Dove hunting with the boys, next up is a search for
Odds and ends
A lengthy dove report really isn’t needed from me, and
really, what can you say about whacking little birds that are a pain to hit and
even more difficult to down, made even more challenging when saddled with using
steel shot? Dove hunting can be frustrating for the average shooters like a weekend golfer, but if
you have the right attitude, it’s a helluva lot of fun, plain and simple. The
best part, of course, is just “going” and hanging with the regular group and
catching up with each other’s lives.
Each year I have the pleasure of hunting with Bart Hall, Tim
Baker and Mike Lum of Fred Hall & Associates and the American Sportfishing
Association, and their cast of industry friends and characters, and each year
we gather at the 28,000-acre Tejon
Ranch where no lead ammo is allowed.
It’s a long drive from San Diego and a mid-week opener this
year made it tough for some of us who make the annual pilgrimage. However, the
fine cigars and scotch, laughs among friends and the chance to bunk at the
400-foot elevation Tejon Ranch lodge
among rolling hills and oaks with views past Bakersfield is worth all
efforts to make it happen. We are, indeed a lucky bunch. It takes a while to get
down to the birds in the almond groves, about 45 minutes down a dirt road.
In a nutshell, the hunting in the morning was slow, but the
weather was far cooler than normal, even chilly at dawn, but in the afternoon
the heat picked up and the Tejon almond fields produced their usual afternoon
yield of dive bombers. I came up one bird short of a 10-bird limit with two
spent boxes to show for it, but I did pretty well at the end of the afternoon
shoot. As long as I improve, I’m a happy camper. I hope all you folks had a great hunt, and grabbed all your
Odds and ends:
Brad Schweit is the new
WON BASS Editor. He’ll be assisted on the editorial front by our man in the
north, longtime WON BASS contributor Bill Mays.
Considering we’re finally getting a tuna season, it would seem strange that I’m going
to be in a Catalina marlin tournament Sept. 17-18 at a time when THAT fishery has been, well,
nonexistent in SoCal waters. The
recent Church Mouse marlin tourney had not ONE eligible fish, and limited signups for
the Zane Grey and Catalina Classic (www.catalinaclassic.com) are enticing organizers to revamp rules
(such as expanding fishing areas as fish move up the line). The Pescadores tourney is
grounded on a lack of seriousness, so the Peskys should be a “success” no
It’s good to see trailerboaters making the run to the Coral Marina to get at the
tuna bite 10 miles outside Isla Todos Santos. Still no decision here on whether
we will do a tourney there next year. This would have been a lousy year to
bring it back unless it was a bass tourney.
At Wonews.com we’re
putting daily reports and will add more and more in the coming months. Plus
some other changes. Check ‘em out. These are short hits. Blogs and longer stories will continue to be put up in longer versions.
Pat McDonell is editorial director of WON and director the Catalina and Cabo tourneys, and can be
reached at Pat@wonews.com.
THE BART HALL/Fred
Hall & Associates gang of
nefarious shooters descended on Tejon Ranch’s almond groves over the
opener and found the best shooting was the afternoon of opening day. The
morning was fairly slow, but the ranch shoots best every year in the afternoon,
so it’s no surprise. WON PHOTO BY PAT McDONELL
Pat McDonell holds up five birds on the afternoon shoot. He managed only nine
on the day, and was darn happy to get that many of the birds. He did allow that
“at the last half hour of the afternoon shoot I was “halfing,” half hitting and