Only an idiot would be out hiking in this weather and this idiot took a short walk today to see what was out there. It was already 100 degrees at 10:30 when I started my hike. The only smart thing I did was to stay close to a creek for the dogs.
As I mentioned on the last post, water seeps and holes are going to be very sparse this year. It’s way too early to make a call but my ride to this spot was more than disheartening. I didn’t see one bird on the roads where I usually see lot’s of quail. But I didn’t see any other animals from the road. Hopefully, because of my late start everything was hiding in the shade.
The walk up the creek was also very disappointing. The boys did bump some adult quail from the bushes but we never saw a little one. Once again though, nothing was out in the sun. Even the moo cows were deep in the bush and didn’t want to come out.
I refuse to be pessimistic this early because the only way anything is going to move out there has to be pushed and neither the dogs or I were feeling much like covering country. The insects, i.e. grasshoppers, were abundant, which is great news.
The one constant everywhere I’ve gone this summer, is the lack of cover. All of the grasses seeded early this year without getting much growth. One positive about that, the dogs won’t be getting as much cheat in the ears. They’ll still be getting it between the toes. Here are a couple of pictures of the mountain sides I sometimes hunt chukars.
That green you see is skeleton weed and has no nutritional value at all. The only value I can see in it is to make me look like a fool. Last year when it was very thick it liked to grab my legs and help me to the ground. Remember that for a good excuse for missing a shot. It works for me.
On our hike we found this dead wolf along a pipe line. The picture doesn’t do it justice, but it was a wolf. The stench was strong enough that I didn’t want to try and see if it had been trapped or what might have caused it’s death. I’m going to just say it died of heat exhaustion because I felt I was about to succumb to it.
Whether the birds do well through this heat or not, it will be a summer to to mark down in the archives. We should learn a lot about upland birds from a summer like this.
One last observation. Yes, there is some high potential for fires because of the dryness but the fuel is not as heavy as usual. So as long as we have the resources, we should be able to knock grass fire down before they take thousands of acres. The timber country is going to be a different story.
In short, I’m completely befuddled. But I’ll keep on being that idiot that goes as far as I can in this heat to find that ray of hope. When I find it I’ll let you know. Until then, find a cool pond and let your pup go swimming.
3 thoughts on “A summer to remember”
It’s good you saw some grasshoppers but several times in dry years I’ve been places where the hoppers were so bad they ate all the leaves on multiflora rose bushes and most of the ground vegetation. Found no birds of any species at those sites. Keeping my fingers crossed for our feathered friends in Idaho.
I must be an idiot,too. …although I was out at about 7AM. On a positive note, I did see one covey of Chukars, three new of quail and one covey of huns. The Chukars (flushed and lit about 100yds) and became noisy. Another group up the hill started cackling. The Chuks were about 2/3 grown and the quail were small but flyers. The quail were big coveys. Seen one covey of 12 or so huns. It got hot very quick and I was on my way back about 1030. Did see more quail tracks in different locations. Cover was sparse in area but not bad in others. Hoppers were everywhere.
Great news. I went out this morning also. Not as productive as yours but also positive.