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Lake life

Ducks, deer, fish and …yes, QUAIL

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAZeek zigzagged across the field like a kid running to the tree on Christmas morning. Chris and Erin Turner spread out and raised their shotguns to waist level, waiting for Zeek to come to a stop. He did. And he came to point, and a few seconds later two zesty quail zinged up from a patch of high grass. Boom. Boom. The quail returned with a thump to the grass, much to the excitement of Zeek. He bounded to the birds, picked them up and somehwat reluctantly gave them to Rusty Cook.

Quail hunting. It isn’t something you can do any more in the woods of fields of northeast Louisiana like we used to do 40 years ago. There just aren’t many birds out there in the wild. But thanks to Rusty and folks like him that take the time to pen raise birds, cultivate great outdoor habitat and train up retrievers like Zeek and Butch, you can still enjoy some really good quail shooting in our area.  And while the shooting is fun, the eating is even more fun.

Rusty just opened a 65-acre hunting area and takes hunters on guided trips just off the banks of Bayou Bartholomew north of Bastrop. The hunting area is called BayouKONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA Bird Hunts and you can find more out about it at bayoubirdhunts.com

“My family has hunted and fished all our lives and I wanted to provide an environment where people can come, have a good time and a quality hunt and take home something that’s good to eat, Rusty said. I’ve known Rusty and his family for ages and I won’t tell how many years here. But our moms were best buddies for years. You think I can tell some fishing or hunting stories? I’m just an amateur compared to them.

Bayou Bird Hunts offers quality half-day quail hunts in open field and woodline settings during the Louisiana pen-raised bird season, which runs from October to April each year. Rusty has already had lots of interest from visiting hunters who go on guided duck hunts in the area in the morning, but then have the afternoon off from duck hunting. A quail hunt is an excellent way to fill the afternoon and keep you shooting skills warmed up for the next morning’s duck hunt! Or it’s worth a trip just for the tasty quail. He also offers seasonal dove hunts.

Bayou Bird Hunts is located at 2898 Bonner Ferry Road on the way to Bussey Brake Reservoir. Hotel accommodations are available just a few miles away as well as several great restaurants. You can reach Rusty at (318) 669-2333 or by email at rusty.cook07@yahoo.com. Cost for a half-day of hunting is $175 per hunter with a maximum of three hunters. Hunters may harvest up to 10 birds each. Hunters supply their own guns and ammunition. Cleaning of birds is also available for a small additional charge. They also have seasonal dove hunts.KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

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