The other morning as I was walking the dogs around my neighborhood, I saw not one, but two sets of paired-up bobwhites scurrying amongst the edge cover along the road, plus I could hear several other males voicing their plaintive desire for female companionship. It was an encouraging sign.

We’ve gotten a decent bit of rain this spring, things have greened up nicely, and while the bugs are playing hell with my garden, I’m hoping all the new cover and insects will give a desperately-needed boost to this year’s hatch. And I’m not alone in keeping my fingers crossed.

After last year’s blast-furnace spring and summer (and fall, for that matter) across much of the nation, many of us fervently hoped things would get better, because they couldn’t get a helluva lot worse, at least in my part of the world.

But what about yours? I know it’s probably a little early for state wildlife departments to be releasing spring call counts or roadside survey results, but what are you hearing about bird numbers in your neck of the woods? Don’t worry, I’m not trying to do any Internet scouting, but I am curious to know the relative health of the gamebirds in your area. For the eastern and northern guys, how are your ruffed grouse and woodcock coverts looking? How are the prairie birds doing up north? Any southwest desert quail hunters out there looking forward to the season with optimism? Dread?

Ok, so maybe I am doing just a bit of Internet scouting. I hunt mainly Oklahoma and Kansas, and I have one extended bird-hunting trip to Montana planned this fall, but I’m intrigued with the idea of loading up the dogs and taking a road trip somewhere other than here, somewhere completely outside my zone of familiarity, but preferably somewhere with a few birds. Hence my curiosity about the current status of the birds near you. So do you think it’d be worth it for me to pack up and come hunt your spot (in the figurative sense, not the literal) this fall?