When done right, a good quail hunt is remembered and talked about for decades.
Story and Photography By Robert Sloan
The first time I saw Capt. Robert Sanders was a chance meeting at the post office in Port Mansfield, where a group of us had been fishing out of Getaway Adventures Lodge. Sanders was checking his P.O. Box before heading out to do some scouting for customers coming in from North Carolina for a quail hunt.
He was in his hunting buggy which is what caught my eye. A high-racked heavy-duty truck that had been customized for quail hunting complete with dog pens, gun racks, seats for hunters and on top of it all were several feed bags packed with milo. There was no doubt that this guy was on top of the game of quail hunting.
“You must be a quail hunting guide,” I said. “How’s it going this season?”
“We’re doing Ok,” he said without looking up from opening his mail. “Getting anywhere from 25 to 35 coveys a hunt.”
I was slacked jawed. This was two years ago and I knew it was a good time to be a quail hunter. But 35 coveys a day. That’s about as good as it gets.
Not knowing whether I was getting a bunch of classic South Texas BS from some crazy hunting guide I asked about setting up a hunt as soon as possible.
He looked at me and casually said, “I only hunt with experienced hunters, people that show up with fine shotguns, won’t shoot my dogs, won’t shoot me and know how to handle themselves when a covey comes up over my dogs. I’m also booked for about the next two years. I don’t make that many hunts, but when I do I’ve got preferred customers that can hunt and shoot like gentlemen.”