Imagine that you put in your time and hard-earned gas money to locate an area that holds quail or chukar. Then imagine that you make the long drive to that newfound honey hole and begin hunting only to learn that your every move is being closely monitored and copied by an SUV full of yahoos you don’t know from Adam.
You stop and share with them what you have learned through your scouting activities and point them in a direction where they might find birds. They don’t take your advice, and still they follow. Your frustration grows, as does the pressure of your foot on the accelerator when you try to lose them in a maze of remote canyons only to see them in your rearview mirror.
Then imagine that you finally locate that elusive chukar covey and start hunting when the guys in the SUV jump out of their vehicle, run past you and start blasting away at the birds. And, finally, imagine how you might feel as you watch the interlopers push the rest of the covey up and over the hill while you admire the one bird you were able to bag before they jumped your claim, so-to-speak.
Would you be mad yet?
My guess is, more than likely, yes. Not that a particular covey of birds belongs to any one hunter, or group of hunters, but hunting etiquette demands that the pesky guys in the SUV move on to another covey unless you invite them to join your hunt. This breach of etiquette is not fictitious. It happened last week to one of the hardest-working bird hunters I have met, a man who will drive hundreds of miles to hunt a single species if it is one he hasn’t had the opportunity to harvest.
The irony in this story is that this hunter probably would have shared most of what he knew about that particular area had the guys in the SUV showed him more respect. There’s a lot of hunting season left; let us keep our heads and show each other respect.
• DUCKS ON THE MOVE — As of this writing, a winter storm is pounding Washington and northern Idaho. That should get reluctant waterfowl heading our way. Hunters in southern Idaho are reporting an increase in the number of birds passing through their hunt areas. Local waterfowler Brock Perry expects the hunting to be good this weekend at the Key Pittman and Kirch wildlife management areas. Be prepared for extremely cold temperatures.
• ARIZONA TAG DRAW — Results of Arizona’s spring tag draw were posted to the state’s Game & Fish Department Web site this week (www.azgfd.gov/draw). There is a host of leftover tags for javelina, wild turkey and black bears. They will be available on a first-come, first-served basis and can be purchased through the mail beginning Nov. 30 or over the counter at any of the Game & Fish office locations on Dec. 7.
Freelance writer Doug Nielsen is a conservation educator for the Nevada Department of Wildlife. His “In the Outdoors” column, published Thursday in the Las Vegas Review-Journal, is not affiliated with or endorsed by the NDOW. Any opinions he states in his column are his own. He can be reached at email@example.com.