When we arrived at the hunt location it was really windy. I left Nellie in the truck and the four of us set out. Ken stayed on top and the rest of us dropped down the mountain side a ways. After a while a covey got up down the hill from us. I took a long shot and dropped one but I don’t believe Bob even shot. As we didn’t have Nellie Brian went down to get the bird. When he came back up I said “Nice retrieve, Brian”, meant as a little dig since his Setter wouldn’t retrieve, and he sheepishly grinned.
After about an hour of trying to find birds the dogs got a little birdy and began creeping along the side hill. This time I was at the top and the others were below. I ran a little ahead because I figured the birds were running and they were because I soon saw them. I was about to ground sluice them to make them fly when they flushed. I got off a shot down the hill and missed but fortunately one flew back and around to my side and I dropped that one. Bob also got one down below and Ken thought he had but we could never find it. By this time it was midday so we went back to the truck for some lunch.
After lunch I took Nellie with us and we hit another spot nearby. We hadn’t gone far when the dogs went on point down the hill and a good sized covey blasted off down the hill. I got off two shots and dropped two birds down below. I’m not sure if anyone else shot but mine were the only ones to fall. I sent Nellie down to where I thought the second bird had fallen and she soon found and retrieved it. Then I directed her to where I thought the first bird had fallen but she couldn’t find it although she wouldn’t quit trying. Soon Rocky came over and found the bird down near where the first one had been. After hunting a while longer with no success we went back to the truck and moved to another area.
I took Nellie and went a different direction than the others with a plan to meet back at the truck. The wind was blowing hard and we didn’t see or smell a thing even though we covered quite a bit of ground – none of it level. Ken kept calling me on the radio but it was obvious that he couldn’t hear my answer. Nellie had been hunting fine but just before we got back to the truck she lay down saying she had had enough. The rest of the crew arrived a little after I did and we discovered that somehow the volume on Ken’s radio had been shut off.
Off we went to yet another spot. I’m sure Brian was a bit upset by the lack of birds we were finding but he was making a Herculean effort to find them. At the next spot I headed up the hill by myself because I already had 4 birds to Bob’s 1 and Ken’s none. As I was approaching the top of the hill a covey of Huns jumped up flushing to my left and I was able to drop one. I then turned to work the side hill and shortly a couple of chukars flushed in front of me. I got off one shot and dropped a bird but I could tell it wasn’t a clean kill. We called Rocky up and I took him to where the bird had hit and he soon found it just a little ways beyond where it had gone down.
This was my 6 bird limit so I headed back to the truck with mixed feelings. I was glad to have finally limited but I felt bad that the others had not had better luck. After about an hour back at the truck I drove down the road to where I thought they would come out. I heard some shooting and saw them up the hill. They had each scored a double and Ken had got a single as well giving them 3 birds apiece and we all felt much better. They pronounced me their hero for driving down and saving them a long hike back.
We again got back to the ranch after dark and while we were cleaning the birds Cary was finishing some tacos he had made for us. They were delicious and we were all tired but feeling good.
The next morning we departed and got to Bob’s place around noon. Ken and I transferred our gear to my rig as soon as we could and hit the road north. We arrived back in the valley about 7:30 p.m. It was an experience I will never forget but just in case, I wrote this journal. (Sorry I didn't take more pictures but most of the time I was busy and/or tired. These two are typical of the area we were hunting) M/W