Thanks. I can listen for that. Are there moorhens around here?
Moorhens and Gallinules. I have never seen one in the areas I hunt during season. The coast would be the place to hunt them. They would not be a very sporting bird to hunt, nor the best eating bird. More like hunting Coots. Though I have always thought a purple gallinule would make a cool mount.
You have probably seen Rails while Teal or Duck hunting and did not know you were looking at a Rail. I'm in N TX and all I see migrate through here are Sora and Virginia Rails. Virginia Rails are tiny. I have never shot one. I have shot several Sora Rails. They have a breast like a Dove and eat the same. Sora rails don't look like a bird you think could be hunted. They fly about like a grasshopper a short ways and drop like a rock to land. Heard the term "skinny as a rail"? They flatten out their body to be able to run through the marsh grass. So you have probably had them run away from you and never knew they where there. I usually have to make a push across an area to a natural block to get them to stop running and flush. I got out with a bird book years ago looking for them to figure them out. There are a couple small protected Rail species that migrate through so be careful. The coast would be a more popular place to hunt Rails. Up here it is migration and weather dependent. Most years in N TX I do not find a huntable population during season. Like Snipe hunting with a dog, it requires a versatile dog that has learned through experience. Not something that could easily be trained for in advance. My Vizsla Blaze would point them if they held and root them out to flush on command.
Sora Rails. And note that most of the ones I shoot in the Sept season are not fully mature birds.
When I first Snipe hunted it was before the internet. I actually went to the Dallas Museum of Natural history to see a mounted snipe in one of the displays to learn what I was looking for. I passed on a lot of Snipe those first hunts until I was certain what I was hunting the right bird. It is obvious once you figure them out, but I have seen more than one tailgate shot showing a line of dead Dowitchers posted on the forum from someone who thought they had shot a limit of Snipe. Dowitchers are probably the closest looking bird, but they have a White patch on the base of the tail. Snipe have an Orange patch at the base of the tail. Snipe have a more Quail color, fly faster and eratic, are smaller. If it is wading in water, it could be a Snipe, but is probably a Dowitcher. Snipe would more likely be on moist soil.
My Vizsla Dash with a Snipe
This is cropped from a picture someone posted on the forum long ago. These are NOT Snipe.
This is a picture from an online article about Snipe hunting. Only these are NOT Snipe. Note the white patch.
These are Snipe. Often you will notice the shoulders pointed like this in flight. Often the tail feathers will be flared out when taking off or on a turn. The sound they make taking off is said to be from the wind through the tail feathers.
Hope that helps.