Chukars and what to expect this Spring

As I type this blog, there are four days remaining in the Idaho and Oregon chukar seasons. I’m hoping to make the best of them with Jake and Grady. After reading a post from Katherine Thompson on the Upland Idaho Bird Hunters site, I was encouraged to post my view of the chukar numbers in western Idaho and eastern Oregon going into the Spring. In short I believe there are great number of resilient chukars left for seed.

Katherine posted some pictures of her Brittany’s with the comment that she hated to see the season close because it had been so much fun. She also mentioned that it was a rough beginning to the season as far as finding birds but with a little work and sweat she started finding more birds and sometimes a lot. Much of it was due to the help of her one year old, Merlin, who shows lot’s of promise.

It hasn’t been that long since I have visited with some other gentlemen who usually do a lot of chukar hunting but quit pursuing chukars/huns because they thought the numbers were down for the year. Now, I admire them for doing what they thought was the right thing, but I question whether they still have that burning desire for the chukar country. I know stories like Katherines motivate me to get out on the mountain to find some of those covey’s. Her picture of Merlin’s dad at 11 years old doesn’t hurt my motivation either.

There are several others that post much success on this late season. I see their posts and pictures quite often. Scott Fuller, Dustin Stevenson and Holly Higgins are a few that come to mind but there are several more that provide some positive outlooks for chukar hunting.

All in all, I think the bird numbers were at least average, if not better. I don’t know if it was because of the very late hatches that some were not finding birds early or, if people’s honey holes just weren’t producing and it became futile to look any further. But I know of several chukar hunters that usually put lots of miles on gave up the hunt early. In some cases a few of the usually die hard chukar hunters quit early and traveled east where the quail numbers were reported as high. I can’t blame a guy for that, but it sure left lots of untouched ground for people like Katherine and myself. Jake, Grady and I are having more days like this than I can remember in January.

Plus, knowing there are that many birds out there, It gives me plenty of opportunity to capture some pictures and try to keep up with Katherine.

Good luck to everyone on the final days of the hunt and keep your fingers crossed for a productive Spring.

Published by jakeandgrady

Hunting has been a favorite past time for me for 55 years but the last twenty five years I have been consumed by chukar hunting and more specifically chukar hunting with fantastic dogs. In this blog I hope to pass on any information I can about chukar hunting but more than anything I want to showcase what will probably be my last two chukar dogs, Jake and Grady. I am 70 years old, Jake is 8 and Grady is 3 and I'm hoping to stay on the chukar mountain until I am 80 when Grady will be fetching my final chukars.

6 thoughts on “Chukars and what to expect this Spring

  1. Larry, the chukar/hun/quail hunting is terrible and everyone should stay home and watch football, read a book or listen to a podcast. There is no birds out there! 🙂 All kidding aside, what a great year it has been I know I will be cashing in some PTO to follow Breezy the last few days. Then its time to get ready for the Meleagris gallopavo!

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  2. Consistently successful chukar hunters all have one thing in common – they know how to find the birds. It makes no difference how many miles are walked or how many feet in elevation are climbed if you can not figure out where the birds are. Old duck hunters have a saying “you’ve got to go where the ducks want to go” That applies to all hunting and fishing. A few know how to adapt and change and most never figure it out. Hunting has absolutely NO impact on chukar populations.

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  3. My season started out real slow. Keep in mind once chukar hunting opens in October that is pretty much all I hunt every chance I get. 1% of my season total was in October, 10% in November, 30% in December, and 59% of my take happened in January. My conclusion is that I kept on finding new spots that held birds and once I found a really good general area in December I pretty much hunted different hills in that general area and kept on finding birds. The mild winter definitely had a major role in my success as did the improvement of my dog and my shooting throughout the season.


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