Jack O'Connor on Arizona Gambel's
Posted by Drew Hause on December 10, 2020, 2:47 pm
Jack O'Connor, "The Shotgun Book", 1949 |
I have shot bobwhites in Missouri, Arkansas, South Carolina, Georgia, New Jersey, Illinois and Idaho. The classic quail of the United States is the bobwhite, one of the most beloved of all game birds. He lies beautifully to a dog. He is a strong flier and is good to eat. He is a great bird and I love him dearly, but I do not think he is as smart a bird as the Valley and the Gambel's quail. Nor do I think he flies as fast or is as hard to hit.
The Western quail tend to be quite a different proposition from bobwhites. Almost all of my Gambel's quail hunting was done without a dog, as few dogs can stand the thorns and the thirst of typical Gambel's quail country. The Gambel's quail hunter who has only walked ten miles or so can hardly be said to have worked up a sweat. Many times I have covered fifteen miles in one day's hunting and not a few times I have gone twenty.
As good a gun as I have ever had for Gambel's quail was a 20 gauge L.C. Smith Field Grade double bored modified and full. On those long walks after desert quail, a light gun and light ammunition are twice blessed. You can make mine either a 16 or a 20, just so long as you make it light.