Quail and duck...

Discussion in 'Cast & Blast' started by Roper, Jan 13, 2014.

  1. Last Thursday four of us took off at O'dark thirty for the east side in search of some last of the season hunting. Our first hunt took us just northwest of Coulee Dam up in the surrounding hills. We tag teamed two trucks for the decent and headed down hill.
    The top of the hill...


    About a quarter of the way down we got into a decent covey. Birds erupted in all directions and Rick and Andrew took a couple of them. Further down we started to pick up singles here and there. Andrew was busy on the north side of the draw and Rick was hitting the south side close in. Scott blew some feathers off of a large male but it kept going. Jetta would later find that bird stone cold on the ground.
    Brilliant feathers from that male...


    We continued downward towards the truck and a tailgate lunch. Andrew had prepared some pulled BBQ beef which made hearty sandwiches. With full bellies and fading light we headed for Winthrop.



    Rick hosted us rascals and fed us like kings. Steak and baked potatoes for dinner with some red wine put all the cold and snow behinds us and we drifted off to sleep that night. The next morning we headed over Lolo pass to the Chilowist area to look for some more quail. The sun was out an in no time I was stuffing my fleece liner in my bird pouch, that was all that would fill the bird pouch. We hunted for a couple of hours with only one bird getting up and Andrew missed that one. But we got a good workout in preparation of lunch.

    Scott and his trusty 870...


    Rick and his Beretta in shirt sleeve sunshine...


    We finally located a huge covey on the east side of the river. The only problem was that it was in a fellow's front yard just a few feet off the road. Those birds really know where to hide in plain sight. We hunted another draw for a while and then had some brats for lunch and called it a day. Rick treated us to pheasant and hun breasts off the BBQ along with some pasta salad and a wonderful rice medley.

    Saturday morning we got up about 4-ish and headed to the Columbia between Pateros and Brewster. Our guide set us up in a blind and spread his decoys for the hunt. Promptly at 7:15 the birds came by and we sent a volley of steel into the river and at least one duck. We needed to polish our shooting efforts real quick. After a few more bird came in we started to drop a few here and there. All in all we probably got 15 birds but several drifted off in the current and wind before the guide could pick them up. The eagle ate well that day. In the end we took some bluebills, ringnecks, and a widgeon...and one buffie.




    That evening Rick took us to a wonderful Italian place in Twisp. We sat at the bar and watched John prepare meals in a wood fired brick oven. Delicious food and some live music made for a great close to our outing. If you're ever in Twisp and want a good meal hit Tappi's, you won't be sorry. Sunday morning we headed west and found Hwy 2 was closed at Ray Rock Road so we had to head over 97 to Ellensburg and west towards home from there. It was a great weekend with friends and lots of laughs and stories to tell. I'll leave that to the others to share.
  2. Fine looking outing, Roper.
  3. You guys did some traveling! Nice pics.
  4. It was a memorable trip for sure! It was 3 old guys and Andrew. That can work out well for the old guys as we sent Andrew up the hill while we waited for the birds to fly down to us! (thanks Andrew!) For late in the season, we actually saw a decent number of quail, especially if you count that 100 bird covey in the guy's front yard. The last few years have featured challenging weather during the hatch in the spring and the bird numbers reflected that, but there is always hope for next year! Duck hunting was fun and we all burned up a lot of gun powder! I really value the friendship I get to share with these guys both hunting and fishing, and it is less than 3 months until Lenice opens up! Great pictures and narration Roper! Rick
  5. EXCELLENT!!!!!!....but no mention of Cookies?
  6. Oh we had cookies! A couple different kinds! Roper didn't mention them just to save your feelings Steve!
  7. And chocolate covered almonds.....

    Mr. Rankin - we put on a lot of miles. Up and down 97 and others more than once.

    A good time was had by all and, as Rick said, nice to have Andrew and Libby do the heavy climbing. We also had some mighty fine heated sandwiches at lunch, courtesy of Andrew, and brats, courtesy of Roper. Fine steaks and pheasant from Rick. Some nice micros and fine single malt whiskey (from a new Seattle distillery) to sip on at the end of the day.

    Those ring necked ducks are pretty. Lost a couple to the eagles.

    Thanks to Rick Todd for all the driving and the use of the "cabin".

    On to the next adventure!
    Bob Rankin likes this.
  8. I breasted out my two ducks this morning and have them in brine. I'm thinking some stir fry with basmati rice sounds good.

    Steve, there were cookies, lots of cookies, but no broccoli...sorry.
  9. good fly tying feathers on those ducks.
  10. You can almost see my house in that tailgate picture. There's alot of birds out there. It's where I like to go. Alot of people here go out by steamboat or rosenburgs because they release them. Hunting tame birds, unless you're training a pup, has never appealed to me.
  11. We'll have to invite you along next time...
  12. Had a great time Rick, Roper, and Scott! Glad to see you made it home safely, HWY 2 was near a white out when I crossed over to the wet side! Look forward to some fishing soon or maybe some turkey chasing.
  13. I agree Triploid about released birds. I can understand release sites on the west side but in areas where there is at least the potential for wild pheasants, I don't get the release thing. I travel many miles to hunt wild birds, but I won't drive 5 minutes to hunt released birds! Rick
  14. Roper, what kind of bird is this? I saw part of one frozen in the ice this weekend but couldn't chip away enough to tell what it was or harvest feathers, lol.

    And I agree, Tappi is awesome! It's my favorite restaurant in the valley.
  15. Sue, that is a Lesser Scaup, or more commonly called a bluebill. I already dumped the remains after taking the breast or I would grab some feathers for you...darn...
    Freestone likes this.
  16. Your killing me...............:(
  17. Boy, lots has changed snow-wise since last Thursday, hasn't it!
  18. Yes-we had the ideal amount of snow on Thursday for bird hunting (except sliding down the steep parts;)) Nice to be able to see quail tracks and they hold better in the snow. By the time we left Winthrop on Sunday, almost all of the snow in Winthrop was melted! Really bizarre winter!
  19. Great report, Roper. Thanks for sharing it.

    Durn it, the pheasant and quail season has just ended, and now this thread got me pumped up for next year. Can't wait.

    In the meanwhile, there are rivers to be floated, streams to be fished, trails to be hiked, and new backroads to be explored.

    Btw, was this on public lands? Looks like a good area.
  20. Thanks, and yes it was on public land (quail) ducks were on private land and guided.

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