It seems like even when I’m just sitting at home watching a football game, chukar and dogs are on my mind. When I checked my voice mail there was a message from a gentleman in Nevada wondering if I ever had a bad day or if there are that many birds in Idaho. The simple answer is yes on both questions.
First off, I have many bad days. But it’s no fun writing or reading about those bad days. They don’t picture well either. It’s not fun telling people about the days my dogs acted like they didn’t know what they were on the mountains for or how many birds they flushed wild. How exciting is it to see a picture of me and the dogs standing by the truck with no birds? Trust me, it happens a lot more than I like to admit.
Second, yes there are lot’s of chukars in this northern state from Nevada. But I don’t think there are more than usual. I’ve hunted Nevada and found good numbers of birds there also. Not this year but in past years. It’s been a real strange year in Idaho and eastern Oregon. There have been many familiar hunting locations where I have found birds in past years and can’t even find a dropping this year and many areas that usually don’t hold many birds that are loaded this year. The weather has just moved birds this year as well as big game animals. I know this isn’t chukars but I’ll use the elk herd from around my house as an example.
Normally, in Sept. and Oct. we watch the elk during the rut high on the mountain behind us and in December and January they are down in our back yard. This year they were in our back yard bugling and you can’t find one now. I can’t explain for sure why but this year is very different than the past twenty five. I’m not talking about just a few elk but between two and three hundred usually winter here.
The same has been true for the chukars I have hunted. I am finding them on northern slopes I usually can’t even stand on this time of the year. Their crops are full of green shoots that are everywhere on the mountain. The northern slopes have more cover than the parched southern slopes from the hot summer we had. I’m finding birds on both sides of the mountain but finding cooperative birds is pretty hard on the barren south slopes.
So the answer to the number of chukars in Idaho is relative to the amount of energy a body has. If you don’t mind humping it a little more than on normal years, you’ll probably find the birds. My problem has been the energy part. My dogs have it, but I have a hard time humping over that next ridge. Thus a lot of those less productive days that I don’t post about.
Although I still find a way to have fun on those unproductive days it’s just not much to write about. Fact is, yes I was unsuccessful but usually yes I saw plenty of birds that out smarted us.
Here’s some pictures of some good looking dogs doing there thing down In Utah.
And a picture of a local poodle pointer showing some success.