I went, but due to other commitments at home, was only able to hunt yesterday (Saturday). The hunt was a blast with plenty of new friends, good food, and fellowship. This was my first time to participate in this hunt, but Im already looking forward to going next year. Myself and another Hunter were both there because of the contact on this forum. Everyone else had been going on this hunt for several years. Even though I was a new guy, everyone made me and my dogs feel welcome and a part of the group.
We had about 25-30 hunters on Saturday , including the land owners, their kids, and family friends. The hunters ranged in age from 12 years old up to some guys in their 70s. We had both male and female hunters in our party. We had 5 or 6 dogs, with several different breeds represented. We had a German Wire Haired Pointer, a couple of German Shorthairs, a Chocolate Lab, and my two English Pointers.
We hunted in the classic big group fashion with a line of walkers with the dogs and blockers on the end. I realize this style of hunting isnt everyones cup of tea, but with a group this large it was the only way to do it and it was very successful. We hunted playa lake bottoms, tail water pits, CRP, and harvested maize fields. The habitat we hunted was about as good as Ive ever seen, and that was evident in the number of birds we got into. It seemed like most of the birds were in the playa lake bottoms, which were grown up in Kocia, willow trees, careless weeds, and native grass. With the wind like it was, the birds were in the thick and nasty stuff riding out the wind, until wed get there.
The wind was out of the west and was absolutely horrific all day Saturday, like 30-40 mph sustained winds with basically zero humidity. This made it almost impossible for the dogs to hunt by scent, but we still got into a lot of birds, including a couple of coveys of quail. Im not sure of the final number of birds we killed on Saturday, but a bunch of birds got cleaned Saturday evening. Everyone got plenty of shot opportunities.
We saw a bunch of mule deer, including a couple of sure enough monster bucks, which was a plus. There were also a lot of ducks and geese flying around, especially that morning.
All in all, it was the best hunting trip Id ever been on. I got my limit of birds before lunch, made a bunch of new friends, ate some great food, and brought home 2 wore out bird dogs. Id do it all again tomorrow if I could!