For the most part, when I hunt chukar, it is by myself. The sole exception is my son, Doug, and grandson, Conner. It’s not because I don’t like hunting with people, but it’s more for safety and success reasons along with everyone’s walking pace is different through the steep chukar country. I’ve heard the frustrations of other hunters when a dog bumps a covey of birds up the mountain a couple hundred yards away and I remember the days when I got frustrated about it myself. But over the years I’ve learned that for every covey of birds the dogs bump they point hold at least three more covey for me to shoot at. Conditions for the dogs aren’t always perfect, so I just dismiss the unfortunate incidents knowing that in time things will work out for me and the dogs.
That being said, there is nothing like driving to a hunting spot or camping with another hunter or hunters. Sitting around the camp fire or the truck ride back home have become a big part of the fun. Talking dogs and hunting stories are part of the hunt. We never seem to run out of great stories.
But there are many times I do get to hunt with others. Those hunts just don’t involve the dogs. I enjoy those hunts almost as much as I enjoy watching my pups work. The exciting vibes from others is just like watching my boys get excited. It’s contagious.
Over the years, I’ve been involved in hundreds of hunts with others for deer, elk, turkeys, coyotes, ducks and many other animals and I can’t remember a one that wasn’t full of some kind of exciting drama. The laughs and disappointments have been many. But they all have good memories. So whenever I get invited on one of these hunts I’m fired up for another adventure.
This weekend was one of those times. Greg Munther was in the area and hunting turkeys with his grand son Tanner. They invited me along. Greg and I have hunted chukars several times together but always head in separate ways when we get to our hunting locations, so being able to actually walk the mountain with him was going to be fun. Greg is 77 years old and still chases chukars so I’m always ready to learn how he stays in such good shape and keeps such a fun attitude about hunting.
Fortune was on our side and we got to hear several different birds early in the morning but they didn’t cooperate. I’ve been involved in over a hundred successful turkey hunts and I still get excited when I hear a bird and still get the shakes when I know one is coming in. Even if I’m not the shooter. When it finally came together, I got the shakes again. When Tanner pulled the trigger on his first turkey the bird dropped in his tracks. High fives were distributed as we walked to the dead long beard.
My excitement became even greater as I listened to Tanner describe the bird. He pointed out the beautiful colors in the feathers and other aspects of the bird. Things that I had forgotten to appreciate over the years. We had three different stories to tell of what we heard as the bird approached and watched him strut. I had a different angle than Tanner so I could see him strutting from behind a bush when Tanner couldn’t see him well but I didn’t get to see his final strut as he walked into the open for Tanner.
I know it’s a hunt I’ll never forget and the camaraderie we have will be there forever. The knowledge this old fart has is never ending and the excitement of a new hunter is infective.
Thank you Greg and Tanner for inviting me on such a great time.