New Mexico Uplanders

It just occurred to me this afternoon that I never put together a photo essay of our New Mexico hunting trip from last February.  Some of you will know that the upland season ends on February 1st here in Idaho.  We decided to extend our season by two full weeks by heading down to New Mexico for scaled quail, bobwhite quail and Mearn’s quail.  We truck camped on BLM land or Forest Service land — woke up early, went to sleep early, slept in the bed of the truck with the dogs, ate out of the cooler and fresh from the field, schlepped through sand dunes, crept the truck over hard country to watch the stars over Texas and we harvested a lot of birds.  I really found my shooting rhythm and the dogs were bone thin, tired and in utter rapture.

It’s brutal, vicious hunting down there.  The vegetation is prickly and serrated — cutting and poking at you with every step you take.  The sunlight is harsh, even in the heart of February, so harsh that it seems to come from every direction.  We’re used to ankle breaking basalt lava flows, brutal and frozen gale force winds and near vertical hiking here in Idaho.  It was interesting to test our mettle in a new place, in a new way.

Rob and I were reminiscing about this trip last week and talking about our plans to head down again this winter to scout out more territory for ourselves and to simply enjoy the company of each other.

We hunt for food, but hunting also gives me such a strong sense of family.  We’re together out there — just him, me and our dogs.  A unit.  Working together (kinda like a wolf pack would) to bring home dinner.  The wolves got it right.

Without further adieu:

New Mexico

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Out At The Ranch

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