Question for you desert guys

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Southwind
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Question for you desert guys

Post by Southwind » Wed May 08, 2013 3:50 pm

I was in Phoenix, AZ last week on business and spent some time at the golf courses around town. Managed to see several pairs of mountain quail around the courses and wondered how you guys hunted them. I am assuming they were in pairs for breeding season, but I could be wrong. I did see a pair of adults with a brood of about 15-20 chicks, so that might have been a coupls of different broods all in the same place. These birds ran everywhere too, and didn't take flight very often. When we drove up on the carts and spooked them, they just ran away out in the open. They never ran or flew into the scattered brush for cover. Do they know that is where the rattle snakes like to hide and try to avoid those areas? Seems like it would be very difficult to hunt these birds with pointing dogs, at least in the sparce cover areas around the golf course. I don't know how a dog would get close to one, point it, and have the bird hold until you got up to it. Please shed some light on this for me.

thx, Steve

Also, do these birds covey up like bob whites?

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roaniecowpony
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Re: Question for you desert guys

Post by roaniecowpony » Wed May 08, 2013 4:32 pm

I would not have guessed mountain quail were in that area. Posssibly Gambels?

cjuve
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Re: Question for you desert guys

Post by cjuve » Wed May 08, 2013 4:43 pm

Are you sure that they were Moutain Quail and not Gambel? In my experience the Moutain quail that we have are easier to hunt than the Valley quail. IME given enough exposure the dogs learn the birds and can work them effectively but there are some places that you just can't get them stopped no matter what.

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Chukar12
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Re: Question for you desert guys

Post by Chukar12 » Wed May 08, 2013 5:01 pm

they do look like mountain quail, but all I have seen are Gambel's. We have a building materials yard down there...it is incredible how many of those birds are on the golf courses.

Gambel's...
Image

Mountain
Image

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AZ Brittany Guy
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Re: Question for you desert guys

Post by AZ Brittany Guy » Wed May 08, 2013 6:15 pm

Having been involved in AZ Golf Courses for 20+ years I feel certain you were looking at Gambels. They are very use to being around humans and do not flush often. With open "sparse" cover they will run. With the course irrigation they remain plentiful in good and bad (drought) years. With good cover and once you break up a covey you can hunt singles that will hold well with a dog. A good desert dog will know how to hunt these guys.

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Southwind
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Re: Question for you desert guys

Post by Southwind » Wed May 08, 2013 7:19 pm

After seeing the pics they were Gambel's. That makes sense that they are more tame around the humans at the golf courses. They acted like pen raised bobs that I have seen. They don't walk right up to you, but don't scatter like wild birds that you come across.

Either way, they look like a blast to chase with the dogs.

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gotpointers
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Re: Question for you desert guys

Post by gotpointers » Thu May 09, 2013 12:19 am

The gambels have been a little easier to stop in my experience compared to the scales. The running you describe usually stops in the rough stuff like cactus where they feel safe from predators. The lead bird also dictates the flush, experience counts on how that covey survives. There is a huge covey that won't let me within 200 yards of them. I can spot them crossing the road but as soon as I park and quietly unload the dog's. They are on the run and flush way out of range and fly to the top of the cliffsides 200 yards up. And the experienced will hit the ground running.

Horseback hunting really helps me determine the dogs scenting ability with the desert quail. Often early in the morning the bird's are still in their roost and there's plenty of scent for a covey point. But when broken up and running scales leave very little scent in the low humidity. Up on the 17 hand horse I've seen singles scooting away almost in a belly crawl if I ride off to the downwind side of the dog.

Some covies are young and dumb but can get educated real quickly. I think it's a great challenge and I will gladly go help educate them and leave my gun behind. Southwind If you are in NM and have time to run dogs give me a call.

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roaniecowpony
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Re: Question for you desert guys

Post by roaniecowpony » Thu May 09, 2013 1:16 pm

Southwind wrote:After seeing the pics they were Gambel's. That makes sense that they are more tame around the humans at the golf courses. They acted like pen raised bobs that I have seen. They don't walk right up to you, but don't scatter like wild birds that you come across.

Either way, they look like a blast to chase with the dogs.

I stay in a motel in a southern AZ town when I hunt quail down there. There are vacant lots on both sides that hold Gambels quail. I can run my dogs on them and they don't flush easily nor do they run off very far. In fact some of the quail roost in the mushroom shaped trees in the motel parking lot.

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Highway Ends Kennel
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Re: Question for you desert guys

Post by Highway Ends Kennel » Fri May 10, 2013 12:25 pm

Like a previous poster stated, the Gambles quail around the Golf Courses and subdivisions are allot more tame and will let you get closer to them than they will in the wild. They do well in these areas because there's usually a constant source of food and water and not much pressure from other predators.

The wild Gambles that live in the desert areas are much harder to get close to. Sometimes you can get a covey point, but most of the time the quail flush before you are in range. If you can break the covey up, the singles will sometimes hold for a point. When I hunt Gambles this is how I get most of the points and shots over my dogs.

As much as Gambles like to run and flush early, they are still easier to hunt than Scaled quail :)
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roaniecowpony
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Re: Question for you desert guys

Post by roaniecowpony » Fri May 10, 2013 2:22 pm

Most of the Gambels I've hunted did run and flush from a good distance. But, I recall some over in the eastern Mojave desert up closer to Needles that acted more like Valley (California) quail. They held better and were much easier to hunt than some of the ones around Blythe.

SDNewB
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Re: Question for you desert guys

Post by SDNewB » Fri May 10, 2013 7:56 pm

I was born and raised in AZ hunting gambels, they are difficult to hunt. I was never able to hunt them with a dog, but as the others said, in the wild, they are on the move long before you see em'.

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Re: Question for you desert guys

Post by Rod W » Sat May 11, 2013 2:29 pm

Yes, but on the other hand----you have the Mearns Quail. Lady would go on point, 3-4 feet in front of her 10-15 Mearns would go airborn, flying every direction on the compass. I never had it happen to me, but I heard they even fly into you! Hunted in the foothills where the live oak grows this is one of the most fun birds I have ever hunted.
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gotpointers
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Re: Question for you desert guys

Post by gotpointers » Sat May 11, 2013 7:52 pm

Rod W wrote:Yes, but on the other hand----you have the Mearns Quail. Lady would go on point, 3-4 feet in front of her 10-15 Mearns would go airborn, flying every direction on the compass. I never had it happen to me, but I heard they even fly into you! Hunted in the foothills where the live oak grows this is one of the most fun birds I have ever hunted.
Nice to look at also. I think they are the best looking quail also. The drought has taken a toll on them unfortunately.

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tommyboy72
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Re: Question for you desert guys

Post by tommyboy72 » Mon May 27, 2013 8:04 am

I was in Phoenix about a month ago for training and saw them basically in the middle of the city in the hotel parking lot at the Drury Inn Suites on Pinnacle Peak Road. Just a breeding pair but they were just hanging out in the parking lot and in the landscaped desert garden the hotel had.

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