I recently attended a workshop on habitat restoration and quail management. One of the speakers if the manager on one of the oldest leases on the King Ranch and has devoted his life to quail hunting. He was talking about how he saw the future of the sport and his view was pretty pessimistic. These days he sees Quail hunting as an "old man's" sport. His position is that it has gotten so expensive that folks don't bring kids and so the next generation is not being exposed to the "camaraderie" of the quail hunt. The way quail are hunted in these parts is the dogs are run from a truck, usually a 4wd crew cab with a dog box on the back and sometimes seats on top of the dog box. They carry enough dogs to be able to switch them out fairly frequently. The hunters visit, enjoy each other's company, close business deals, and so on while the dogs run, getting down once a dog is on point. Well, the speaker's big point concerned the camaraderie and how that was the main attraction for many.
Now, I don't hunt quail, for one thing it is too darned expensive, but also, it's just not my thing. Yesterday the knucklehead and I were out dove hunting and I got to thinking about this manager's point about the fellowship and I realized that I almost always hunt alone, just the dog and me. I like it that way. On the rare occasions when I duck hunt I prefer to go with one other person (two at the most), and that's primarily to have help carrying all the tack. I am not really interested in going on a group bird hunt. When alone I don't have to be as concerned about getting shot (or shooting someone). Don't have to worry about the ethics of the other hunters (many don't adhere to the same code), it's just simpler. It is a time for the dog and me to be alone in nature, sitting and observing. I am very comfortable being out with the dog and no one else. I will admit to enjoying gathering back at the camp or whatever after the hunt, but, at least when dove hunting I prefer to hunt alone. Any other loners out there or do ya'll go into the field for the camaraderie?