Fifty Shades of Orange

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THERE’S AN OLD ADAGE among upland bird hunters that goes something like this:

When it rains in Texas, it rains quail…

Profound, is it not?

While big chunks of the state are still in a drought, by definition, there are a few pockets of Texas scrubland that received timely rainfall for quail nesting, and those counties have indeed experienced a decent rebound from the iron skillet years of 2008-13.

Two weeks ago I was hired to photograph one of those ranches where a group of friends were gathering for their last hunt of the season. Per my usual role, I lurked around the fringe and captured the action while they moved from pasture to pasture, point to covey rise. By the end of the hunt they’d found a respectable number of birds and enjoyed some stellar dog work. Mixed throughout was a continuos and spirited banter among good friends.

Naturally, some of the talk was about next season, and the fact that most of the bobwhites they bagged this year were first-year birds, which hatched from a skeleton crew that survived one of the worst droughts on record. With plenty of returning starters, and a few timely spring and summer rains, that ranch might soon experience one of those rare boom years of Texas quail hunting.

Here’s hoping.

If you’d like to book a private photo shoot for your property or gathering, click here for information, and click the links at the top of my site for sample slideshows from recent shoots.

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South Texas succulents

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Come to the fair, son; we’ll ride the lightnin’

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Stylish

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Picking one out

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Fetch it up, Trip

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Your bird, sah!

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Nature’s cammo

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Lunchtime snooze

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Walk a mile in my pads

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Cock of the year

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Dude, you passed ’em

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Guh-loop, guh-loop, guh-loop…

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Proud little Cocker

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Friends

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Cocktail hour

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