economical to hunt birds for meat," Dick agreed. "Especially not when
you come from Houston to Oregon to do it. It sure is a mighty fine day, though!
Look at that country!"
On both sides of
the Bear Creek Valley the mountains were capped with fresh snow, bright in the
morning sunlight that streamed through patchy cumulus clouds. Beyond the clouds
the rain-washed sky was a brilliant blue.
quail country," Dick said. "So this is where they hang out."
Bill said. "We'll find out. I'll believe it when I see it."
sloshed across a creek and climbed the bank of slippery mud, slithered under an
old barbed-wire fence and started west over rolling hills. There were patches
of poison oak and star thistle all along the way. The Brittany worked out
ahead, quartering at a full run, checking every patch of buckbrush and
manzanita, every willow thicket and rocky draw.
elevation?" Dick asked.
"How high we
the birds go a long way up. But maybe not in this weather."
Bill was serious,
looking out over the country, carefully watching the dog. "Have you
actually seen mountain quail around here?" he asked Rob.