It was my fault that this didn't happen a year earlier. That was my first quail hunt in Oregon and I didn't know any better. Bo and I had just taken a limit of valley quail in Nevada that mourning, then drove to Oregon, purchased the non-resident license and began hunting more quail. It's not that 10 valley quail weren't enough, it was the double limit thing. I was trying to take a double limit of all the families of upland birds and considering that I hunted flushers, a double limit of quail seemed the least likely. But I had my chance and like I said, I blew it.
But that's another story that you'll read if I ever do shoot a double limit of any of the quail species.
I again drove the 26 hours straight through from Waterloo, Iowa to south eastern Oregon arriving on the Friday before Nevada's chukar/quail opener. It was planned because Oregon's seasons had already opened and I intended to use the extra day to reacquaint myself with Oregon's quail. You see on this trip my goal was to shoot a combination limit of chukar & quail or quail & quail. This Friday was to determine if quail & quail would be possible.
I awoke to a male valley quail perched on a tall sage bush challenging any predators to show themselves. When I peaked out of my wall tent I saw the scout less than 40 yards from my flap and another male calling further out. I sat on a campstool just like watching prairie grouse on a lek as dozens of quail scurried across the two tgrack from the willow choked creek to the large desert flat. I watched with my binoculars until the last bird drifted out of sight in the tall sage. I gave them another 15 minutes to get far enough away from the security of the creek bottom so that I could get some shooting before they buried themselves in the nearly impenetrable vines, bushes and willows.
Bo had heard valley quail before and they had her all worked up like crowing rooster pheasants do. I filled my vest with a box of AA 8's and grabbed my Superposed as I let Bo out of the starting gate.
Forty minutes later, we had our 10 bird limit of quail. The covey had fed it's way up a small drainage just out of sight of our camp and they all ran for the open desert when they saw us. If you've never gotten into 100 valley quail you don't know what you're missing. They run everywhere! In front of you, behind you, flush for 10 yards and hit the ground running some more. Some flushed 20 yards in front of Bo as she trailed them, while others sat tight in bushes letting her pass only to flush when I approached. There was hardly a minute that I wasn't shooting at a quail, watching one run between bushes, run in front of Bo or just flushing wildly. I didn't shoot too bad as I still had a handful of the box when stopped to count to 10.
In reality, with that many birds scattered about, I probably could have shot a limit without Bo, but it wouldn't have been as fun and would certainly have taken most of the day. Now I had time to drive to Nevada and check out chukar mountain and quail flat for tomorrow's opener.