitat. However I believe that we can bring them back to levels that we can hunt and enjoy more than one or two covey finds in a day by adequately managing the habitat that we have.

 We can long for a time gone by or we can continually improve what we have to make our own glory days. I am opting to continue to improve what we have. I go to meetings, I take the surveys and I interact with the Wildlife Commission. I think these are ways that everyone can help make things better.

 This is not another pitch that we all hear to join an organization or give more money. This is  to say do your part to make it better. If you have some time, give the time. If you have a few bucks then do that. Just do something to help make it better and not just take.

 The season has started in some parts of the country and here in this part of the nation we have a few weeks until the preserves open and another month after that for wild birds. So it is time here to finish up preparations in training and conditioning. Do your scouting to start planning the days in the field.

 After doing all the preparations get out and hunt. Bring your family. Bring your friends. Go on your own. Just get out there. Make your memories that will become the new tales that will be told for generations.

After a retrieve
After a retrieve


 Do your part to make the hunting better. Make your memories so that for you the golden years are the ones that you are living in.

 Let’s have a great season and add to the timeless tradition of upland hunting.  Good luck. My dogs and I hope to see you in the field.

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