Spooky Covey

OKRev

New member
One of the places that I hunt is a small 80 acre farm. There is one covey of birds that hangs around the place that I've gotten up about 4 times this year, always in the afternoon. The thing is that these are not the gentlemen Bobs that sit and wait for you to flush them. If you get 10 seconds of hold after a point you are doing good. The cover isn't sparse where we are at, its a mixture of pasture, native grasses, plum thickets, and cedar clumps. There aren't any other hunters that I'm aware of that push these birds, so my question for some of you super experienced quail hunters out there, is this common?
 

akp

Member
Nothing surprises me anymore. They can be unpredictable. Sometimes they run on me when the cover is good, but most times they'll hold pretty well. Seems like coveys run more than singles do.
 

MAB7799

Member
Nothing surprises me anymore. They can be unpredictable. Sometimes they run on me when the cover is good, but most times they'll hold pretty well. Seems like coveys run more than singles do.
What AKP said - this year I've seen it all. Had one covey jump up in cedar trees, had another 5 feet in front of the dog on point that when we started to walk up the WHOLE covey literally just took off running right there 5 feet in front of us instead of flying. The ground just came alive and started moving! Pretty cool.

Had lots of running coveys this year it seems. Had another covey that was spread out all over the place feeding.. 1 bird here, 1 bird there, 2 birds here, 2 birds there. You just never know.

Even had a covey in 5 inch grass (video posted under Setternut's thread)
 

SetterNut

New member
I have a couple of coveys that I have hunted for years that are just about impossible to get pointed and shot. Not sure that it isn't some kind of genetic thing with them.
 

quail hound

Moderator
Spooky covies are the norm out here on public land. If they don't flush 50+ yds in front of the dogs you know they haven't been hunted yet that season.
 

JMichigan

New member
I'm in OK too and we've had running coveys for the past few weeks. The worst is that I'll put up a covey. watch them sit back down and go after them, and then I can't find them again. Unreal. the last one, I put up 30 birds or so, and on the second flush I put up 4.
 

GSP4ME

New member
I'm in OK too and we've had running coveys for the past few weeks. The worst is that I'll put up a covey. watch them sit back down and go after them, and then I can't find them again. Unreal. the last one, I put up 30 birds or so, and on the second flush I put up 4.
This was pretty much my experience this past weekend hunting western ok. Big coveys get up and pretty much stay together as they fly, then apparently hit the ground running.
 

Crossing shot

New member
I experience the same thing. Finding coveys and then a couple singles. I always thought the dog could not smell them. I think next covey flush I will hunt about thirty minutes before heading to the singles.

A couple weeks ago, could not find a cripple. Came back an hour later and dog points it quickly where it went down.
 

oldandnew

New member
I experience the same thing. Finding coveys and then a couple singles. I always thought the dog could not smell them. I think next covey flush I will hunt about thirty minutes before heading to the singles.

A couple weeks ago, could not find a cripple. Came back an hour later and dog points it quickly where it went down.
"Wind washed" is what the old timers said. Research in Missouri wildlife areas using radio collared quail, determined that dogs hunting in their area were not very often found, even when the radio conservation agent took the hunter and dogs back to that area and pinpointed the area! Proving again what little we know. Assumption is they can shut down their scent, or diminish it at times. The wind washed affect I have seen since a kid, better to come back after a time and work the singles. The big rip roaring "covey" dogs didn't concern themselves with singles, went on to find another covey, some seem to actually avoid the glide path of the singles. Usually a "singles" dog, a bitch with mountains of seasoning would puck the singles. Some so good you had to provide mercy rules to prevent over harvest. I like the wit matching with a spooky covey, try to approach in a different direction, different time. I revel in the fact they make a fool of me and my dogs, and have satisfaction in plucking a bird now and then, mostly I am happy to have them at all after the recent past, even if they all are that way!
 

prairiepork

New member
Don't you just love it though? You don't get that from pheasants, they flush and you never see them again. Nothing like hunting quail with a dog. They are frustrating, cagey, sneaky, unpredictable. Make you question your ability to shoot straight. Yesterday ran into a covey that I chased back and forth down a fencerow. Every bird flew back into the fencerow, never gave me a good shot. Ran into another covey. Saw where some landed along a creek. 1 was burrowed under a downed tree. Dog was whining and wimpering. My son and I pulled branches and dug as much as we could, no flush, but the dog wouldn't leave. Finally, my dog laid on her side, squeezed under the tree and pawed the quail out of a hole or something and it flushed. And.......I missed. Just amazing and a lot of fun. Hate to see the season end in about 10 days.
 

JMichigan

New member
I heard that. Had a group that I had pinned at the back of a cover. I'm convinced they were pinned because the rest of the cover was so thin it was ridiculous. Sure enough they didn't flush again. Dogs started bothering with a brush pile and my first thought was: "yeah I would hide under there too and just not bother with being too scared to come out."
 

rascal

New member
YES....the last couple years I've seen quail run more than ever before...I too have a couple coveys that are near impossible to kill. Doesn't matter how far off my dog points them...they still run....flush in timber or out of range and the singles just completely vanish. I have a covey in Kansas that my dog has pointed no less than 10 times of the last few years.....I have never killed a bird out of it....no matter how I try to set it up to succeed...they always beat me...lol. those are the quail you will always remember
 

Tori

New member
Sorry, Guys, but this thread had me, not only reading with respect, but also with laughter as I too am invariably flummoxed by those little birds ... my old Epagneul Breton bitch, RIP girl, who condescended to hunt pheasants only out of self dignity, would turn into a hunting monster for the Callies ... a grave lesson was learnt one day ... always, and always do a recce on what is behind the bird ... suffice to say, the bird fell down the centre of a blackberry bush the size of a well appointed home ... the foto below shows my bitch embarking on going underneath it to retrieve the bird ... she backed out (with me turning my back on her in the fear of her blinding herself with all the thorns) only for me to turn back to witness her climb up the side of the blackberry, drop down into the centre of the bush and climb back out with the bird ... I was so staggered by her endeavours I was slow in dropping on one knee to take the bird from her, she sat and patiently waited for me to gather my wits of what I had just witnessed ...

View attachment 7436
 
I hunt mostly private property that has alot of critters like bobcats and coyotes. These birds will run like heck everytime. It takes a special kind of dog with alot of exposure to this kind of bird to know how fast and far they can push a covey to"sit them down" and hold but yet not pressure them too much to make them break and rise. I had an English pointer bitch years ago that had this mastered like no other. I have a public lands place that I love to hunt that has quite a few birds- these birds run like crazy usually to a hill top or drop off. I've seen alot of these covies run straight up the nearest hill or straight down to a drop-off and then take flight to the next hill top or drop down into the creek bottom and run. If you don't physically see the birds take flight up ahead of you and watch where they land on the next hilltop the game is over when the dogs get there.These birds hear the dog and they will proceed with the escape route. Once we move with the dog to thier escape destination , they hold about as tight as any text book covey does. The " cat and mousse" chase is my favorite part of hunting quail with a dog. As for scenting singles, I've had experienced baiches that did this best. I've always had English pointers but have crossed over to a gsp 2 yrs ago. My young female gsp is amazing on singles, I'm not sure if it's just because gsp's tend to ground trail more than English which work off of the wind. She loves to slow down and ground scent when we are working singles and she is death to those birds.
 
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