Santa Anna Hunting Area

This was a great hunt out by Coleman, Texas.  It was yet another TYHP hunt.  We were getting to go for pheasant and chukar.  Chukar is a little like a partridge.  My dad’s tried it before, and he says it’s great– like quail, but king size.

Friday 10/16/15:

We arrived at the Santa Anna Hunting Area at about 4 in the evening.  There was one other person and a Huntmaster there.  (The Huntmasters are the people who run the hunts.)  We set up the tent.  It was a pretty windy day, so that didn’t help, and it took a while.  By the time we were done, most of the other people had showed up.

Once most of the people were there, including the head Huntmaster, we did some skeet shooting.  There was a big field with tall grass over my head (I’m 5’6″) where we would be shooting the birds, right outside of camp.  There was a skeet thrower on the edge of that field, and it threw those clays until well after sundown for us to vaporize with lead shot.

I didn’t do too great.  We figured out later that my shotgun was too short for me and needed a thicker pad, which helped a lot when we tried it.

We shot until well after sundown, and then we had dinner.  It was a stew with chicken and vegetables, and there was some candy for us, too.

While we ate, we watched a safety video about where to point your gun, how to carry it safely, etc. etc.  We also learned that upland game hunting is where the most gun-related hunting accidents happen, or at least with bird hunting.  This is because you are walking in a broadside line with loaded guns.  You have to be very careful.

We talked for a little bit after the video, and then went to bed.  I was pretty comfortable and got to sleep pretty easily.

The next morning, I got up early and got ready.  Then I went over to the campfire and started eating Poptarts.  Then they made us some egg and sausage tacos and I ate one and a bit of those.  They were pretty good.

Then our guide showed up.  There were three different groups and several different fields for us to hunt in.  Once our guide was there, we were pretty much ready to go.

We headed out into the field, which was right next to our camp, with the dogs.  I put some ammo in my gun and we started walking.

We were all wearing hunter orange.  This was important because, the grass being as tall as it was, it wouldn’t be too hard to shoot someone.  We had to maintain a broadside line, too, so the orange made it much easier to see everyone else.

We brought down most of the pheasants we saw that were in range.  Not all of them, of course, but most of them.  I got three or four.  Our group got about 12 total.

At one point, I shot at a bird and missed.  I didn’t shoot again because it was too far.  But then this other kid, who is farther from the bird than I am, just shoots and drops it!

Later, we were walking through some brush.  A hen flew up right over another guy’s head.  He shot once, twice, and then three times before it finally died.  Then I shot, a few seconds too late.  But we suspected that all four rounds hit the bird, because it had an awful lot of holes in it.

That was about it.  After all that, we went back and cleaned the birds at Eldena’s facility.  She was the landowner and was really nice.  She showed us how to clean the birds and showed us around the facility a bit.

Then we went back to camp.  We played some games that were related to hunting and conservation, and at the end of each game there was a little lesson on those sorts of things, like the fundamentals for a deer’s survival– food, water and cover– and, since it was a quail hunt, we were showed (in a game) some of the challenges quail faced.  Quail had to run out of cover, grab some food, and get back into cover without getting caught by two major threats: hawks and none other than our own common house cat.

Lucky us!  We got to be the quail.  Everybody died.

Then we just hung around the camp.  Me and a couple other guys played football and soccer until sundown.

Dinner was delicious– fried fish, fried potato wedges, and beans, I think.  I, along with two or three other people, also made dump cakes.  They were called dump cakes because you dump fruit in there, dump topping in there, and put some butter on top.  It turned out really well.

There was a big campfire.  After dinner, we all sat down around the campfire and did thorns and roses.  I mentioned this in the story for my dove hunt in October 2014.  It’s where everyone goes over what was good and what wasn’t.

As usual, there weren’t really any thorns.  Everyone enjoyed themselves.

That was about it.  The next morning, we had french toast and bacon for breakfast and went for a group photo.  Then we were done and we left.

I really enjoyed myself.  I’m looking forward to my next TYHP hunt, which is this coming weekend (11/6/15).  We’re going for deer this time, and my brother is coming with me for his first deer hunt.