What a day

You’d think with a title like that, I’d have lots of pictures of dogs and birds. Not a chance, since I decided to leave my camera at home. But it was fun all the same.

The hunt started last evening when Greg called and left a message that he was ready to chase chukars the next day. I took my time in calling him back, knowing that if I didn’t really milk my injuries he was going to take me to some steep, rocky and miserable mountain. So on my return call I really laid it on thick. If I may say so, I was brilliant.

He gave in and promised me an easy hunt for today. Easy to Greg and most other people are totally different. It was going to be a long side by side ride on a two track road, but he felt I’d be pretty happy once we got there. At first he wanted me to put on a blindfold, but I promised it would be our secret. A little hint though. We crossed the Idaho border into Oregon before we unloaded the rig. Sorry, but he swore he’d leave me on the mountain the next time we went if I let the cat out of the bag.

Although it wasn’t a cake walk, it was much better on my back and leg than my early hunts this month. Greg pointed me up one drainage and headed for the next a mile or so away. I took the easy way up the mountain. A trail up the dry creek. There were loads of tracks from chukar and deer, but all we managed to find was a couple of does. I finally got out of the draw and on the top of a ridge and it didn’t take long before I knew I should have been up there sooner. Things started happening and they weren’t all good. At snow level there were tracks everywhere and I could hear birds calling from above.

Then it happened. I heard the distant flush of a covey of chukar. I looked on the next ridge over and there they were, flying with Grady in hot pursuit. I don’t know if he figured the puss of an old man he was hunting with couldn’t make it over there anyway so he’d just chase the birds. And it wasn’t long before Jake joined in. I watched the two of them chased birds as if they didn’t know what pointing meant. A tone on the collars got them coming back. And they were right, I couldn’t have made it across to that ridge.

Once they got back on the same mountain that I wanted to hunt things started to go better. They still busted a few covey’s that they shouldn’t have, but they also provided some pretty good shooting with some awesome points.

Meanwhile, I hadn’t heard a shot coming from Greg’s direction. Not a surprise though. He’s aging much more graceful than me. He brought out his side by side 20 gauge shotgun that was not only quieter than mine, but much lighter. In fact, I never heard another shot but mine the whole day.

After a little over four miles, my leg said it was time to head for the rig. As I came over the last hill, I could see Greg and the girls at the side by side. When he beats me back, that usually means he’s already got his limit. I never knew for sure but he bragged on some good dog work and some fine retrieves and I figured the number of birds didn’t matter. Besides, I didn’t have a camera to show off with.

All loaded up we head back on the two track road. Greg told me to look up ahead at the deer standing off to the left. As we got closer we noticed that she was feeding with a ewe. Maybe they do that often, but it was a first for me. When I commented on wishing I hadn’t left my camera at home, he reached in his jockey box and pulled out his phone. We turned off the side by side and they seemed oblivious to us. They just kept on feeding.

They weren’t but forty yards away. As Greg was taking pictures, I looked to the left and here comes a nice four point buck walking straight at us. It soon became clear that he couldn’t care that we were there either. It was the doe he was interested in. He walked straight towards us as if to let us know that was his girl.

The ewe just moved out of the way as to let nature take it’s course. The only thing that could have been cooler is if a big ram would have showed up also. What a ball! But the fun day wasn’t over yet.

Just after I got my gear unloaded at home, Barb told me to come look at the two white tail bucks out in the front yard. The one feeding in the drive way was the smaller of the two.

The bigger boy wouldn’t offer us a picture, but had fun beating up our Spruce tree. If you look real hard you can see a much better rack on this boy. They are out there now trying to get some does interested in them.

You know that old saying “that it don’t get much better than this”? I’m sure that it does, but a day like this sure helps me sleep with a smile at nights.

Here’s to hoping you all have good outings like this.

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.

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