Apparent Permission

James Walton and I returned from our Saturday hunt near Thomaston and then, the following Monday, got real lucky, being tipped off and apparently being given permission to hunt quail in the soon to be, very exclusive, Chattahoochee Plantation Subdivision, just north of The Atlanta Country Club in Cobb County.  Our luck was compounded because this spot was within a 7 minute, drive of both of our houses

Once across the Johnson Ferry Road Bridge over the slowly flowing, Chattahoochee River, during the last week of bird season in 1979, the first left turn was into the Chattahoochee Plantation Subdivision.  The Plantation, just being developed, was outside of any municipal area, the roads were in, one custom home was being finished and lots were sold by appointment only.

James had been tipped off by a friendly real estate agent that he’d better hurry out to the Plantation and get some of the birds before the building project kicked into gear.  We took this as permission to hunt there and late the next afternoon, Tuesday, found us meeting at the front gate and entering the spacious grounds.

A half-mile into the subdivision, out of sight from the main road, we stopped and let out my 2 Brittany’s.  It was different hunting along paved streets, and soon Rooster was locked down on a hard point.  Gus had, like a young dog, run off to explore the area.  James and I walked in on the point and a dozen birds came whirring up, we banged, twice and two birds fell and were quickly retrieved by Rooster.  Gus came charging up, alerted by the banging, as we marked the remaining birds down in some heavy brush ahead.

Rooster and James swung wide right, Gus and I to the left and I was moving along with my head down, an old trick I picked up in Arizona while looking for arrowheads and at the same time trying to avoid rattlers, I spotted, what had to be, the bill imprints of a woodcock and before I could alert James, whirr, tweep, tweep and up jumped one and I leveled him before he could level off.  Gus ran over, again wouldn’t pick up the bird, so I fetched it.  James yelled, “We’re changing your nickname from Beechnut” to “Woodcock!”  Not 100 feet later this scene was repeated and I folded another timberdoodle as he yelled, “That settles it!”

This pic came from Wikipedia because we failed to record any of our woodcock successes.

As dark rushed in on us, being excited over my success, I promptly banged twice at a single quail, successfully putting holes in the overcast sky.  We each picked up another quail then called it quits.

This was a good tip, but too bad we didn’t find out about it until almost too late!  We agreed to meet here on Thursday afternoon, but when I went into work the next morning I was sent to Chicago to provide some remedial training for a couple of managers not making their numbers.  Funny thing, 4 years later I went to work for one of them!  This was the end of the 78/79 hunting season for me, but not the end of the woodcocks and me!