After the Shinto Priest

Posted on 17 October 2009 by Cork Graham

Ziggy and me in El Dorado NF
Ziggy and me in El Dorado NF

My girlfriend keeps calling the California Valley Quail the Shinto priest and it’s starting to stick: those single head feathers do make them look like a Japanese priest. I’ve been chomping at the bit to hunt quail with my new, young Brittany. But, last weekend the quail season hadn’t opened in the area I wanted to scout out.

Instead, we went hunted last weekend for Mountain quail after reading an article in Western Outdoor News (WON), and of course the areas mentioned in the articles were hammered. Sadly, it was evident not just in the scarcity of birds [got only one opportunity–at the end of the long walk, of course] but in the number of spend shotgun cartridges littering the mountain roads in El Dorado NF.

This week I’m headed to another place, BLM property, for the general opener of California valley quail. I’ll be headed for the Sierras again, the lower Sierras this time. Going to be interesting to hunt public land during an opener like quail, especially after learning the Clear Creek Management Area near Hollister has been closed. That was one large piece of property full of quail, turky and pigs. Won’t be opened until next fall.

Well, I guess I should get some sleep, but I’m revved to take Ziggy for his second quail hunt. I’ll be hunting with, Nick Nigelbaum, 26, one of the co-founders of the The Bull Moose Hunting Society. Will report next week!

2 Comments For This Post

  1. T. Michael Riddle Says:

    Hi Cork,
    Thanks for the invite to here, I like the site and your writing very much! 😉

    The interesting thing about Quail here in Cali. is that the mis-information which is propagated by our illustrious Fish and Game, Natures Conservancy etc. etc. is just that!

    Over at our High Fenced facility in Monterey County we have inside of there close to 400 pure Eurasian Wild Boar.
    The Quail population is rising, and “not” declining inside of our fence, and quite contrary to what the misinformers would have us believe that the Wild Boar are destroying our ground nesting birds through their rooting.

    We probably will have to start running special hunts just to quell the exploding Quail populations at that particular ranch. 😉

  2. admin Says:

    Hi, Michael —

    There are definitely a number of conversations to be had about the NC…:( …:)

    …Maybe we can have Ziggy pointing some of those quail on camera at your Shangrila! 🙂

    …That is very interesting, especially in a controlled environment to see nest destruction not occurring by natural Hoovers.

    –I wish everyone would get it out of their heads we will never eradicate the wild pig in the US. It’s now an integral part of the ecosystem. I definitely believe in a culling program as part of an overall wildlife conservation program, as Aldo Leopold would be proud of. But this eradicate at all cost is bogus: like back East parks and recreation areas could be making money on pig hunting permits during a down economy, instead of complaining they’re running out of funds in this state and spending $60-$70K on trappers to kill the pigs.

    …Rooting actually provides a service to the environment when performed by stable population….especially as we conduct fire control that’s commercially motived instead of for a strong and sound ecological system.

    …Don’t get me going on sad, politically motivated, ecologically unsound preservationist practices in California that have no regard for wildlife and flora and propogated by these groups, like Mountain Lion Foundation, who purport to have as their main interest. Learn the business of wildlife monies, so well described in my friend Dr. Swan’s “In Defense of Hunting” and you’ll what these groups are really about, i.e. if they were to actually succeed in “saving the cougar”, they’d be out of a job and cash funnel.

    The innane part of this equation is that there is such an overpopulation of mountain lion in California that it’s crazy–why else would a cougar be forced to munch on cat/dog suburban areas if he wasn’t pushed out by an overpopulationof his brethren feasting on the last of our deer on his birth grounds up in the mountains? 🙁


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