Walking miles of sandy hills for Texas Panhandle quail hunting is quite an odd experience, especially when a pelican flies over. Although hundreds of miles from the coast, for some strange reason, shore birds migrate to this area during the winter! Weird!
Recently, we drove to the Gene Howe Wildlife Management Area (WMA) to do some upland. The weather was beautiful! Blue skies and freezing temperatures were exactly what we needed for the long walks over and around the sandy dunes. It is inspiring to know that the conservation efforts that established these WMAs will ensure that, generations from now, people will still have a chance to enjoy the same thing.
Although we were pressed for time on this trip, we were able to make several good walks and jump a couple coveys of quail. Gerty did her part, running dozens of miles, lapping us constantly and then holding strong when she found them. And when they flushed…Oh, man, you should have seen the magnificence of the moment. Everything in slow motion, guns mounting and swinging, firing, and the birds…Well, they just kept on flying and flying and flying.
The hunters were duds, and Gerty looked at us cross-eyed in astonishment for our fowled efforts. But that’s how it goes sometimes; all the effort and time put in for that one moment, and sometimes, we miss. Two shots, birds flying 3mph, and away, ducking, banking and ensuring they make it to cover. But the energy of the moment, the experience and the memories made…That’s what makes us do it again and again. We can’t get enough of it!
Before we left, we grabbed a couple beers from our PAKMULE-mounted Yeti, watered the dog, and took in the wonder of Gene Howe, grateful that the wise efforts of our forefathers ensure that we’ll have a chance to do Texas Panhandle quail hunting again.
Photos from the Texas Panhandle quail hunting adventure