Let’s Do Lunch

Our fine State’s quail season opens up the week before firearm, deer season, so, several years ago, Bob Baugh and I took the early opportunity to have a go at some of the bevies roaming his deer lease. The week before we had enjoyed an early cool snap, but this weekend’s forecast for his lease, not quite in south, Texas, was for temps to be in the mid to high 80’s, a little warm for quail hunting, but just right for rattlers.

Friday afternoon we drove down from Houston, enjoyed a good steak supper at a local establishment near Nixon, had a good night’s rest and kinda’ slept in, since the best quailing was a hour or more after sun up. Bob had his setter, Dixie, and I took along Beachnut’s Augustus of Rivers, better known as “Gus”, my Brittany spaniel. In Georgia I had bred “Rooster”, Gus’s dad, with a descendent of the legendary Brittany, Augustus of Rivers, the only Brittany to ever win the National Field Trial Championship. Gus was a real “go getter” and had as good a nose for quail as any Brittany I’d ever seen. Gus had a personality too! See my posts of September 19, 2009, “[Just A Snack]” and September 9, 2010, “[So Much For Delegating]”.

The cool morning was refreshing to both of us! The dogs hunted hard as we walked through the goat, or dove, weed field and soon, forty yards ahead, Gus pointed, Dixie backed. Bob and I hurried up and being experienced at this sort of thing, walked right in on the birds, up they came, a nice covey of 12 or 15. Bam, bam, bam, we thinned it out, knocking down 3 that the dogs picked up and went back to hunting.

Here’s Gus bringing one in.

Not even two hundred yards further into the field, another point, another good covey of over 15 birds and we knocked down 4 more. We were off to a good start. As we walked further, the goat weed was playing out and the good cover was changing more to grass with a mix of small, mesquite trees and palmettos. We were fixin’ to turn back and cross on to the far side of the goat weeds when the dogs kinda’ pointed. They didn’t look too confident so Bob and I hurried on up to them.

Dixie didn’t hold her point, Gus was kinda’ backing her, but she rushed in on, what we thought, was the birds. Then, in full rushing mode, she stopped in mid air and jumped back. Then we arrived in the area and curled up under a palmetto was an angry, rattler. We unloaded on it, four or five shots and it was done! The rattler was literally shot into several pieces, the rattlers taking the brunt of one, or several blasts.

No pictures, no rattles for the display case, the dogs were unhurt and, like so many times, the “edge” was gone off of what started out to be a great hunt, but a rattler intervened! Looking at Bob I said to him, “Why don’t we go back to the camp and do lunch?”