Last Saturday as I walked out of the house, I turned back and grabbed my hunting coat out of the garage as I couldn`t believe how cold it was. Normally I like to hunt Quail wearing my vest, but with temperature at a very frigid 14 degrees, I decided to go with the coat.
I met my buddy Curt and “Jake” at our usual meeting spot in Clinton at 4:45am to head back
down south to the Pine Barrens to do a little NJ Quail Hunting in Greenwood Forrest. We always leave very early as it`s a 110 mile drive to our destination in Whiting New Jersey.
As we pulled into the parking area at right about 6:45am, I commented, “Wow……. looks like we got more than just a few hunters here today huh?” as there were quite a few more vehicles than the previous week.
We got out of the truck, threw on our coats, grabbed our guns and made our way out into to woods about 15 minutes or so, before the legal shooting hour, sunrise.
As we hiked out down an old logging trail, we noticed a person chatting with a few hunters. When we got closer we realized it was a Game Warden. When we walked by “Her”, we both said “Good morning”
I also said, “Geez…..we were wonderin` who the heck was out here today without any orange on!” She smiled & said, “Ohhhh I have it right here in my pocket.”
We made our way down an old abandoned road and the first shot of the morning rang! Then another…. and another!. I looked at Curt and said, “Time to hunt!” and with that Curt let Jake off the leash. It was only a matter of minutes before he was on point in a hedgerow. Curt worked around one side trying to get into position, while I was coming around the other side towards Jake.
As I made my way across the hedgerow, the bird broke out behind us and Curt spun around, took the shot and got our first Quail of the morning.
Wasn`t too long after that Jake was on point again. This time on the edge of an open field. Curt made his way towards the dog and told me to “stay out in the open as it will probably break across the field.” Jake held point very well and just as Curt was about twenty yards away the bird did indeed break across the open field. I immediately shouldered my .28 gauge over-and-under Beretta shotgun and had my second Quail of the morning.
Here is a Video with some action-footage from our Quail Hunting Adventure that morning.
Turned out to be another fine morning NJ Quail Hunting with Curt & Jake as we each ended up with our limit of four birds each.
I`m 51 years old & I still get as excited about the first day of NJ Small Game Hunting Season as much as when I was nine years old & Dad let me actually hunt with him carrying my trusty single-shot .410 shotgun on that Opening Day long ago.
(Yes yes……. I know…….. legally you can`t be a licensed hunter in NJ until you are ten years old……… All I can say is that things were very different back then. Hell I`d been walking alongside my Dad rabbit hunting since I was six years old. Nowadays you wouldn`t think about
letting a kid hunt without having a NJ Hunting License………yea……. like I said folks, it was just a different time way back when)
So on Saturday I met my best friend Curt Ryder & his dog “Jake” at our usual meeting place,… the Quick Check on 46.When Curt pulled into the Quick Check, I grabbed my gun & hunting gear & as I jumped in his truck he joked sayin`, “Geez………. What the hell is goin` on here???
Ken Beam is actually on time! For that matter he`s even early!“…… ha! ha!
Our Hunting destination was about a little over an hour away.
We planned on hunting the Walpack Cemetary as we usually do very well there on Opening Day of Small Game Hunting. The weather was perfect. It was a nice, cool, sunny Autumn morning to hunt.Curt had this new GPS-tracking collar on Jake & it was really pretty exciting because it actually tells you how far away he is & and when he`s on “point”! As you walk towards the dog, it shows your getting closer on the GPS screen.
By 11am we each had our limit of two Pheasants. It was definitely a great morning to start the NJ Small Game Hunting Season of 2014!