Thursday, July 11, 2013

Early season forecast

Crazy Uncle Larry asked in the last post how the chukar population was doing? I have to admit to being a little lazy in this hot weather. I haven't really hit the chukar areas very hard yet. In about two weeks, Jake and I will be traveling a little further into the chukar hills and hopefully seeing lots of the little buggers flying around. My personal opinion is that most chukars are hatched in July and flying by the end of July to mid August. The bird biologist say mid June is the middle of the hatch for chukar.
Although it's been hot, the conditions seem to be good for chukar, a high desert bird. Jake and I took a shorter hike yesterday over in Gem county hoping to find a few chukar. We didn't see a chukar but as we got lower on the mountain and closer to  the cultivated land I was tickled to find a couple of big covey of quail (maybe two to three weeks old) and two covey's of young pheasants that were probably six to 8 weeks old. I was surprised to see how big the young pheasants were and both groups had at least ten young ones in it. I did see two young chukars, three to four weeks old crossing the road, going from the creek back up the mountain. I'm sure there were more ahead of them since I didn't see mom leading them.
A couple of weeks ago we found a group of blue grouse with at least 15 little ones that were probably 4 weeks old or so.
It's hard to imagine that if these birds are doing well, the chukar and huns won't do the same. There are plenty of insects out there to keep them healthy. I'm still pretty optimistic about the year to come.
The only negative I can find out there is the amount of snakes I'm seeing this year. Although Jake had snake avoidance about a month ago he walked right over the top of this one.
Luckily, the snake wasn't very interested in Jake either. It was the biggest rattler I have ever seen and wasn't too happy when I started poking a stick at it. I'm sure Jake didn't even know the snake was there but I was wondering whether the snake avoidance class had sunk in. About ten minutes late,r I saw Jake almost do a back flip off the trail about fifty yards ahead of me. There was a shed skin on the trail and Jake wanted nothing to do with it. Evidently the class worked.
Anyhow, let's keep our fingers crossed for the Sept. 21st opener. Hopefully all the young chukars will be filling up with grasshoppers and gaining the strength to give our dogs a great fall work out.


Crazy Uncle Larry said...

Man you said it - snakes have been bad here this year as well. My pup did the training about a month ago. I wasn't very happy with the "efficiency" they ran the dogs through the course with, and I question the retention myself. I'm glad your pup flipped his lid at a shed.
Our season starts second Saturday of October, and if it's cold enough we won't see many active snakes. But I have nearly stepped on one on the opener before.

larry szurgot said...

I've been fortunate and not seen that many during the hunting season but have seen them as late as Oct. 29th. Luckily they're out only for a short time that late in the year and you can usually predict about where they'll be. I have only seen one rattler in Oregon and that is probably because of the later opener. Good luck on your upcoming season with your pup.

Anonymous said...

Instead of snakes(none in Alaska) we have to worry about bears. I've only seen black bears while hunting for ptarmigan and grouse but I go into to some places that have brown bears. I was hoping to drag you up for ptarmigan hunting as its always safer with more people and dogs. I hope that pup works out well for you,I think he will based on his progress so far. Take care and good hunting to you and Jake.

larry szurgot said...

I get it now. You wanted Jake and I to come up there because I'm slower than you. The bear catches me and you and Mays are safe back at camp. Problem with that is than you'd be stuck with this turbo charged shorthair.

Anonymous said...

I stopped running along time ago. I'm afraid if they are that hungry I will make a meal for them. I will fire a couple slugs at them before they make it to me. Mays would be running with you and Jake or hiding behind me. The weather has been fantastic up here this summer. I can't believe the sunshine and warm weather. Hopefully you can make it up some day. I understand you want to be with Riley right now.
Take care,Alan

Anonymous said...

Hows everything going? Haven't heard any reports on Riley or Jake.Hope all is well.
Alan from Alaska