Monday, December 21, 2009


It was brought to my attention recently about a chukar hunter from Washington who died from an accident on the hill. I t seems he slipped on some snow covered ice and fell over a rock embankment. When he was found his dog was by his side.

Chukar hunters hunt a lot by themselves. There are many things you can do to minimize the risks while out there by yourself but plan for your safe return before you go. Always let someone know where you are going and don't deviate from the plan. Even if you suddenly remember that hot spot. Those birds will still be there another day. Have a plan with your wife or whom ever you have left the information with. I always take a two way radio with me and let the person know which channel I am on. That way if you're are not back at the given time, someone can get close to your location and possibly get a hold of you. Carry extra batteries for your radio.

Always carry fire starter, flashlight, whistle. extra jacket, or any of the other essential emergency things when hunting alone. You never know when you will need them. You can go a life time and never use them, but have an emergency happen just once without them and you may not be around to appreciate them the next time. There is also the SPOT emergency system that I will have with me next hunting season. It's a little expensive but still way worth the relief it can give you and your loved ones.

Hunting alone is never advisable but happens quite often for a variety of reasons. I happen to be retired and don't have any retired friends that like to chase chukars. The younger chukar hunters are still holding down jobs five days a week, so if I want to go during the week it's by myself. So I have to use my head. As I said I let some one know of my plans and don't deviate. Now once I'm at my hunting area I need to restrain myself from going to those unsafe places. Places like the rock cliffs, steep icy hill sides, and rock slides are areas to stay away from. As a hunter you know when it's not a safe area to access under certain weather conditions. If it's questionable stay away and hunt something different. The birds will be there for another day. If it's too dangerous for you or your dog you shouldn't be there any way. There are a few places where chukars go and should be left alone. Leave them be and hunt the huntable ones.

Chukar hunting is tough enough as it is. Leave the mountain climbing to the mountain climbers and billy goats. When I think about going to those questionable places because the chukars are there I think of my grandchildren and make the right turn to another mountain side.

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