A Bird Launcher to Practice Quail Hunting in Texas
Bird Launcher for Training Quail Hunting in Texas
A bird launcher looked to be a very good tool for training the dog to be steady to wing and shot. My dog trainer used it very successfully during the early training sessions. So, I bought one myself to see if it would work for me to maintain my dog’s training for quail hunting in Texas. It is simply a spring loaded trap that is triggered mechanically to launch the bird a few feet into the air at the pull of a string.
Summer doldrums – time for some practice for quail hunting in Texas. My dog is a naturally bred pointer but those pointing dogs can also develop some nasty and unsafe habits if they aren’t trained on a regular basis. Particularly, breaking from steady to wing and steady to shot or failing to retrieve well. They are natural bird finders and chasers and that’s what makes them great pointing dogs. That also makes them unsafe dogs because breaking from a point can either flush birds too early or have them jump up in front of shooters. Likewise, failing to retrieve completely – and taking the downed bird for themselves – can lead to all sorts of problems and frustrations. This sort of practice is also useful for Texas pheasant hunts. Since the real season for quail hunting in Texas is so short, I find it very worthwhile to train a little bit all year long.
More about quail hunting in Texas
Practice for Texas Bird Hunting
Launching Practice Birds for Quail Hunting in Texas
Summary of Summer Practice for Quail Hunting in Texas
There is a long dry stretch between the seasons for quail hunting in Texas and a dog’s memory regarding the rules of the game – steady to wing and steady to shot – can get a little rusty since our last time Texas bird hunting. I purchased a bird launcher and a few pigeons to give a try at some backyard training for a Texas pheasant hunt. The training went well – although I wouldn’t do it often as it was labor intensive – and the dog’s memory was successfully refreshed and she’s ready again for another season of quail hunting in Texas.
Quail hunting in Texas was a huge challenge last year. Even a Euro style Texas pheasant hunt was hard to get organized. Last year’s drought had a big impact on all of Texas’ upland birds – even the pen raised birds due to the extreme heat. Most of the Quail restoration organizations, including the Texas Parks & Wildlife, were advocating hunting with a camera instead of a gun. Nevertheless, with a few friends in the right places there was quail hunting in Texas and a Texas pheasant hunt to be had if you asked nicely.
Covey Rise while Quail Hunting in Texas
There is probably nothing more beautiful than a covey of quail taking flight. Unfortunately, pictures never do it justice. The anticipation of a dog on point, the sound of a flurry of wings coupled with the rush of adrenaline as you shotgun rises to your shoulder. The little puffs of feathers floating on the wind and a happy dog retrieving the harvest – all in the cold clear day of February. Whether it is quail hunting in North Texas or a South Texas Quail Hunt, nothing beats quail hunting in Texas.
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The Fruits of Quail Hunting in Texas
I’ve had my dog for about 4 years now – this is her 3rd full season of quail hunting in Texas. Brit’s are wonderful pointing dogs and I had the unique opportunity to hunt behind her Mom & dad prior to purchasing her. Getting her to retrieve was another story and took quite a bit of work. That work definitely paid off but it continues to require a weekly investment of about an hours time to keep her tuned in during the off season.
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Take Your Children Quail Hunting in Texas
Take your kids quail hunting in Texas! There is nothing that can preserve our hunting heritage like teaching the next generation all of the joys and responsibilities that we have as hunters. Every time I take a child hunting for the first time, I’m amazed at the misconceptions I have about what they will see as gross or disgusting. My youngest thought cleaning the birds was the very best part of the hunt. She was fascinated by their anatomy and the subtle differences between each bird and what it might mean.
Euro Style Texas Pheasant Hunt
We have a special privilege in Texas to have a Euro style Texas pheasant hunt each year at a friend’s place. It is not the same as a “real” Texas Pheasant Hunt, it is fun just the same. He throws about 20 birds per shooter from a tall tower while we are arranged in a circle about 100 yards in diameter. The pheasants come screaming off of the tower and the shooting spots are varied enough that the shots are very challenging. Only approximately 30% of the birds are harvested – which lends itself nicely to a great afternoon walk up hunt with our dogs to find and harvest some of the remaining pheasants.
Rainy Texas Pheasant Hunt
It’s rainy in February in Texas but that doesn’t stop a hard working dog – especially when she only get’s to get on pheasants once or twice a year. Even a rainy Texas pheasant hunt is better than sitting at home. Again, she’s a great pointing dog but suffers me the retrieves – as you can see in her eyes.
Off Season Texas Bird Hunting
There is little to hunt for Texas bird hunting after the season closes so we have to make do with whatever is available. Even a tame cat can serve as an opportunity to demonstrate her willingness to get hunting again at the drop of a hat. Thankfully, this only occurs when I’m watching – all the rest of the time they are the best of buddies.
Summary of Quail Hunting in Texas and a Texas Pheasant Hunt
Quail hunting in Texas and Texas pheasant hunts were hard to come by last season. Thankfully, if you knew the right people and asked nicely you could get on the birds. The rush of a covey rise and the challenge of a tall, towering pheasant shoot are hard to beat and still get my blood pumping, even several months later. Off season practice isn’t only confined to working bumpers – especially when you have a cat that will cooperate – even if it’s not quail hunting in Texas or a Texas pheasant hunt.