The best laid plans of mice and quail hunters... Blythe, CA is a weird little place along the Arizona/California border, right up against the Colorado River. Literally. It's surrounded by BLM land that I thought I could hunt but soon found out that wasn't really the case. A lot of this land is being "leased" by double wides and farmers and assorted desert rats. After a bit of wandering and walking around I found a nice patch of riverside scrub and Ghost and I jumped in, all kinds of gung-ho. After three very brutal hours of bushwhacking we jumped a nice sized covey of Gambels but the scrub was so thick that at first I wasn't sure if I was looking at quail or not. It was like trying to shoot shadows. They were, in fact, quail as I discovered after I worked my way behind the cover the covey had dove into. I scared up a double and actually succeeded in popping both of them at medium range. They both dropped like stones so I wasn't too worried about finding them. I looked down and lo and behold, Ghost was on point! I told him to "fetch" and he did! He grabbed both birds and dropped them at my feet! Happy days! (Imagine the screen goes crazy a la Doctor Who) Wait, what?! Oh yeah, back to reality: Ghost was on point and when I asked him to fetch he poked his head into some cover, turned around and sat down. In the shade. With his paws crossed. Not only did he not fetch my birds but he watched me try to cut my way through a 'Nam-like tangle of scrub with a belt knife. What the fuck!? I got nowhere near the birds and I like to think they fell right next to each other, nice little present for some hungry coyote. You're welcome! You're all welcome!
By this point we had walked several miles and I decided to turn back. We managed to scare up another good sized covey and trying to shoot them was insane. We were walking along a slough with heavy cover on both sides and I knew there were quail holding hard in the scrub so we stopped. Two seconds later a huge covey came out of the far side like Harriers: straight up and turbo boost along the slough and into some cover along the river. They were so fast and low it almost looked like they were running. I fired twice but I was way too late and behind them. Damn dirty quail.
On to the next bit of scrub.
North thru picturesque Blythe and into some slightly less insane scrub near the river. After a couple of hours of slowly stalking a couple of acres we ran into a bizarre sight: a field of bleached white mule deer carcasses. It looked as if someone had
slaughtered every mulie within sight and dumped them all here. The carcasses were laid out in semi-neat rows and had obviously sat there and decomposed. Very odd. We scarred up another covey of birds but they jumped out way off to the side and we couldn't find them again. Ah, hunting, how I loves ya!
I'm hoping today's unmitigated failure of both shot and retrieval won't be repeated tomorrow. I'm hoping tomorrow will be a fruitful bit of sitting around shooting ducks until I get my limit. Wouldn't that be nice?
As for the dog- we're in a hotel in Palm Springs (discount season!) and he's sleeping on the end of my bed. I can't even get mad at him, at least he ran his ass off and was excited to be out and about. Too bad he has no fucking idea what he's doing.
Peace out, bitches!