First off, the rain has been a real blessing for the birds. I am sure the areas that have burnt will soon be sprouting lots of green shoots of cheat. The birds may not hold real well in these areas but they will still be visiting them for some good nutrition.
As far as chukars go, I have to say we have seen an average amount of birds in the last week or so of scouting and training. Covey's ranged from as many as 15 to twenty birds down to a half a dozen or so. Age of the birds ranged from mature to young only five weeks old or so. In my very unprofessional opinion this year looks to be a lot like last year. Maybe if Riley were still with me I might have a stronger bird forecast. Jake isn't the bird finding machine that Riley was but is getting closer with each trip to the hills.
As far as Jake goes, I wish I was half as lucky at betting on football games as I am with chukar dogs. I'd be rich. His enthusiasm and focus is already bird oriented. He is already pointing and holding point until I get to him.