Arizona or bust!
This year I was committed to capturing dog work on video, nothing fancy, just using my phone. That idea lasted about two hours or so. I had another great idea, which complicated the great idea I just mentioned. To save the battery life of my phone, since most of the places I hunt have either no cell service, or only Mexican cell service I would put my phone on “airplane mode”, which is great unless your phone clip fails, and your phone is lost deep in the Manzanita, even retracing portions of my Astro GPS track recovery proved futile. On airplane mode, your phone cannot be tracked via GPS, an important note if you are planning to go on a crime spree. In lieu of recovering my phone, I did find a nice insulated camo jacket, a low quality but in good condition crusher hat, and a pair of colorful fuzzy socks (one at time in different locations) all recently jettisoned by drug smuggling coyotes. Garland proved to be an excellent good luck talisman, as we found covey after covey, the dog work was fantastic, and my shooting could hardly have been better if I had used a genie wish! I managed three doubles, one of which was on a pair of cock-birds, and went five for five one day. Too bad he had to return to Kansas. After hunting the Coronado extensively for the past six years, it took a hunt on a rainy day for Dave and I to come face to face with five coyotes, not the furry kind, the ones with bales of marijuana strapped to their backs. We kept our dogs from getting close, and they thanked us profusely and hustled off. At our first opportunity we reported our encounter to a passing Border Patrol officer, and within minutes the area was swarming with agents, truly an impressive response. I hope they were successful in capturing them. Despite the bird numbers “being up” I found fewer coveys than last year, and in odd places, but the ones I did find tended to be very large for Mearns quail and full of little bulls versus being fairly balanced. Thanks to Garland, Jim, Cindy, Marc, Tom and of course my adopted older brother Dave for a memorable time in Arizona this year.
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I'm just a guy suffering with an infatuation with gundogs since childhood. Forty some years later this is what you get.