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Blue quail

Gentle readers, today while sitting out in the warm sunshine (ain’t that what old men do?), it jogged a few memories of when we lived north of Amarillo, Texas, on our place of 75 acres. I bet you remember that it joined a four section ranch that I leased a part of on occasion and had access to hunt on all of it. There really wasn’t much to hunt other than doves, rabbits, coyotes and those blue quail. Talk about a bird that’s a little difficult to hunt without dogs, it’s the blue quail.

The truth is, I am not and never have been an avid hunter like my son, Andy, is over on the Western Slope. Actually, he called today to let me know he had gotten his elk this year and he was just hunting out of the house close to home. Way to go Andy. Back in the panhandle of Texas there are lots of blues. They travel in coveys and are as sly as your mother in law in your pickup when you ain’t around. A good Jeep (didn’t have an ATV back then) would have served me well. The country around me was big deep, dry creeks, lots of hills, gullies and Mesquite. You found lots of arrowheads and artifacts if you kept a sharp eye out.

I would take my 3-year-old, Andy with his stick rifle and me with my double barrel 12-gage and we would drive as close to where me had a good chance to find some blues and start walking. Now here’s what would happen if we happened to jump a bunch. Most usually they would run or fly to the nearest cow trail that went to a windmill and drop off in it. Those little well worn paths were about 4 to 5 inches deep and those birds would run as fast as they could until you got close enough to get off a shot. If you didn’t have any luck they would fly in one direction, make a big half circle back in the opposite direction and usually they would be out of sight during that big circle. I would always head in the direction with Andy in tow as fast as I could in cowboy boots. It always took a lot of patience, a lot of running and walking, to get several birds. I was a young man then and what would I give to have a couple of hours of that little boy by my side and hoofin’ it across the pasture hopin’ nobody stepped on or around a Diamondback in our pursuit of those blues. What do they taste like? Chicken, of course.



No, they actually do taste like chicken and many times I would prefer them with biscuits and gravy more than chicken. My, my, time gets away from us, don’t it?

Stay tuned, check yer cinch on occasion and applaud those good Americans fighting back!!



I’ll c. y’all, all y’all.

Still have lots of calendars if you need those stocking stuffers.


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Mad Jack Hanks

What gives?

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Okay, so today is Nov. 18 and you have already had Thanksgiving by the time you read this column.



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