It was the worst hunt of the season. It was the best day of the year. Let me explain.
The quail population dropped this year. No one really knows why. For decades, people have studied and theorized about what causes the decrease in the number of quail inhabiting western Oklahoma. Eye worms, wild hogs, predators, changing habitat, fire ants, deer and turkey have all been accused of diminishing the quail population. No one really knows why the numbers fluctuate. A couple of years ago the birds were plentiful.
That has not been the case this year. Nevertheless, Kendall Johnson and I have managed to have a few good hunts. We were dodging the proverbial bullet of the terrible bird season. Our dodging ended on January 23.
The sun was shining, and the wind was light. We actually found a few coveys. However, we were unable to do much with them. They travelled across the creek and scattered before flushing, and flew across the road in front of a vehicle. I tend to judge the success of a hunt like my daddy did. The total number of birds cleaned and put in the freezer was significant to him. Our number was the smallest of the season.
However, it was the best day of the year. The weather was wonderful. My legs functioned without pain on our ten-mile hunt. I was able to spend time with my friend and enjoyed a good peanut butter and jelly sandwich. I walked where I had walked in years gone by. I smiled as I remembered when Scout had cannonballed down a tall bank into standing water. I thought about covey flushes from days gone by. However, those memories did not make it the best day of the year. I reminisce every time I hunt.
What made January 23rd the best day of the year was the fact that I did not shoot my dog. Mid-morning, while hunting near a creek, a bird flushed and flew to my left. As I pointed my gun, the bird dipped and turned hard to the right. Before I squeezed the trigger, I noticed Duke standing just behind the bird. I did not shoot.
Some of the greatest blessings in life are bad things that could have happened but did not. We didn’t have many quail when we ended the day, but I still had two dogs.
This Week at FBC
- Pray for our student involved in RE Weekend this Friday – Sunday
- LifeGroup Fellowship Night – This Sunday, February 3.
- Sunday Sermon – Tools In the Box – “How to Serve” John 13: 1 – 17
- Songs From the Loft – Sunday, February 10 at 6 pm
- LifeGroup Attendance – 698