Chukar solo trip

neffa3

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Apr 17, 2015
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Wenatchee
I've been desperate from some bird action this year. For whatever reasons our local chukar population tanked this year. Truly terrible #s. I had completely been blanked on finding any birds on 4 of 7 trips, and only two of the those I found chukar, the last there was only one large covey of quail.

So asked the HT resident chukar expert @JLS to point me in the right direction and I took off for parts unknown (to me).

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It was big steep country like it should be, both familiar and different. And loaded with big game. Tons of elk, mule deer (no pics), and sheep.

Notice elk herd on skyline
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Decent bull, but pretty broken on one side.
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Some Unlimited rams...
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The pup did very well, he's just over 8 months old. This was how Saturday ended. 20220115_151658.jpg
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The crusty snow tore up his legs a bit (pads were fine) and he was bleeding pretty quick and definitely not covering ground at his usual pace so we called it after a couple of hrs.
Sunday I managed to shoot a triple on the first covey, some how lost one, possibly it either tumbled or hit the ground running and went for the cliffs. Then I managed to lose one out of my vest later on, so only one made it to the car.
Poor selfie attempt.
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All and all it was the best two outings of the year bird wise for us. I will say 10+ hrs of driving for ~7 hrs of hunting ensures I won't be poaching any of Jason's spots anytime soon, but I'm very grateful he shared this on with me.

I can't help but brag on the pup a little, I never have to give him commands, he just knows what to do, we hunt silent. He's never had an e-collar on him because I find I just don't need one (though i missed out on another covey because I didn't know he was on point on the other side of a rise). He never ranges too far, always checks back and follows my lead. His retrieving regressed a bit this trip but we'll work on it. And he's just a pleasure to be around both hunting and at home.
 

SoCalhunt88

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Jan 13, 2021
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109
Our numbers are way down as well here in California, just got home from a solo trip. 6 hours behind the wheel for 4 hours of hiking, great time for thought but light on birds. Great to see the pup out getting reps.
 

Wallydeuce

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Feb 24, 2021
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1,070
Location
NV
Nice pics and another great story.

Rains came too late to help the spring chicks in southern Nevada. I was out last week and saw only 2 young birds at my honey hole. Took a pass on them. I hear it's just as bad up near Goldfield too.
 

neffa3

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Apr 17, 2015
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Wenatchee
I am open to speculation on why we went from real good numbers for many years in a row, down to just the bare bones. I have one friend who flat out refused to hunt. And I didn't hunt a couple of local coveys because I just want to leave a little seed for next year.

My guess is a combo of fire, super hot June (116), and maybe some of the bird influenza they had going around late last spring.

I felt guilty on that hun, it was in a covey of 3 and they were the only ones I saw all weekend. I hope there were more around that I wasn't seeing.
 

Wallydeuce

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Feb 24, 2021
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I am open to speculation on why we went from real good numbers for many years in a row, down to just the bare bones. I have one friend who flat out refused to hunt. And I didn't hunt a couple of local coveys because I just want to leave a little seed for next year.

My guess is a combo of fire, super hot June (116), and maybe some of the bird influenza they had going around late last spring.

I felt guilty on that hun, it was in a covey of 3 and they were the only ones I saw all weekend. I hope there were more around that I wasn't seeing.
They're usually are. Bastards. The only game bird that can kill a man. Heart attack chasing them.
 

Southern Elk

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You really need to up your shotgun game, if you want to run with the big dogs!;)
#snobbyshotgunsrule
 

neffa3

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Wenatchee
You really need to up your shotgun game, if you want to run with the big dogs!;)
#snobbyshotgunsrule
Now here is where I strongly disagree with some on here. For snooty ditch parrot shoots, maybe, but for chukar, when you've scaled a couple 1,000 feet side hilling across a talus field of softballs, I need 3 shots and I need to be able to get them off in under 2 seconds, because your opportunity for revenge is very slight, and I intend to make the most of it.
 
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Southern Elk

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Now here is where I strongly disagree with some one here. For snooty ditch parot shoots, maybe, but for chukar, when you've scaled a couple 1,000 feet sidehilling across a talus field of softballs, I need 3 shots and I need to be able to get them off in under 2 seconds, because you opportunity for revenge is very slight, and I intend to make the most of it.
Stay tuned. I'm sure someone will be along shortly to show you the error of your ways. @JLS @Ben Lamb
 

neffa3

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Apr 17, 2015
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Wenatchee
Stay tuned. I'm sure someone will be along shortly to show you the error of your ways. @JLS @Ben Lamb
See the key with @JLS, and where he and I diverge, is that he actually hits the birds he shoot at, so two shots isn't restrictive to the revenge goal. I on the other hand am quite capable of neigh raising a ruffle of a feather on a covey of a dozen or more at a mere 10 paces with all three of my shots, but certainly my first (a sporting warning shot), usually my second (after trying too hard to make up for the first miss), and certainly my third (they're out of range idiot).
 

44hunter45

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Aug 14, 2019
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North Idaho
Mind you don't bring a rockchuck home with you.
I came through the canyons on my way home last Sunday and couldn't get my mind off chasing birds.
I can missed 'em with them best of them.
 

Salmonchaser

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Nov 12, 2019
Messages
1,061
Well I’m still hanging out in Tucson and missed most of the season, only went a couple times on the snake before we left. I keep looking up at the Catalina mountains and whimpering like my shorthairs. “Cat” said I can stay home and hunt them all season if I want next year. Something about how she said it though.....
I’ve broken three bones, leg, hand and rib hunting chucker. Cosmetically ruined every double gun I’ve ever owned, understand now why god invented synthetic stock Benelli. Revenge is my only motivation, eating them gives me bad gas!
Most of our favorite spots had very few birds, fires and an exceptional hot summer played a roll I think. One of ODFW bios is a neighbor I’ll check with him, see what he thinks when I get home.
53 or 54 years hunting them, seen the population tumble many times and bounce back. My guess is with the tough winter in chucker country, next year could be slow.
Give me a call after elk season we’ll go find some.
 
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