Seven weeks to go until the upland bird seasons start. Used to be, I was looking forward to mountain grouse, but we're a day's drive from that hunting now and a bunch of my spots went up in the Las Conchas fire last summer. They'll probably be great in a decade or so.
Meanwhile, I've been noticing all the doves around town. We have mourning doves, whitewings, and Eurasian collared doves. Last fall, we got into all three.
From the top left, you have mourning dove, whitewing, whitewing, collared dove, and pigeon.
For below, in the front row, you have collared dove, pigeon, whitewing, collard dove, and mourning dove.
All good eats and great shooting. So, as the summer staggers on with almost enough rain, nearly too much work, and no fishing, I'll keep watching the doves on the streets and in the treetops. In just a couple of months, minus a week or so, we'll load up the dog, take a bunch of water and a cooler of drinks, and go out and see how rusty our shotgun skill have become.
If successful, we'll fire up the grill after the hunt, crack a cold beer, and toast the fall with some of the finest botanas around.