The Columbia River below Castlegar to the U.S. border is a world-class trout fishery, attracting an increasing number of anglers from around the world to ply its clear waters. Unfortunately, that’s where the attractiveness ends, because the rusted-out vehicle wrecks, heaps of scrap metal, and discarded concrete slabs along both riverbanks are a world-class eyesore.
This past week I have been buried with work related stuff ,namely website rebuilds, so today I finally got off my ass and got out with some of the dogs .It was good , both loops produced 1 covey each and most importantly the Dogs enjoyed themselves .I was most curious to see if the Mearns Quail would be paired up .After all according to some witnesses they pair up in January ..if the weather is warm. I am not doubting these observations however I would attribute paired up birds in January to hunting pressure ,re. the Covey is running out and only two get up or someone was just in that spot prior to the observers arrival.
After a few days of some warm March Temperatures I headed out to a spot that receives a lot of pressure to see what the Mearns Quail where up to . Our first loop produced a covey of 6 birds , they held well then blew out when Josie went in for the flush. On the 2nd loop I remembered to bring the camera and worked Cruz ,Sammy and Tish to a Covey that also had been pressured a lot during the season . Sure enough Cruz found the covey ,I took my time getting to her as I wanted to see how the birds would behave .Tish was released and flushed 3 birds , then Sam who was backing Cruz relocated 20 yards and slammed on point , we flushed two more birds followed up by a single Tish flushed . The morrow of the story, AZ Game and Fish should consider keeping he Quail season open 5 days longer than when it closed this Year.This observation and observations from experienced Arizona Resident Hunters concludes that Desert Birds and Mearns Quail are not paired up by the 15 of Feb.It would be great if The very talented Arizona Game & Fish Dept. would adjust the Quail Season(s) to Nov 1st -Feb 15th for Desert Birds ,then December 7th -Feb. 15th for Mearns .
Most ethical Hunters feel that with the Desert Quail Season opening in and around October 1st the only people out there for Quail Hunting are road hunting assholes idiots that enjoy killing Sparrow sized Quail as opposed to letting the birds mature which would provide more fair chase and better table fair.G &F is not looking or listening to the largest User group which is both the resident and non -resident Bird Dog crowd .All Bird Dog Owners agree that the weather is way to hot and snaky when the season traditionally opens, so why not delay it by 2-4 weeks ? Allowing for cooler temperatures and more street wise birds .
Closing The Season for all Quails on The 15ht of February would have no impact on the population , as the concern of cutting into breeding or paired up birds is a myth .If anything G &F would be providing more opportunities for both Resident and non-Resident Hunters by adding 5 days on .This year the season closed on the 10th of Feb.
Tish goes in for the flush as Cruz and Sam point the running birds