Most people look forward to their birthday, Christmas, Hanukkah, maybe the Fourth of July. However, anyone that loves bird hunting as much as I do, and lives in the South Zone of Texas knows that this next nine days is the best time of year. Limited by the arbitrary line of highway 90 to a late dove season, we are rewarded by the Powers that Be in Austin with an overlap of dove season and quail season.
This year, I had to travel as far south as Dilley to find dove that had not been shot at for the two weeks prior in the North Zone and pickings even there were slim. The Rockpile, my tiny piece of heaven is only 10 minutes south of the line and rarely has any dove when my dove season finally opens.
But today is opening day for quail season and a true norther blew in new dove! With temps in the 40’s, the snakes are finally asleep and Ruby and I moved our morning walk from Regional Park in Castroville to the Rockpile and added a bird bag and a shotgun; something they frown on at the park.
It took Ruby quite some time to move the selector switch on her nose from dove only to dove/quail, and to realize she could finally range away from me without getting chewed out, but once liberated, she had a ball. We started at nine, after Ruby got her two McMuffins sans the ham and egg filling, which went to the Boss. Temp was 44 and the grass was wet, good scenting with a slight breeze from the W-SW. She found a covey at a deer feeder and two flocks of the afore-mentioned “Northern” dove in the brush, something else new to her. Nothing killed, my bad, but a great walk and pure joy watching “the Rube” learn a new routine. The next eight days will see us across South Texas, wherever I can get an invite, enjoying this rare double season and the Nine Days in Nirvana.