2014 3 State Hunt

Friday,  10/3/14
Long haul to get there – going across the desert then up the CA central valley
530 AM depart Bastrop
W on I-10 and then N on I-5
Goal today is Tucson before bad setting sun
Wrong turn in San Antonio. Wound up on Highway 90. Slight adjustment needed.
It’s cool to see West Texas mountains in the distance.
1500 CDT 1400 MDT into New Mexico.
Rio Grande Valley very fertile with the pecan tree orchards
It was a long climb out of Rio Grande Valley at Las Cruces, NM heading on west
Passed old Greyhound bus still running.
There is a border control blimp south of Deming, NM like was in AZ
Crossed continental divide in mid NM at 4585′
NM is a big bunch of nothing.
Mountains appear as we enter AZ
1800 MDT into Tucson,AZ
14 hrs on the road.
Jill & I are whipped
Look for Denny’s restaurant. They are built near good mid-grade hotels
Red Roof Inn $60
Smelled like a cat box though.
Saturday 10/4/14
0530 depart Tucson
Desert is very fertile if near river or canal.
Too many windmills in Palm Springs valley. Ugly.
It is 100 degrees in San Bernardino!
Just outside LA traffic on freeway slows to a crawl. Midday on Sat!
Traffic in LA is nuts!
Using gmap to route around traffic jams and accidents
Pasadena is bad bad dry except in valley south.
Out of LA and headed north on I-5.
Wow. It is bad bad dry here
Gas was $3.15 in AZ to $3.65 in CA!
Very pretty coming out of dry mountains into CA Central Valley.
Listening to the Eagles on CA drive!
Very smoggy!
CA drier than I expected. Tumbleweeds!
Must be good soil and pumped water.
Like Lubbock or Amarillo farming?
Cotton, plums, peaches, almonds, tumbleweeds, grapes
It’s just sand. Growing medium?
Some big ass 24″ base grape vines!
Lots of fields gone fallow. Maybe a year or more.
Very few birds!
Oranges, lemons,
Feedlot has 8′ chain link fence and coil of razor wire around the top!
Almonds just fall off and litter the bare ground!
How to harvest almonds?
Mostly table grapes down here?
Shit cell service.
Dead orchards are very sad.
They better do something about the water problem before dust bowl!
Do big trucks have ECM that sets off  Valentine One?
Farmers have anti-water signs in all their fallow dry fields!
Farmers aren’t helping. I bet they fallow the roadside fields!
Or corners
Uncountable miles of almonds of all ages!
Corn fields above Modesto!
Stockton has a port?
Higher, wetter, cooler in Stockton
Greater Canada’s south of Sacramento.
Little ponds loaded w teal
Get Nevada, Utah next year while you’re younger and in top shape
Definitely in evergreen country in Sacramento.
Even the air smells sweeter!
1900 PDT into Sacramento. Dark to dark driving
Sun 10/5/14
Depart Sacramento 0900
Darren called and will me pick up at hotel at highway0500
Plums continue to be scattered on the highway from falling off trucks
Pistachios, walnuts, plums, truck farms, rice, wheat, hay, olives,
Slow climb out of Central Valley to redding and forest
Still bad dry up here too
Even eucalyptus trees are drying out
Mt Shasta has snow on top
Shasta Lake way low!
This part of N CA looks like Tahoe
Cool mountain drive Redding to Weed.
Fuel stop Weed. Including stoners at the gas station.
A recent wildfire came very close.
Finally cooled off to 75!
Klamath Natl Park
Very unique scent in the air
Grass lake is dry dry dry
Recent wildfire here too.
Oregon at 1400 PDT
High desert valleys. Like Ft Stockton but w well water
Lady in truck passes me in town w scoped deer rifle and stock bandolier on dashboard!
3 wets walking down the road after shopping on Sunday.
Lots of wets!
Oregon Gulch fire near Ashland, Klamath Falls remains biggest, most volatile in state | OregonLive.com – http://www.oregonlive.com/pacific-northwest-news/index.ssf/2014/08/oregon_gulch_fire_near_ashland.html
Seriously, OR, a pet exercise area?
Mon 10/6/14
Klamath Falls Oregon for Mountain Quail
Gorgeous day and pleasant walks through scenic mountain back roads.
No birds
Jill had worm in stool so got her a dose at vet
Tuesday 10/7/14
C2 ranch West of Klamath Falls
Valley quail hunt
Busted large covey from blackberry mott
Shot 2 then picked up 2 singles after
They bust very quietly.
They bust slowly. A bunch flew right over my head while reloading!
Look like songbirds more than quail
Skunked after that
Hunted briar patch full of bear sign
Bear shit is all blackberry seeds.
Learned about irrigation pads.
80 deg by 1030. Hot for quail hunt.
Great day and Jill worked it all hard.
Watched wildfire working over the ridge

Text from worried Laura at PATNC show – VisitTracker crashing BAD

Headed to Crater Lake

Giant canyon at Crater Lake Park Rd

This park is immaculate. Bridge repair workers even vacuum up drill shavings!
Crater lake is very cool! Cc

Aspens are changing now. Very pretty

Wed 10/8/14
Back after Mountain Quail
Smells like Camp Philmont
Drove same places as Day 1
Saw several Mountain Quail scooting off in distance
Busted a few out of thick cover but too far to shoot
Hunted edge of recent burn. Cool but sad and dirty
Some grass recovering already
Hunted day 1 site but nothing
Walked out a creek to end
Jill did well
Semi pointed a coon, sat down and kept looking back at me until I came over.
I’m a week early for the really thick Mountain Quail places.
Thurs 10/9/14
Back after Mountain Quail
Same area as before
But driving and looking instead of walking.
No luck again.
Drove new area that was not burned
Saw a big bird cross the road
I had shotgun and shells in front seat
Darren says grouse
I jumped out and scooted up the road
Drug my feet where he crossed and he flushed back over the road!
He was perfectly framed in sunlight against a pine tree and I hit him hard w 28g 6s.
Darren brought truck and Jill
The Bird has scooted!
Jill worked steep downhill for 5 mins and brings back a nice blue grouse. Yellow eye sacs. Same as my other I think.
Nevertheless a great bird, shot, frame, and memory!
I would come back to KF for a couple weeks to hunt upland and waterfowl
Ate Denny’s meat lover omelet every night except last nite and and flat iron steak.
Felt bloated this am and also munched peanuts all night
Eating at Denny’s again!
Fri 10/10/14
Woke at 5, worked email and writing until 8
Depart Klamath falls 0800
Full service gas attendant. State law!
Headed East into sun!
I’m still digging black boogers and Jill is still oily charcoal dirty from hunting in burnt out forest.
Have to take back roads thru mtns to get to Boise, ID
Geese moving over high mtn meadows
Lake Albert big alkali lake.
Some Greater Geese on it
Eastern OR looks sage brush dry like Wyoming.
Eastern OR so dry it has dry alkali lakes and sand dunes!
Back into mtn time zone before reaching ID border
Lots of irrigated corn, potatoes and alfalfa in very sandy soil in eastern or just west of ID border
Like Marfa but with irrigation
Corn is like 10-12′ high. We’ll over truck cab top!
Corn is very brown. Dirt is very grey. Alfalfa is very green. Everything very neat.
Smog on horizon over Boise very evident after clean east Oregon.
Onion Country?!
Onions falling off haul trucks on freeway!
Boise rush hour going the other way. Hope I avoid it.
Some Idaho fields have small rock piles like ND
Volcanic rock tho, not glacial rock
Geese working in river valley outside Pocatello
2000 arrive Pocatello
Sat 10/11/14
Pocatello ID
Woke 5 and worked til noon
Chased down bird hunt info from gun stores
Great info about Kerlew from Mike at gas station!
Guy at gun store in Blackfoot advised wolverine canyon towards landfill out of Blackfoot
Scouted Thompson place east of Firth
See Gaia tracks
Saw Huns bust. Chased them but they went further than I expected.
Foot scouted two other spots.
No luck
Hunter headed in said he sees bird hunters working sage and crp lower
Another hunter said wolverine has lots of forest grouse.  Blues and Ruffies
Today is deer opener so lots of people
Stopped and learned about potato harvesting
Russet Burbank potatoes. Bakers
Bldg holds 1 mil pounds and is temp controlled to 52 degrees
1 hr hotel to Thompson entrance
Cool and windy 65
Dry and very dusty sandy
Indians and ponies on Fort Hall Reservation. Casino too!
Shoshone Bannock tribes
Sunday hunt 10/12/14
South to Kerlew
Raining in Pocatello no rain in Malad, 50, windy
Sunrise 0730 but overcast.
1.5 hr drive
Pheasant hen just hit duck truck driving Malad to Kerlew!
Sage hen crossed in frt of truck in Kerlew
42.21836, -112.605
First walk
Hawk busted a covey of sharps we passed into sage. Couldn’t find them.
Jumped 2 from fence walking road back to truck. Couldn’t find them either.
A little windy for scenting
Still 46
Hunting crp corner and fence row.
Shot 2 hares. Good to know all that rabbit practice paid off
Continues very windy and 46 at 1300
Met hunters on Arbon east bench. Is perfect country.
Hunt mix edge of crp grass and sage pockets. Also buck brush edges
Last walk of the day. East Arbon bench. Followed guys advice. Jumped Huns and shot one. Jill found him 40 yes away wounded. I am very grateful for Jill.

Back to town for rest
The Hun was bigger than I remember from WY
Drive up Nink Creek is cool with west sun. Very green and large farms. Looks like winxp desktop!
The colorful trees are quaking for me.
Caribou natl forest

Mon 10/13/14
0500 wake for 0600 depart
Same program as yest but more focused

Sharpy detail hunt at pivots

Then Arbon accesses
Morning dog farts!
Back at Kerlew pivots.

Saw either giant coyote or wolf
30 degrees!
First big loop on crp by Kerlew pivots
Jumped one under sage on top of ridge between two valleys
Missed w LM but dropped like a rock at 50 yds w full

Jill jumped two more from under sage on canyon finger
Worked whole fld. See Gaia, kinetic tracks

Jumped covey on sage ridge by fence between two canyons. About 8 went into sage canyon
Took a break and now working the sage canyon

Worked bottom across wind. Nothing.
Worked side and top back to truck. Jumped 2. Shell jammed on first bird but shot second one up. Wounded and flew into canyon bottom. Jill found it and pointed it.

There were a bunch more getting up all around us on the hillside. One was a large sage grouse!
I had 2 bird limit so didn’t shoot

Great hunt!! Done at 1200
Off to scout Wolverine Canyon for tomorrow.

Tool box on truck has tons of dirt inside from Sat scouting
Cleaned those birds and hands stink! From Hun yest as well!
Arbon SE Bench off Phelps Rd
Yellow aspens look like nuggets and dust of gold scattered on grey green mtns in mink creek

Colors always more vivid thru Costa glasses

IDFG officer help
Grouse on ground at top of wolverine canyon
Tyler Peterson 251 4515
East of poca thru forest
To lava hot springs
Upper port euc
Forest Svc roads
Caribou mtn country
Borders wy line
On forest Svc land
Rd to caribou city
Sterling wildlife mgmt area
Also upland
Also up port neuf
Also Blackfoot reservoir
Ruffies in rock land, rock creek
Hills to east
Forest Svc
S from American falls
Deer hunters told me abt ruffies up the trail
Go up logging rds and look for water
Deer hunter had a moose shed!
Went to the peak and turned around
Pinned gmap and Gaia w exact location of ruffies
It’s gonna be hard uphill
West sun in aspens!

Idaho boys are what I used to be
Only more terrain and game
Old logging road does not mean what I thought it did!
They have a lot of ECDs here at feedlots. Few pigeons
Initial gps to rattlesnake transfer station in Firth or Blackfoot
Think most pivots are pumped from canal. I’ve seen a few

Tuesday 10/14/14
Headed to wolverine canyon
53 in poca, 39 in Blackfoot
Can’t arrive too early, sunrise in canyon will be later but need to beat deer hunters
39 degrees at ruffie spot. 0730. Perfect timing!

Walked quickly up creek trail

Passed logging rd and continued up until no more aspens
Returned down to logging rd
Started on log rd and heard a noise.

Ruffie jumped and flew into trees
Snapshot brought him down hard at 20 yds 20g IM

Continued on log rd
Took a rest on a stump

Jill scented ruffie up the rd upwind.

Chased him until he flew and busted him at 40 yds from behind

Good thing I have Jill. Both retrieved were tough brush bad downhill.
Toughest is keeping her in chk on log rds

Taking frequent sit breaks to enjoy the forest waking up
Jill likes forest bc lots if squirrels!
Shot the third ruffie while resting.

Is colored like a cock?

Jill flushed one into tree. As I was walking up another flushed to the right. Quick snap shot at 20yds blew off head.
Flies by the dozens appeared almost immed when cleaning birds. Cc

Sharpie meat was dark.
Ruffie is much lighter.
Ruffies eating clover and berries.
Done and headed back 1100

Still have lots if gun racks in trucks in ID
Against the law in ID to guide for upland and waterfowl
IDFG officer says it is to reduce non resident pressure on public and private lands.
I’ve given away birds to the hotel clerk every day
We’re going to chase Huns in the Arbon tomorrow. One last day then we’ll head home. Jill’s wore out.

Wed 10/15/14
65 degrees in poca at 0530

Headed to Arbon Valley for Huns and Sharpies
54 in Malad
Where did Kerlew natl grassland get its name?
Yesterday I could hear ruffies clucking in the forest
Sunrise in the valley over east mtns is cool.

Looking for the little white church as reference point
Nothing first loop
Nothing second loop
Nothing third loop
Fourth loop nada
Back to see if we can find those Huns from Sunday. Last loop at Sunday Hun spot
No luck
8.4 miles today!

1400 done, packed and headed to Pocatello
Indian reservation in valley is shockingly natural. Unimproved for agri. Very cool!
Convoy of giant wheat combines on a narrow rd. tight fit!

Thurs 10/16/14
Headed home 0530 depart thru Durango to Albuquerque
Mtns in UT are fiercer, more rugged. Less moisture? Steeper?
Mtn ranges appear much higher too

There’s a ruffie feather still stick to duck truck hood from Tues. Wonder if it will make it home?
The area around Moab is cool. I see why ppl like it. Bet it is hot in summer though.
Pretty drive up from Moab to Telluride out of canyon up to Rockies from the west
Cool windy canyon drive first thing in Colorado
Beautiful paradise in this canyon. West sun is lighting up red sandstone canyon walls.
Naturita CO is a cool little town
Uranium mining up here is what I saw
Adopt a highway in honor of John Galt!

Valley was like Galts Gulch

Telluride is very pretty

Little kids still walk to school in Telluride!
1530 tell arrive
Delightful shopping trip.
1600 depart to Albuquerque
San Juan skyway out of Telluride is solid lit up aspens!!
Telluride side trip totally worth it!
San Juan pass 10k alt
And a bus load of school kids trail running!
Leaves are shedding fast. Most on top are bare
Life in upper left NM is like the land. Hard dry dusty
What is Aztec ruins natl monument?
Pueblo ruins in town of Aztec.
Pink Floyd at night across NM desert! No moon. Lots of oil rigs
18 wheeler hit a big deer or elk. I don’t like night driving.
Gas flare against Mesa was cool
Crystal clear dark nite
Several 7k passes uph here
Fri 10/16/15
0600 depart Albuquerque
Super8 hotels are good, cheap, pet friendly and easy
Fuel stop Santa Rosa nm. Same turn off from cross country snowed out nm quail hunt 3 yrs ago.
Ft sumner!
Pass thru littlefield, tx from original 6D6S hunt w Brent
Pass by drive in theater and peanut goose field n of Lubbock
Fuel stop Slaton. Crane country
Lots of cotton by Slaton. Hope there is. Little grain for cranes.
Roby windmills are all cotton too!
Fuel stop brown wood
Windmills outside Lometa are new from last yr?
Arrive home 1830. Hard day of driving.
IDFG Hunt Planner Map Center
ID Sharptail Hunt Notes
Curlew grassland S of pica
– Marsh Valley Property
– inkom east bench
NE of Poca
– Region 6
– properties show springs & aspens – maybe ruffies
Curlew grassland by stone reservoir on west side of reserv
Rock land and Arbon valley
Access yes
Curlew is public
Edge habitat crp near sage brush
They like benches
They work toward moisture in am and pm
Usually w other birds
Ruffs forest Svc rds near aspens
Higher for dusky