Saturday, April 21, 2012

Quail Hunting Scare

     Setting his shotgun against a branch, he rolls up his sleeves and pushes the wide brimmed mesh sided hat aside to wipe the sweat off of his brow. He is surprised at how quickly the cool of the morning gives way, and the sun turns into a heat lamp. The "dry heat" of Southern Arizona felt like a furnace even this far into the middle of October. It has been two hours since leaving the truck and he has not seen a quail yet. The only evidence that any one else exists out here are the occasional empty back packs, blankets, clothes, and garbage that the illegals seem to leave everywhere when they cross the border. He had heard about the border crossers, but can't shake the question of why people who have nothing would leave such a variety valuable items just laying out in the desert to rot.

     He stopped to rest under a large mesquite tree on the top of a ridge line to scan the two canyons below and take a sip of water. His sharp ears listen for the soft call of the Gamble's quail he is hunting. Not hearing any calls he takes another swig water, picks up his shotgun and starts slowly winding through the cactus and thorny brush down into the next canyon. At the bottom he decides to follow the tire tracks in the bottom of a small dry wash that winds deeper into the canyon hoping to find a small watering hole to hunt around. He was new to Southern Arizona, but had done his research and knew that quail needed water to survive, and thought maybe another hunter knew about a water hole up this wash a way.
     Around a bend and a hundred yards up the wash the tire tracks lead him to a small nondescript black SUV tucked way back up under the brush and barely visible at the side of the stream. The older model SUV was fairly clean and looked to be in good condition, so he was worried that the driver was injured from an accident. He runs up to the vehicle, sets his shotgun on the ground, and unsuccessfully tries to peer through the tinted windows. Still worried that someone may be injured inside he tries the door and finds it unlocked. He looks in to find that the SUV is packed so full of small brown paper and plastic wrapped packages that the absent driver must have had a hard time driving it. Thinking this was odd he starts to pull out his cell phone to see if he has any service so he could call the authorities. He pushes the button on the phone and slowly turns away from the truck to get a better signal and looks into the barrel of a large silver revolver. Everything goes into slow motion as he drops his cellphone and watches as the finger pulls back on the trigger, but he never hears the shot, or sees the face of the man that kills him.
     This scenario is completely fiction, but all of the elements in it are based on how the Mexican drug cartels smuggle drugs and weapons in and out of the united states. There have been several events in Southern Arizona that solidify this as a legitimate concern for all outdoors men in this area. This type of scenario is the foremost fear in my mind when going into the field here in southern Arizona.


  1. Well if that doesn't get a point across, I don't what does!

    What an awesome story

    1. Thanks for the kind words, And thanks for being my first follower!

    2. My pleasure! You will soon be packed with them.

      Work on getting a blogroll put together. That is one this that really helped generate traffic for me.