Leaving work after lunch; I stopped by my house, picked up my Brittany, Sonny, my shotgun, my hunting stuff, loaded it all in my Jeep Scrambler and headed out Highway 290, past Hockley to my hunting lease. The 1993/4 duck and goose season had just ended, but this one was a year round lease so quail hunting was allowed.

The lease was on the Katy Prairie, thirty-six hundred total acres with over half of it being harvested rice. But the rice fields weren’t our targets. Sonny and I were going to hunt along the edges of the woods bordering the cultivation where, during duck hunts, I had seen and marked several coveys of bobs.

Parking the Jeep, crossing over the creek and edging along between the cultivation and the woods, I knew that I would only get, at the most, two shots at the quail, since they would high tail it back along the creek banks into the real thick stuff. Single hunting would be definitely out this afternoon.

Sonny stopped dead in his tracks; nose halfway to the ground, a picture perfect point! Walking in, the twelve bird, covey blasted out toward the woods, two of my shots found the mark, but my third one pasted a tree with the bird escaping to the safety of the heavy brush. Sonny retrieved both birds and we got back down to the bird finding business.

Several hundred yards along, another point, and a ten bird, covey flushed to my left and the creek. Two shots netted me one more bird and another tree. This scenario was repeated one more time, yielding two more birds.

The sun was getting low and we found a dry place to cross over the little creek to head back down toward the Jeep. Sonny was “making birds” and slowed his pace, carefully mincing along, then he stopped, not a point, no tensing of his muscles, just stopped! He took two steps then stopped again. This really got my attention so I hurried up beside him, he took two more steps and up into the air, cackling, rose a cock pheasant!

It was an easy shot because when the big bird leveled off his flight, I leveled him with a load of eights to the head! This was my second pheasant, the first being on a preserve in Arizona. Then it dawned on me, is there a season around here for pheasants? In the past I had heard that the State had tried to start a pheasant program on the Katy Prairie, but it failed because of too many winged and fanged predators. With the nearest hunting preserve being several miles away maybe this was the last of the State planted birds?

We ate the bird that night, Houston continued its sprawl, and now, this once prime hunting area is a golf course! At least it’s not a shopping center!