A 10-year day — Late-season quail hunts bring bobwhites

Written by Craig Nyhus, Lone Star Outdoor News

From house dogs to the pro pointers, quail hunters over the last two weekends of the season enjoyed success with the Lone Star Outdoor News Foundation.

Over Valentine’s Day weekend, humid and cooler temperatures provided good scenting conditions for Boomer, the Viscila owned by Eric Shirey of Omaha, Nebraska, and Moose, the black lab of David Sweet of Spring.

Several coveys were pointed and flushed on Saturday (Valentine’s Day), but Sunday proved to provide the best conditions, when 15 coveys were flushed in less than four hours. Not all coveys provided shots for the hunters, and some that did managed to all fly away despite the shooting.

The shooters did manage to bag a fair number of bobwhites, and while blue quail have been seen on the property, no coveys of blues were seen by the group.

Kyle and Konner Smith, of Floydada, proved to be the top shooters in the group, with several bobs each. Despite the ‘boots’ worn by the two dogs, the dogs’ owners each spent a fair amount of time both during and after the hunts removing cactus and other thorns from the hides of their hunters.

No boots were worn by the dogs on February 21, as a hunt auctioned off at last years’ Wild Game Supper to raise funds for the foundation was purchased by Stan Graff, but he couldn’t make the trip. Graff gave the hunt to his friend, Roy Washburn, who hunted with his son-in-law, Dane Bruun of Corpus Christi.

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The dogs, all 12 of them, were professional hunters, owned by Darrell Layman of Pleasanton. On their 38th hunt of the year, the conditions were hot and dry. That didn’t slow the dogs, though, as 14 coveys were pointed and flushed before the two shooters had their limit.

Layman has been doing commercial hunts for six years, and this season, he is very popular.

“Don’t they know I’m hunting,” he said to himself after the sixth phone call during the hunt asking if he was available for the season’s last day.

Layman’s unique rig consists of a Polaris 5-passenger UTV followed by his dog trailer. He hunts mostly wild quail with his German shorthairs and pointers.

“There is a huge difference,” he said. “Dogs that spend all their time hunting pen-raised quail will struggle with the wild ones.”

Washburn, an avid quail hunter, was impressed with the birds and the dogs.

“It’s been a 10-year day,” he said. “It’s been 10 years since I’ve had a quail hunt like this.”

Lone Star Outdoor News will auction another two-day quail hunt for two at its Wild Game Supper benefitting the Lone Star Outdoor News Foundation, to be held in October at the Beretta Gallery in Dallas. Watch the ads in Lone Star Outdoor News for the date! Sealed bids will be accepted prior to the party, send to: Craig Nyhus, Lone Star Outdoor News, P.O. Box 551695, Dallas, TX  75355.

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