Mountain Quail Sans Dog, Sans Skill

I am not a great wing shot.  Give me a rifle and a good rest and watch out.  Give me fast moving birds and a 20 gauge and watch the birds fly away laughing.  Even so, bird hunting is quickly becoming one of my favorite outdoor pursuits.  This fall, I spent the better part of several clear cool days hiking  up and down steep canyons in the Cleveland National Forrest looking for upland game.  The environment is diverse ranging from heavy stands of old oaks to high desert cacti. With limited shooting skills and no dog, I only managed a handful of birds.  No matter: those birds, and the days spent chasing them, rank among the best “trophies” I have and the best days I’ve spent in the field.

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