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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  • Another hundred grams of meat in the freezer. Not much of a meal, but; huh? Waiting until the family all away before you chow down? Or do a stir-fry for the whole family? I think the fallow was a whole lot better score. What else did you bag? Stats, please?

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