West Texas Wingshooting with Astro
We hunted with Steve last year on the same quail lease, when the place was thick with birds. This year, they weren’t quite as abundant, but we were still able to push a dozen covies or so a day, thanks to Steve’s fine stable of gun dogs. Scalies (also known as blue quail) are running fools. When a dog gets a whiff of these birds, the fun has just begun. Because they’re the track stars of the avian world, it’s a mad dash to catch up with them and get them to fly within range — and most shots are taken while you’re huffing and puffing. Suffice it to say that’s not real conducive to high shooting percentages.
At one point, one of his particularly independent dogs, "Stud," got a little too rangy and decided to hunt on his own. At one point, the Astro indicated he was more than six tenths of a mile away. Before Astro, a lost dog would have more than likely meant an end to the hunting trip — finding a dog in this country is a time consuming, needle-in-a-haystack proposition. But with Astro, it took us little more than 30 minutes to reconnect with our renegade pointer. We even used the opportunity to field test our portable long-range antenna — a must if you’ve got big-running dogs.
A successful hunt, it was — so successful that some of the quail we bagged are presently simmering in a Christmas gumbo whipped up for the Garmin departmental holiday party today! We’ve got more stories from our West Texas sojourn, so stay tuned.
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