I am fortunate that I have the opportunity to go out and hunt with my buddy, Wayne Hill at his Bouie Creek Quail Preserve.
This year we were supposed to be able to do this two times. The first hunt was planned with Brooks Baldwin, my son-in-law, along with his brother Zach and dad Charles. Our group had to be split into two groups because there were so many.
Brooks and our daughter Anna Lauren came down for her birthday on Valentine’s. They brought baby Anne Caroline, who had had a stomach bug. Everyone who had dinner ended up catching her bug. So this part of the first hunting group was unable to make the hunt.
Last weekend my former college roommate came down and brought his son and a mutual friend from Tunica to hunt.
Friday night we had dinner at The Vault. They could not get over how good the food was and how many people were there. I told them to try the shrimp and grits that everyone seemed to like, and, boy, did they.
Saturday morning Price Wallace and Brien Hubbard joined us for the hunt. Original plans were to go up to the river and shoot some skeet beforehand and then head to Wayne’s. The river stage was non-cooperative after all the rain so the skeet shoot was out.
We gathered at Wayne’s and everyone had a chance to meet each other. Wayne gave the low down on the hunt, but he always shares a bit of the Gospel and a small red stone which represents the blood of Christ. He concludes his talk about what that blood represents--everlasting salvation.
The hunt itself is about three things, Wayne says, good fellowship, being able to watch good dogs work the birds, and, if you are lucky, a chance to kill a few birds.
What he fails to mention is that you are going to get a bit of exercise. He had told me he was a bit slow because he had back surgery earlier in the year. I am thinking, I know just how fast he is and how much ground he covers. I will hunt with him this time. He apparently has had a good recovery because he had not slowed down a lot.
The other group was Brien, Price and my college friend Richy. By the bird count they had I was pretty well matched with friend John Morris. We did have the younger Bibb and he didn’t miss too much. They lost a bird to a hawk; otherwise, they would have gotten 45. I am going to say we shot around 30.
You hunt pen-raised birds so it is a lot easier than traditional quail hunting.
After our first hunt we took a break and had some snacks before we went back for round two. We had more birds than they did on round two because we did not collect them all.
The guide for the other group was Rusty May, who has a Boykin Spaniel that he uses as a flush dog. Wayne was able to connect me with a breeder in Collins, which is where I got our Boykin Spaniel, Fisher.
The role of the other dogs is to get on the birds and to point. Wayne would then flush the birds. In Rusty’s group, his dog Pearl would do the flushing after the other dogs got on the bird.
The cost of a hunt is $200 per gun, which includes 15 birds. They provide the dogs and will change them between hunts. Wayne is good enough to provide snacks, and you tip the guides as well as the gentleman who cleans the birds. If you have priced such a hunt in the past, you can see that this is a real bargain.