I enjoyed one of the finest one-day hunts of my life last Sunday. A friend and I walked through my San Diego "secret spot" for quail and everything lined up. The weather was about right, my dogs did a very nice job, there were plenty of birds, I shot very well, and when the day ended we had each collected 10 birds (about one per mile walked). Even little things went well; we found a cache of half-liter water bottles left long ago by migrants and avoided pumping water through a purifier.
During the walk out I started to wonder: so what makes this hunt special to me? I think it comes from simultaneously being successful with respect to so many challenges. Easy hunts (opening dove season or ... ) can be fun but are seldom special. But when I have to really work at it, when I have to persevere and handle each situation well, then the day glows in my memory.