Haney’s Ranch – Snow Storm

Sonny, on my back porch. Notice that he is predominantly white.

Having a free weekend, we, the we being myself and Sonny, my Brittany Spaniel, hurried up to Rick’s ranch Friday afternoon, for a go at the Quail. Hurried because a severe, cold front, a “norther” in Texican, was supposed to hit the Abilene area Sunday afternoon, and by then, we should be on our way home with a good tail wind!

Low clouds greeted us Saturday morning along with a medium, south wind offering wonderful scenting conditions. Rick and I scored heavily all day, even though we took a break to watch a good college football game.

Instead of our usual steak cooked over mesquite logs on Rick’s “old timey”, fired brick, bar-b-que pit, we grilled 8 Quail halves. They were spiced up with a half of jalapeno pepper, then both wrapped with a piece of bacon and grilled until the bacon was done. Add a baked potato, along with chopped, green, Ortega, chilies and onions and we had a feast!

We were up early on Sunday, Rick going to church, and Sonny and I were greeted by more low clouds and a steady, light northwest wind and it looked like the “norther” had arrived early, beating the forecast. One hour later, we were hunting into a strong northwest wind and large flakes of snow were swirling down. Sonny, being predominately white, with a few reddish brown spots, was getting hard to see as he worked fifty yards to our front.

We soldiered on for the next hour, fighting the wind, snow and poor visibility, until we were “whited out”. No Sonny out in front, one mesquite tree, out of the thousands on the ranch, close by, nothing but white, up, down and around me! Stopping in my tracks, I whistled Sonny to come in and then surveyed my situation.

Sonny and I huddled together for nearly 10 minutes, as I debated my options. That 10 minutes of debate and indecision, along with never having, or dreaming, that I would be caught in a situation like this caused my feelings to race from panic, to fear, until logical thought took over. Then I used my head for something other than a hat rack, and figured out what to do.

No compass, of course, since I was ONLY hunting on Rick’s ranch. I knew northwest was to the front, since since I had been hunting into the wind. I knew the ranch road, where I had left the Suburban, was behind me. So, I decided to try to walk back to the truck.

Always carrying a check cord for the Dog, I snapped it on to his collar and he “heeled” along, and keeping the wind to my back, carefully walked the mile back to the ranch road, turned right (hopefully) and within 200 yards found the truck.

Before heading back to Houston, I waited for over an hour for the snow storm to break, then for the next eight hours (normally an easy 6 hours) slowly drove home. All of my life I have tried to beat nature and weather forecasts, and I lost again!

On this trip there was not a single incident of “thumping” or any “funny” occurrences!