Rasawek - tphphoto

Rasawek is a hunting preserve located in central Virginia between Richmond and Charlottesville.  The proprietors, Don Parks and Doug Deats, are friends of mine and I have been visiting their property for years.  Together they took a piece of land with potential and created a beautiful oasis of natural quail habitat.  They have burned, cut, plowed, planted and cultivated the land in order to reestablish the ecology needed to accomodate quail.  As a result of their effort, the property is now home to many naturally reproducing coveys of quail.  It is truly a beautiful place.  Recently, I photographed Bill MacIlwaine and his sons Andy and Wilson during their hunt at Rasawek.  Doug helped train Bill's dog Major and it was a pleasure seeing his dog work in the field.  Crystal was our guide and  we worked the Ridge beat which took us along the top of several ridges and across the small streams that bisect them.  It was a beautiful, crisp fall day -- a perfect day to be out in the woods.  As a special bonus we took Doug's dog Clem with us.  Clem is known as the "machine" at Rasawek for her efficient hunting, but she is getting on in years.  There is something special about hunting with an old dog;  everyone, including the dog, is more aware that days in the field are rare and valuable.   That day was a gem, that is for sure. Thanks to Don, Doug and Crystal for being such gracious hosts at their piece of paradise and to Bill, Andy and Wilson for sharing their time in the woods with me.

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