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  • Writer's pictureMatt Smythe

Big birds. Little birds.

January has been a study in contrasts this year. I've been on several wonderful Canada Goose hunts not far from home in New Jersey. The birds in the area we hunt have been feeding on a lot of corn over the last 2 months and are lovely fat birds too. I've picked them all, which is a ton of work, but worth it. In spite of the bad reputation these geese have acquired taste-wise since the "local" populations of them have exploded in the last two decades, many of them feeding on golf course grass, they are delicious when they are on better feed like agricultural waste grains.

Last week I was down in Georgia briefly and had a great day shooting wild quail with the president of Tall Timbers, the leading quail conservation group in the US. We hunted on foot with his Brittany, Picon, my Brittany, Fox, and my pointer, Phoenix. We found 9 coveys in a morning hunt and bagged 13. We hunted at Livingston, an amazing 8000-plus acre property managed and owned by Tall Timbers. It is incredibly beautiful as you can see by the watercolor studies I have done while there.

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