Still learning

Because of the heat my dogs and I have resorted to drives and reading. I’m sure glad we have a good air conditioner in the truck. We took a long drive over to one of the lakes to see if there was a line of chukars going to water but no luck. We did see some blue green algae which most everyone knows is a great concern for dog owners. It seems awful early to me but it’s there so take care. I can’t say that I have ever seen it on stagnant ponds across the hill but I’m sure it exist there also. If anyone has had any experience with the algae on those old cattle ponds please let us know.

I did have a nice conversation with a local rancher in the area. Although he said he hadn’t seen many birds on his rides, he wasn’t surprised. He said he wasn’t seeing much of anything. The animals have disappeared with the hot summer and that included his cows. He pointed out a mountainside that normally holds cattle this time of the year but they have moved on to better forage. They have scattered more than normal. Although he said he couldn’t remember such a long run of heat he was sure that once the cooler weather comes the animals and cows will come home to their normal play grounds.

I also looked through some past studies trying to find how this extreme heat affects chukars. It seems that most studies were done in the 50s and 70s. I also found a study in Utah from just a few years ago. what I was looking for more than anything else was, the effects of this heat on chukars. Here’s pretty much what I came up with.

Aridity seems to be the dominant factor. In the areas of India where chukars thrive, rainfall is 5 inches per year. The climate there is subject to great extremes in temperature. There is never a mention of where they get water or how far they travel to get it but it seems that this is the kind of weather the birds thrive in. Areas that get more than 20 inches of rainfall or more the birds don’t do well.

I keep reading of how tolerant chukars are to extreme heat so that is a positive note after what this summer has dealt us. The two main areas in India where chukars do best the mean temperature of July and August are 73 degrees to 74 degrees. To the best of my ability it looks like parts of Nevada, California, Oregon and Idaho mimic those temperatures.

This year in southwest Idaho that mean temperature has been 78 degrees. I can’t imagine 4 degrees making much difference from what I read.

I’m trying hard to keep it positive. I know this type of scouting is a lot easier on me and the dogs than trying to find birds in this heat. Keep faith and be careful of that algae. There are some fun days to come.

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.

5 thoughts on “Still learning

  1. If this year turns out slim for chukars it will be joined by a slim shotgun shell year. Sporting good dealers are still selling shotguns but the shelves are bare of shotgun shells, except slugs. If this continues, some of us will be using BB steel for huns and chukars and it won’t be pretty. Must be reassuring you are reloading your own.


      1. To give time for things to cool off, Im heading to AK in a week for another 8 day float trip and high temps are in the 50s.
        Then about Sept 3 head to Colo for an archery elk hunt where the elk habitat starts at 10,000 and goes up so shouldnt be to hot there either. Then to birds. Dogs will be ready as will I.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Message: Larry,
    Thank you for your scouting reports, research, and heads up on the algae. I haven’t gotten out as much as you, but recently went on a camping trip and saw more grouse than I had seen in several years. It may have been random luck, but was encouraging. The quail seem to be thriving, as you have observed. It’s been too hot for me to have my dog out on the chukar slopes. We have seen several Hun coveys during our local hikes and they have had young birds. This will be the second season for my young Pudelpointer and I’m really looking forward to it. She did really well last year, especially for her first year out. I just tried to keep it fun and keep her excited about birds, which wasn’t difficult at all. This summer we focused on solidifying “here,” “whoa,” “heel,” and trained retrieve. We had some access to training pigeons recently and she did fantastic. Can’t wait for Chukar season. Would be fun to see you in the field someday. Hope you have a great season.


  3. Thanks for the report Tim. I like what you are seeing. Good luck with your Pudelpointer. Sounds like she is doing quite well. It would be great to see you in the field some day. If you ever see my truck, (license plates “tuckota”) make sure you leave a note. With the price of diesel going up, I’ll be doing a lot more camping for longer hunts this season.


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