As much as I've enjoyed recent hunting stories by Rebbecca, Mike, Patrick, and others, I have to admit that they induced sharp twinges of envy. Sure, the dogs and I have been out for runs, but these weren't real hunts. Most of the time I didn't even carry a gun; I'm still a little nervous about shooting around Cate. She's bold, but why rush things? Quail season opened the last weekend of October. I tried not to think about it as I went about my weekend chores. This past weekend, with temperatures in the 80s, I was actually glad I hadn't headed for West Texas.
But cooler temperatures are coming. I'm heading out tonight for the boonies up along the Red River for a few days of quiet work and some late afternoon runs with Cate and Maggie. Come Friday morning, we'll load up and head for our quail hunting grounds along the Pease River, in the southeastern corner of the Panhandle. I'll be meeting my old buddy Brad Carter there, along with his Brittany, Jack, and old English setter, Buck. Cate will be along for the ride, and she'll get in some short romps. Maggs is in decent shape and ready to go.
I have high hopes. The Rolling Plains got more than enough rain. Quail numbers were horribly low at the beginning of the breeding season, so I'm not expecting one of the legendary Texas boom years. But the hunting ought to be pretty good.