Those of you who have been here before know what most weeks of the year look like at Burnt Well. It typically involves riding, cattle work, feeding, checking waters, and honing skills in the arena, or it’s a week of camping out on the trail during a cattle drive. But occasionally, our bunkhouse looks more like a hunting lodge and is taken over by a covey of Quail hunters. When this group of friends from Iowa started coming to Burnt Well in 2008 it was made up of only a few men and their hunting dogs. They added one or two more men to their group when they made return trips in 2009 and 2011, and this year, we got to meet most of their wives when they came along for the fun too. There were so many of them, 13 in all, that they spilled over into the Casita. I think ladies decided to make it a true vacation, one that involves sleep, and claimed the Casita all for themselves…no men allowed! It was a really fun week and they were great company! Since this was a non-typical week for us, I decided to ask them a few questions during dessert one night and share their answers with you.

Why did you choose Burnt Well?

Don, who set up their first trip in ’08, said that they originally chose us because of our location and terrain. This area of New Mexico provides more of a challenge when hunting, because there isn’t much brush cover, allowing the Quail to spot them from farther away, forcing them to step up the stealth factor. Our region is also home to different species than the quail they have back home. He said that what keeps them coming back is the hospitality…and the warmer weather doesn’t hurt either! The ladies agreed with his last statement and added that they were really enjoying the accommodations, specifically the hot tub, and really liked that even though they were in the middle of nowhere, they could still go “shopping” in the Bunkhouse Gift Shop.

Ladies, what does your day look like?

All of the ladies went along on the hunt in the morning, and Sherri and Derry carried rifles and hunted Quail too. They also went horseback riding, spent a lot of time in the hot tub, and enjoyed all of their “girl time”, getting to catch up on life and gushing about their children and grandkids!

How successful has your hunt been this year?

The drought over the past several years has impacted the number of Quail in this area, but they are starting to gain in numbers again. This year they killed between 50-60, which is a lower number than they would get when hunting in states that haven’t been as affected by the drought.

What is your favorite way to prepare Quail?

Everyone pointed to Ed and said he had the best recipe. He likes to debone the breasts and layer them with brown sugar, cream cheese, and chopped jalapenos. Then he sandwiches them together and wraps them in bacon, sprinkles some sea salt on the top and grills them. Is your mouth watering yet? It sounds delicious! Sherri also had a favorite recipe that is a hit with the group as well. She cuts the meat up into cubes and browns them, then smothers them in Sweet Baby Ray’s Raspberry Chipotle Sauce.

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