Friday, July 31, 2020

July update

I wish I could report more, but my recovery has been slow and getting on the hill has been a little tough. I finally did a hike of shortly over two miles on a steep chukar hill today with the dogs and was pleased with what I saw. But not too happy with how bad I hurt afterwords.

To start off with I have been getting lot's of reports from other hunters and for the most part they are positive. They have ranged from typical chick counts of 10 or so per covey to seeing a lot of mature birds already covied up. So, we're still at the glass is half full stage.

This is what I found on our two hour hike today. As you can see I'm pretty slow right now covering about a mile per hour. First off, there were some areas where the skeleton weed has taken over and there was absolutely no reason for any wildlife to be there. There is no nutritional value to this plant, even for cattle. Most of the weed I noticed was on the drive back out and it seemed to go quite a ways up the hill which might explain why I didn't see many birds on the road.

Secondly, the springs are holding more water this year and from what I saw there are plenty seeps up high in the chukar country to hold birds. Those two factors make it very possible for chukars to not be in the normal areas we hunt, but scattered more across the mountain.

Even though it was 88 degrees by the time I got back to my truck from the morning jaunt, I had a couple of points that produced some birds. One covey looked to have about ten 6 to 8 week old birds and the second had only four maybe 4 week old birds. The first covey had two adults with the chicks and the second only one. As I said, it was hot, and the rest of the birds we saw were from flushes. One covey had around ten chicks in it and as they flew over I guessed them to be about 6 weeks old. Another covey Grady bumped far down below me was quite larger with over 25 birds and I believe they were between 4 to 6 weeks old ,but from the distance of about 150 yards I could be wrong. Jake bumped a large chukar with two chicks not over three weeks old. There could have been more birds there but we quickly moved on. One other bird was sent over the top of me chuking as it flew over but I couldn't move quick enough to see it or whether it had any little ones along.

Those were the birds I saw. There might have been more that I didn't see the way Grady was covering the mountain and the lack of scent but we'll never know.

On the way out I saw two huns standing off the road and I went back with the camera hoping to flush the birds with little ones in tow. I captured the flush but it seemed like it might have been 8 to 10 full size birds. I'll look back at the film and see if I can tell. I also saw several pair of quail on the road as well as quail with little ones from bumble bee size to half grown.

I'm hoping to get stronger and have a better post around the 20th of August with some pictures and video's so check back than.

Also be prepared for lots of cheat. I've never seen it as thick as it is this year. I pulled more off my shorthairs than ever before.

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Chukar numbers

It's too early to call but I just left my leg therapist and was thrilled with what she told me. Before she met me she didn't even know what a chukar was and this weekend her boyfriend took her crappie fishing over at Brownlee reservoir. It was her first time there and her boyfriend pointed out the chukars along the reservoir. Her words were that they were everywhere and lot's of babies. Neither her or her boyfriend hunt so a "lot" could mean different for her than to chukar hunters. Still it was music to my ears.

Two other chukar hunters I know said they are seeing covey's with young birds in tow in the Hell's canyon area and also along the Salmon. Both guys were very encouraged.

Another hunter has mixed feelings right now, seeing both mature groups of chukar as well as hens with little ones.

For those chukar enthusiasts, that's an early forecast of what we might be looking at. I'll be out with my camera in about 4 weeks hoping to film lot's of great things for the upcoming season. Along with some reports from other chukar hunters I hope to bring you positive proof of a great upcoming season. Keep your fingers crossed.