My First Quail

I had never been upland game shooting before and so this weekend has been a real blast.

According to Fish and Game New Zealand:

Quail hunting is an exciting and demanding form of game bird hunting. Quail are small, fast flying birds, which means quick and accurate shooting is required.

Quail are a challenge to hunt. They are noisy, ‘talkative’ birds making it easy to identify where a group or ‘covey’ may be resting but their rapid speed and small size make the shooting challenging.

An undisturbed covey will sit tightly on the ground or in bushes. When they are flushed by the hunter or by the hunter’s dog the birds explode quickly into the air. Often a rapid whirring of wings and a dark shape flying quickly past are the only indication that you have flushed a covey!

When a covey is flushed it is very important that the hunter picks out individual birds to shoot and gives them plenty of lead. It is pointless to raise your shotgun and shoot blindly into the large covey flying quickly away.

Quail do not fly long distances and will quickly return to ground where they re-group and sit tight, so exciting hunting can occur in a fairly small area.

These buggers certainly do fly fast. I was told by my Upland Game Shooting coach that I should expect to miss more often than not when learning to shoot Quail. Also I was using my Beretta AL391 Urika Classic from Hamills and Beretta for the first time so I wasn’t use to the intricacies of my weapon.

So when the dogs flushed a small covey and I put down this Quail with my first shot I was very pleased. Having the dogs bring it back from the thick cover where it landed is just way cool too.


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

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