Sitting at home watching a steady rain coming down, I’m wondering about the chukar hatch. The negative part of my brain says that any chick hatched in the last week will surely get wet and die. The positive side of my brain says that the grass is so thick and laying down providing dry spots for the hen to protect her chicks. Also in my researches over the past couple of decades, I believe 90% of the first hatch is past this date so we still could have a fantastic first hatch. But, those biologist that are much more knowledgeable than I say the mean date for the first hatch is June 10th. That means that half of the chicks are on the ground now and at least 50% of those are in the critical first week stage. Not a good deal.

So, we’re at that critical point, but only for the first hatch. If I’m right, most of the hens are still sitting on nests and the hatch will be coming soon. The weather is supposed to start being more favorable starting tomorrow and successful hatch rate should improve dramatically from that point on. If I’m wrong and most of the hatch is sooner than I believe, then we have to hope that the total clutch dies. If only one chick survives, then the hen does not renest but spends the rest of the summer raising that one bird.

The second hatch almost has to be very good. The cover will still be very good and the insects will be around all summer. There will be more natural springs this year than we have had for many years, which will help all the wildlife.

Either way, the hunting season should be average at the worst and if the hatch is just starting the season should be above average or even very good. It’s going to be hard to get any good numbers until the season actually begins this year. The cover is so thick it’s going to be hard to find the birds. Half of my scouting is done with binoculars and spotting scopes which will be useless for chukars in later July and August.

Another real downer, especially for the out-of staters is the price of fuel. I filled my truck up with diesel for the coming up camping trip and it cost a little over $260 dollars. It’s a 48 gallon tank, but that’s still ridiculous. I’ll be doing a lot more camping this season to cut down on day trips of 250 miles or so. I’ll do my best to give an honest opinion of the bird numbers for those hunters coming over to Idaho from those states to the east.

The mountains look beautiful for this time of the year, but it’s still a crap shoot an guessing bird numbers.

Just rambling.

A few pictures from yesterdays walk.

These two buck have pretty good growth for this early in the growing season. A good sign of the nutrition out there for the animals.

Notice how high the vegetation is. Usually the cows are moved into this range by now but they probably can’t keep up with what they have wherever they are now.

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.

4 thoughts on “Rain

  1. These fuel prices are even going to make it tough on the “in-staters”, too. I’m looking at making my 2-4 day trips into 5-7 days. Let’s see gonna have to add another dozen eggs, 2lbs bacon, 20 instead of 10 gallons of wtr and etc. oh! And an entire 40lb bag of dog food. 4 hounds can eat their weight in a short time.

    Hopefully as you mentioned the timing during this rain will have worked out for the hatches…one thing for sure is there will be cover, bugs, and wtr which we were short of last yr.


  2. I wouldn’t worry about young birds being affected by a single day rain event unless there was flooding or a cold rain. Hens do a good job of keeping their chicks dry. Chicks have to eat every 4-5 hrs. Any longer than that and the hen can’t keep control of them and they leave her protection. So if there’s a break in the rain to allow feeding, they’ll be just fine.

    I’m coming out in October so I have to believe there’ll be plenty of birds!


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