Dry-Weather Bobs Rainfall -- or the lack of it -- can make a definite impact on Texas quail populations, but the area west of Fort Worth always seems to turn out good hunting. Here's why. ... [+] Full Article
Judging from the response of the experts and other landowners and outdoorsmen I've talked to across West Texas, and from my own observations on family land near Amarillo, the region's 2007-08 quail season should be memorable. Above-average rain in the winter and spring greatly benefits ground-nesting birds like pheasants, turkeys and quail, enabling a rebound after a poor year. This year certainly will be more profitable than was 2006. So make sure to set aside a few weekends this winter for chasing quail. Great bird years come along only so often, and you'd best take advantage of them when they do!
GEAR FOR THE HUNT
A few essentials go with me on any quail hunt. I typically shoot a 20-gauge over-under Beretta Silver Pigeon fitted with improved and modified choke tubes. Winchester 2 3/4-inch shells in 7 1/2 or 8 shot round out my arsenal. Other gear includes well-broken-in hiking boots with good ankle support, brush pants to fight through mesquite and cactus, a bird vest, leather gloves, Leatherman multitool, sunglasses and lip balm.
For half-day hikes I wear a daypack stuffed with snacks, extra water for the dogs and myself, tweezers, bandages and other dog care items, and camera equipment. I always wear some sort of blaze orange or other bright color, whether it's a cap, vest or jacket. At the truck is a small cooler filled with cold drinks, extra snacks for me and the dogs, dog leashes, water bowls, dog kennels, extra jacket and (just in case!) my veterinarian's phone number.