While preparing to hunt released quail on Saturday afternoon, I witnessed a unique encounter between winged creatures that absolutely made a wonderful memory from the outdoors. As the guide on this hunt it was my duty to put out 20 quail and 2 chukar for the guests. After putting out all the quail I then handled the first chukar and set it out, but the second chukar slipped out of my hands and onto the ground. When I reached for it it off and flew through the open pine woods and down into a hardwood bottom. But about halfway to the hardwoods a red-shouldered hawk swooped down out of his perch high in the top of a pine tree, and that hawk was following that chukar like a heat-seeking missile, and it was a great look at how those hawks see everything in the woods and are ready to go in an instant if they see any easy mark. Having se exactly where the two birds landed, I got up and made my way through the woods, fully expecting to find the chukar in the talons of the hawk. To my surprise the chukar had eluded the hawk's grasp and when the hawk saw me he flew up into a tree before just completely leaving. I was able to scare the chukar back into the uplands, then go meet my guests and conduct the quail hunt over an English Setter, where we went 15 out of 20 on quail and did not harvest either chukar. Great hawk / chukar encounter!
To view past blog entries about quail hunting click here.
PhotoByJeffDennis: The guest hunters did not see the hawk encounter, that was witnesses solely by the game tender