Saturday, December 31, 2011

And Now Video!

For Christmas we bought Dylan one of those GoPro video cameras that come with different mounts so you cane wear it on your helmet when you're snow boarding or attach it to your car, bike or in our case on your head when you're bird hunting. Thought I'd share.

A Bird In The Hand...

Well after a few trips searching for wild quail proved fruitless (if measured by the shooting of birds) the boys and I went out to the Wil-Nor preserve and hunted one of their farms where they put out raised birds. Kelan has been out with me a few times this year but Dylan having been away at Mizzou and hasn't had the opportunity so this was his first trip of the year. We had a great time and Bama obviously did as well...lots of birds!

Late December Quail

I've been taking advantage of my extended time off for the holidays to get in some late season bird hunting. Wild quail are still pretty scarce in these parts but shooting quail is not the only reason I enjoy getting out. Missouri has some beautiful conservation areas and the state works really hard to create good quail habitat to bring the populations back. I really enjoy the hikes Bama and I take through these different  areas and the occasional covey of quail we jump are the cherry on top. Below are some of the shots I've taken at three different CA's over the last week. I take these with the camera on my phone and they actually turn out pretty well. I'd like to take a nicer camera with me but it's a little hard carrying a shotgun and then messing with a camera at the same time.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Slow Day.

I decided to head out to Callaway County this morning to see if Bama and I could kick up some quail. The place we hunted is about 35 miles east of Columbia, Missouri and in the past has had a few decent sized coveys for Bama and I to chase around for a few hours. When we left St. Louis this morning the temperature was in the low thirties. It was a bit colder than that out in the field and they had gotten a little snow. I brought the wrong boots so a couple hours later my feet were a little wet. Bama and I hunted for about four hours and according to the pedometer on my phone I walked about six miles. Bama I guess did put in almost ten since he doesn't do anything in a straight line. Four hours, one covey, and a beautiful day spent outdoors.

The fence lines (on the left) bordering the corn field are where I found birds.

That bird needs a front door on that nest brrrr.

The man patiently waiting for me to take his picture so he can get back to work.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Looks Are Important...To Me.

A number of years ago the Pheasants Forever organization decided that it would be a good idea to expand the organization to support the dwindling population of quail as well. Good idea and they've done a lot of great work in increasing habitat and engaging farmers in creating more quail friendly areas on their properties. I admire the organization but I've never cared much for their logo. I think as an art director/designer that's probably why I felt compelled to play around a bit with a logo that for me better suits the noble bearing of Gentle Bob. 

First let me say what I don't care for in the original logo. I guess I understand the marketing reasons behind making the QF logo look just like the PF logo. Most likely they want to create synergy between the two organizations in the mind of the donating public and in this part of the country the two game birds share the same landscape so doing for one benefits the other.
Well none of that has anything to do with the esthetics of the logo, which 
for me if I'm going to put your decal on the back window of my truck I better like it. A lot. So with all that said and without further ado here is what I designed.

Simple. To the point. No moody 1980s looking sunrise and color scheme. I didn't want to use the stereo typical flushing quail because frankly I've seen it a thousand times and it would be hard to do anything even remotely unique using that. I drew inspiration from a couple of logos that have stood the test of time. The browning logo and the Ducks Unlimited logo as well. Both are simple and iconic. So for my purpose I chose a proud quail crowing. A clarion to gather if you will, a demand to come together for the groups protection and strength, which if you've flushed a covey quail before and hung around for a half hour or so you've probably heard it yourself. I think this logo fits the crown prince of game birds, a quarry that goes by a number of names...Bob White, Grey Ghost and Gentleman Bob. He's refined, classic and a bird that has created incredible a following like no other among bird hunters . You'll get arguments from some for grouse, pheasant maybe even partridge but those people most likely think McDonald's makes great sweet tea. Sacrilege.


Envelope and business card.

Window decal which would be reversed to white.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Duck, Duck, Goose!

So the duck hunting hasn't been to great for me thus far this year but today after three previous tries out at Mark's farm near Hermann, Missouri we finally got a goose. We had a number of geese commit and come in close to our spread today but they didn't quite come in close enough for a sure shot so we let them pass. One goose wasn't so lucky. After I hit it at least twice the goose flew on for another hundred or so yards before it dropped from the sky. I have to say it felt pretty good to get my first goose this year.

My first goose of 2011

Our pop up blind with brush added. 

Another view of the blind from the grass slope above the lake.

Two part panorama view from inside the blind.

Out With The Camo, In With The Orange.

Yesterday I took a day off from work as well as duck hunting and went out to Doc Pete's farm to hunt quail. I really like Doc Pete's gently rolling Ozark Mountain foothills. There are a number of nice sized fields on the property wrapped in tree lines not unlike a nice mountain golf course. The fields are all native prairie grasses and the bordering woods are open enough to hold quail and the occasional woodcock.  Bama and I spent a few hours chasing quail around and ended up with eight on a beautiful late fall afternoon.

Large field that runs the length of the ridge.

Bama getting birdy around some scrub trees near a small pond. I missed this  one due to having my camera out and not getting ready quick enough.

Seems like we always jump birds along the bend of this trail. They're usually under those cedars on the right but sometimes under those small oaks on the left.

Yep there they are. Better hurry and get my gun out! This was one of those occasions where Bama stops and almost points the birds. I think it's when he can actually see it so he pauses before he pounces. Good thing because it gave me time to put away the camera and grab my gun.

A couple of nice Missouri quail.

The proud boy.

A Few More

Thought I'd add a few more duck hunting photo's. Photos I have, actual ducks...not so much!

Putting out decoys.

A view from my spot down to where Dylan is sitting. Can you find him?

Yep there he is.

Getting ready to head back to the truck. We always wear orange walking to and from  our spot because you never know about those deer hunters. I usually have some on Bama as well but forgot to bring it today.

Bama watching for ducks. Dove hunting has been good experience for him learning to search the sky for birds. Sometimes I watch him because he'll see birds before I do.

Waterfowl Hunting In Need Of "Fowl" Weather

 The duck hunting has been a bit slow so far this season, we're still in need of some sustained cold weather in the Dakota's to get a good push on the ducks into Missouri. At least that's my excuse for the lack of success and I'm sticking to it! However... with that said I still enjoy getting out. I've been to a few different places so far this year including a couple of the big duck clubs up north of St. Charles along the Missouri River. I always find going to those clubs to be really entertaining because I get to see how the other half lives. The ducks don't seem to care how nice the places are or what great equipment the hunters all have, they don't show up there just as much as they don't to the places I can more readily get access to.
We're supposed to start getting some cold wet weather this weekend into next week so let's see if that changes my luck.

This is the Catawissa Pits area off the Meramec River. Old sand dredging operation from the 1940's and 50's that they turned into a conservation area of about 1,000 acres.

Bama and I scanning the sky for ducks.

Heading out to the blind at Belleau Hunt Club - St. Peters, Missouri.
View from blind in flooded corn field.
Mark scanning for ducks.
Sunset on Belleau Farm