I had the great opportunity to get down south and see a unique side of Arizona with my good friend Dave Brown. Dave run Dave Brown Outfitters and spends his summers in Canada guiding fly fishing and upland hunting trips for Hungarian patridges while in the winter he beelines it for Arizona and guides for Mearns quail in Southern Arizona. (I look forward to doing a full writeup on his operation in a few weeks but his official site can be found here with many of his photos also posted here.)
Last year was an extremely tough year for Mearns in Arizona and this year was only slightly better, but having spent all of my time in the field chasing Gambel’s, Dave’s offer to come hunt Mearns was very enticing. We met early and hunted late and as hard as we worked, the dogs worked even harder. We moved a couple of birds first thing in the morning, but they gave us the slip and left us empty handed. In the eleventh hour, good ol’ Sammy boy slammed on point with his tail as up, straight as an arrow. As we walked up to cover, a bird jumped up and both of us fired as one more flushed and scurried over the ridge. You know you’re dealing with a good guy when he tells you that the bird was all yours. I know better and realize we both probably put lead into him, but I was very happy to be holding a beautiful Mearns rooster. Dave Brown is a class act and his love and pride in his pups is evident with how hard they work for him.