Friday evening and the phone call from Greg Allen came. “Are you ready to hit them tomorrow ?” came the question. Greg and I have chased chukars together for over thirty years and I can only remember a time or two saying NO. And those times only because of the weather. This time it was because of injuries. Greg is as hard of a chukar hunter that there is and I knew we would end up going to some mountain that would not be too much fun for me. Saying no was tough but the right thing to do.
So Saturday came around and as I sat at home wondering how Greg was doing, I had two dogs giving me the sad eye. As the sun made the temperature rise I couldn’t stand it any longer. The boys were breaking me down. So I looked through my notes to see if there was an easy chukar hunt close to home. I couldn’t find one but there was a specific place that showed promise on some Hungarian Partridge. Towards the end of June this year, I found several covey’s of huns on some farm land which was surrounded by public property. I have never gone hunting just for these partridges but figured what the heck, at least the dogs will get some exercise.
It was nice not to spend $100 on diesel fuel to get to a hunting spot and I was soon parked at a likely spot to begin our hunt. As I collared the dogs I realized I had left my camera at home so I’d have to take my phone and hopefully get some shots with it. I don’t see the screen real well so the pictures I got were not the best. But I got some anyway. I love bragging on the boys.
Greg Munther would have been proud of me. Chasing Hungarian Partridge on a hill with less than a 45% slope. Huns are his bird of choice.
The Northeast slopes were still covered with snow but at least they were negotiable. It wasn’t long before Jake had a point.
It was a good covey of huns. Probably about thirty birds. But as huns usually do they took off in the direction I didn’t anticipate and I could only manage one shot. Luckily, the bird hit the ground and Jake was happy to bring the bird back to me. I had to remind myself that huns don’t exit the way that chukars do. They’ll fly straight up a hill, which is what these did. If I wanted to follow these birds I was going to have to negotiate one of those frozen slopes. Grady was already at the top of the hill waving at me to get up there because he knew where they went. I called him back, wanting to stay on the side where I could see dirt.
The decision paid off and Grady found the next bunch of birds.
I could hear the sounds of quail in the brush but wasn’t expecting what else came out on my flush. The cackle of a big ringneck surprised me and as I swung the Browning on the bird I imagined the shot but never pulled the trigger. I haven’t seen enough of these beautiful birds over the past and just believing I could have made the shot was enough.
Grady wasn’t too pleased about the ordeal but soon found another covey of birds for me to flush.
Jake stayed back to watch it all and these huns gave me the shot I liked and one hun fell for each barrel fired. Grady hurriedly picked up the closest bird while Jake retrieved the second. I was feeling a lot better about leaving the warmth of the house. Although I wasn’t on a chukar mountain, this hunt came close.
We covered the slopes for another hour and got a few more points and birds before my back said it was time to go home.
Not to often do I make good choices but this time I believe I did. Plus some hun meat will go good with the chukars. I wonder how Greg did? I’m sure he’ll be calling me about all the birds he shot on No Tellum mountain and how well they held. I’ll just have to tell him how little my hunt hurt.
Be like Greg and get out there after them. Good luck.