Skunked

It's unusual for us to share our less than stellar experiences with each other. This is almost the golden rule for social media, as you know. But sometimes it's just fun to take a step back and laugh at yourself, while you search for the silver lining.



It's with this attitude that I'll shortly summarize the quail hunting trip I took with one of my brothers this year before Thanksgiving. A trip that resulted in zero shells being fired, and zero quail being found.


We drove seven hours from Austin to Alpine, Texas. It's not a scenic drive. But you can cut some serious time off by pushing the 80 miles per hour speed limit– God bless Texas and it's speed limits.



Our phone signals were gone when we got to the track of public land that evening, a public land preserve with 13,000 acres in total. We took out our guns and walked around while Bella, my German Shorthaired Pointer, stretched her legs through the endless West Texas brush. As the sun set over the lone mountain, we settled down and set up camp.


After a cold night with whipping wind, we left the tent for an early start and high hopes for coveys. We drove slow on the properties dirt trails scouring for quail. Which after a few hours, and a few miles of walking, turned into me trying to find one quail to prove to my brother that they existed. During our futile search for the evasive Texas Blue Scaled Quail, aptly named "Blues," we watched hundreds of dove fly around us. They grouped together in crowds of thirty, forty, maybe even fifty at once. Most within twenty five yards, close enough for a limit in half hours time for mediocre shots like us. But they were out of season. And it seemed they knew it.


As the morning spilled into afternoon, our quail hunt was not turning out as promising as I had made it sound when I first pitched it to my brother months before. Our only salvageable moment was a short encounter we had with a mule. We named her, tried to feed her, and debated the logistics of bringing her home. But in the end, we decided to leave empty handed. No quail, no mule. We tore down camp that evening and drove back to Austin. But for a while we had it all: The hope of a successful hunt, beautiful scenery, family bonding, and zero cell service.







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