Beautiful Arizona!

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Featherfinder
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Beautiful Arizona!

Post by Featherfinder » Mon Feb 17, 2020 9:32 am

Glorious Mearns (Marc).jpg
Glorious Mearns (Marc).jpg (342.85 KiB) Viewed 1849 times
We didn't take a lot of birds but did encounter a decent number. We DID make some great memories of super dog-work with like-minded friends.
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Gambels Trio Jan 21 2020.jpg
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Featherfinder
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Arizona II

Post by Featherfinder » Mon Feb 17, 2020 9:47 am

More pics:
Rita Pointing Gambels Resized.jpg
Rita Pointing Gambels Resized.jpg (793.4 KiB) Viewed 1849 times
Regal point from Zeus on Mearns with TRCP Group - Resized.jpg
Regal point from Zeus on Mearns with TRCP Group - Resized.jpg (3.25 MiB) Viewed 1849 times

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Featherfinder
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Arizona III

Post by Featherfinder » Mon Feb 17, 2020 9:59 am

Sorry....not sure why the previous pics were turned!?!? Must be the results of my resizing efforts. ?
Resized Brace of Mearns.jpg
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Sharon
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Re: Beautiful Arizona!

Post by Sharon » Mon Feb 17, 2020 12:55 pm

Beauty pics! So those are gambels and mearns? I've never seen a real/live one.
" We are more than our gender, skin color, class, sexuality or age; we are unlimited potential, and can not be defined by one label." quote

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RatDog
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Re: Beautiful Arizona!

Post by RatDog » Mon Feb 17, 2020 4:14 pm

I’m green with jealousy right now!!! It’s ski season in my neck of the woods. Spent the long weekend at Big Sky doing laps on the magic carpet with my 4 year old. As much as I enjoy coaching the snow plow, I have to say I’d rather be chasing birds! Very pretty dogs. I’ve never shot a quail but AZ or NM are on the short list for trips.


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Featherfinder
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Re: Beautiful Arizona!

Post by Featherfinder » Mon Feb 17, 2020 8:32 pm

Ratdog, I'll trade you my recent bird hunts for your age? :wink:
All things in time......
I wish I could go back to those days with my sons but alas, it is not negotiable. I had my window of time with my sons.
This is your time. The many years of quail hunting await you.
I wish you many memories of breathtaking bird hunting trumped only by AMAZING memories with your family/friends.

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Featherfinder
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Re: Beautiful Arizona!

Post by Featherfinder » Mon Feb 17, 2020 8:48 pm

Zeus Standing Gambels Resized II.jpg
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averageguy
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Re: Beautiful Arizona!

Post by averageguy » Tue Feb 18, 2020 6:47 am

Nice! Thanks for Sharing your photos. Hunting wild birds in wild places is the essence of our Dogs and Sport.

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Featherfinder
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Re: Beautiful Arizona!

Post by Featherfinder » Tue Feb 18, 2020 9:40 am

Thank you very much Sharon/Averageguy!
All-in-all, I consider myself blessed.
Oh....I had the pleasure of working my dogs for gents from Montana and New Mexico.
Got an invite for hunting NM for scalies next year!

GrantD
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Re: Beautiful Arizona!

Post by GrantD » Thu Mar 05, 2020 8:32 pm

Sounds like a great time for all of you there, especially your hunters. We'll be visiting our relatives in Phoenix this month and my uncle there is a good hunter. If we can finish the installation of the exhaust and b&w 5th wheel hitch plus wiring on his truck early, we'll have at least 2 days to go hunting.

You surely got beautiful bounties.

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MGIII
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Re: Beautiful Arizona!

Post by MGIII » Fri Mar 06, 2020 7:34 am

GrantD wrote:Sounds like a great time for all of you there, especially your hunters. We'll be visiting our relatives in Phoenix this month and my uncle there is a good hunter. If we can finish the installation of the exhaust and b&w 5th wheel hitch plus wiring on his truck early, we'll have at least 2 days to go hunting.

You surely got beautiful bounties.

Our season here in AZ ended back in early February. Gambels are already doing their mating calls. With the moisture we got this winter and spring we should have a good hatch for this coming season.


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Featherfinder
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Re: Beautiful Arizona!

Post by Featherfinder » Sun Mar 08, 2020 8:14 am

MGIII, thanks for your take on the coming season. I am a proud member of the Southern Arizona Quail Forever (SAQF) conservation team. They are doing amazing conservation work with teams of volunteers that actually put their BACKS and donations where their mouth is. They are making a tangible improvement to habitat with focus on developing natural water collection processes, among other projects.
I really hope Mearns get a leg up for the coming season. We encountered quite a fair number of covies but were reticent to collect too many birds. We are still trying to better understand the dynamics that support their future. My dogs had a BLAST!!
One of the SAQF initiatives was to provide "wing barrels" for hunters to contribute salient data towards. The barrels had sealable bags with a covering envelope that you submitted general details on. Here were their findings:

Thanks to those that used the wing barrels and a special thanks to those that helped with the wing bee to provide the data on Mearns below.


TO: Josh Avey, Terrestrial Wildlife Branch Chief

FROM: Rana Tucker, Region V Game Specialist

SUBJECT: 2019-2020 Mearns’ Quail Wing Collection Survey Results

DATE: March 3, 2020


Mearns’ quail wing collection barrels were deployed again this year in Region V. Overall, the 2019-2020 wing collection surveys indicated a very low amount of breeding activity in 2019 with 58.3% juveniles in the harvest. This is significantly lower than last year’s activity (73.1%), and the long term average (71.8%). This should come as no surprise as the 2019 monsoons were very late in coming (no significant rainfall was observed until September and October was also very dry) and likely affected breeding activity. However, hunters that did hit the field this winter were still slightly more successful than they were last year, harvesting 2.7 birds per day (vs. 2.3 birds per day in 2018-2019). This is very close to the long-term average of 2.8 birds harvested each day. This equates to a harvest rate of 0.67 birds per hour, on par with the long-term average of 0.66 birds per hour.

This year we saw an increase in wings submitted compared to last year (1,487 vs 1,279), which is back in the range of what was harvested in 2014 through 2016, and is more than twice the long term average of 648. However, it is important to note that the number of envelopes submitted this year and last appears to have been significantly greater (~300) than in years past (~200). The local chapter of Quail Forever has been very active in encouraging hunters to turn in envelopes, and the third annual Quail Fest was very well attended, so more people may have been aware of, and made use of, the barrels than in past years. The address database reflects an increase in hunters in the field as well, with 76 new hunters reporting addresses not already in our database. For comparison, 68 addresses were return hunters from previous years. The number of hunter days reported (n = 547) is double the long-term average of 233, and the number of hours reported was just below last year’s record high of 2,262.25 at 2,234.85 hours (long term average is only 985). Therefore it may be possible that the increase of birds harvested is more related to the number of hunters submitting wings than to the number of birds present on the landscape.

Rainfall last winter (2018-2019) was exceptional through the spring, but tapered off in March and did not return until September of 2019. Even with average rain across the region in September, it may not have made up for drought conditions in early summer or been enough to support brooding activity through October, during which we also experienced below average rainfall. This would explain why the average harvest rate was higher than last year, but the percentage of juveniles in the harvest was lower than the long term average (we haven’t seen < 60% juveniles since 2009).

Hunt success continues to follow a cyclical cycle, and seems to be on an uptick from the low harvest rate last year, which was the lowest in almost a decade. It is possible that with the good winter moisture we’ve had the past two seasons, adult birds are over-wintering well, and should we get a good monsoon season this year, hunt success may continue to trend upward.


Cc: 500, Region V Wildlife Managers, Game Specialists, Kirby Bristow, Mark Hart, Larisa Harding, Johnathan O’Dell

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Garrison
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Re: Beautiful Arizona!

Post by Garrison » Wed Mar 11, 2020 9:38 pm

Thanks for sharing!

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