Thursday, February 8, 2018


I've been getting several calls about my thoughts on guzzlers and so I'm passing that same question on to you. Agree with me or not I promise not to throw you under the bus. That is what makes us better people. The ability to listen to both sides and maybe understand better.

Simply put, I don't see what they can hurt but don't see the need for them as far as chukar hunting goes. Why do we have to carry so much water for our dogs during the early season? We seem to find birds where there doesn't seem to be any water. There is water somewhere and the birds we hunt know where it is. That's part of the fun of hunting for me. To find out what attracts the birds to different areas at different times of the year. Chukars have done well in the west since they were introduced and for the most part have done it without guzzlers. In my opinion guzzlers, although they can't hurt, do more for the hunter than for the birds. Guzzlers are good starting points for those who have never hunted chukars before.

So, to **** ****** who e mailed me last week and mentioned that maybe I should start helping with the guzzlers since I benefit from them and the number of birds I get is related to the amount of work and money he has put in I disagree. The only guzzlers I am aware of are the guzzlers made by mother nature and all the wildlife I see seem to be doing fine.
If they dry up there is another one not too far away even though we may not be able to find them.
So with that being discussed and dismissed, on to the fun stuff. Boy, I've been having lot's of it. I wish I could do a better job of editing and show  it all to you and help keep you excited for next season. I'll be working on that but for now I'll show my favorite picture of yesterday and hopefully then a short clip.
One more note. I finally got rid of my land line and am now a cell phone only person. That number is 208-861-2907. Make sure you leave a message because I'm usually not around my cell phone but will eventually return your call, good or bad.


BenV said...

About carrying water: my Griffs drink more in the first hour of a hunt then of a covey of chukar ever could. And, they’re not too good at sipping dew. If I stayed with there’s enough water for them, I don’t think I could get far away from a river.

Nevada had a guide to guzzlers. Does anyone know if there’s a similar thing in Idaho?

Robert said...

When I am chukar hunting I don't even think about guzzlers -- I can't even remember ever hunting near a guzzler (man made waterer for wildlife). I do park sometimes at stock tanks but typically find the birds miles away, I do hunt above lots of creeks, and I do run into springs frequently in chukar country..... at least in Idaho my observations are that the birds are doing just fine with the natural water sources available.

Maybe in the Mojave of California? Nevada? Drier areas where maybe there truly is no other water source? I have seen heaps of quail around guzzlers in Arizona---- but again, in Idaho, I don't evencontemplate guzzlers when thinking about chukar hunting. my thought


Dave s said...

Larry, first I bet I know the jack wagon who emailed you.

Do guzzlers help chukars and other wildlife? I think the answer is that it depends.

I grew up in Utah and started chukar hunting in the west desert of Utah. It is hostile country and the Cedar Mountains are known as a decent location. Water is very scarce.
Guzzlers help the birds there, because water is a limiting factor. Theu do flights over the west desert and back in the 1990's a good year would have 36 birds per square mile. 2015 and 2016 had up near a hundred. I do believe that some of that increase was due to the growth of guzzlers that were put in by the dwr and the Utah Chukar Foundation. They also did some studies and young groups will key in on areas that are within a half miles of water. They also noted that grouls wpuld be partially tied to guzzlers. They would use the sites once. every couple of days. In those areas, it was tbeorized that puting guzzlers away from existing water and using more than one guzzler in the complex would help the birds. I will look for these studies for you. They key here is guzzlers help populations in areas that the limiting factor is water. Putting a guzzler within a half mile of a water source is pretty much worthless.

The next question, is water a limiting factor in Idaho chukar populations? I think the jury is definately out on this question. From a Utahn's standpoint there is a lotof water in Idaho chukar country. For instance, pretty much everything North of Boise is loaded with water. Brownlee, the butte and a few other popular areas are loaded with water. Idaho's basalt lava flows have lots of cracks that create wonderfull seeps.

However, there are areas in the Owyhee front where a few well placed guzzlers could help the birds. I also believe there is quite a bit of suitable habitat in eastern Oregon where guzzlers may help. I can think specific spot on the Owyhee front that is a couple of miles from water. We saw a big bunch of chukar up in this area. Only later did I realize there was a guzzler a couple of hundred yards up the draw. I believe that guzzler was the only close source of water for that covey.

The biggest issue I have with the guzzler's here is the placememt is terrible. They are usually way too close to existing permanant water to help. I scratch my head with most guzzler's location. I can think of multiple locations near water. We are talking like a 100 yards.

I guess my answer is it depends. I definately believe there are areas where guzzlers are helping the birds, but in some areas I dont think they are doing any good whatsoever. It all depends how many miles there is between water sources.

Robert said...


Nicely articulated and thought out... makes sense

Dave s said...

Just an update. I Was thinking of an older study on the cedar's. A newer study put the Cedars as not as dependant on water sources. The newer study indicated water was not a limiting factor. However the same study did conclude the promontory and box elder pooulations did show a tie to water sources.

Tuckers Chukars said...

I had a long talk with Burke Mantel last week and he helped me understand the guzzler placements and projects a little better. First of all, I want to commend John Caywood and all the work he has done in eastern Oregon on these guzzlers. He was and is the master mind on this project. Burke mentioned that one of the original reasons for the guzzlers was because there was some big horn deaths that might have been due to blue green algae and this was a way to give the sheep a clean water source and hopefully keep them away from the algae. There were several other positive reasons for the guzzlers but in the end I never heard one that made me believe they helped promote partridge numbers. Don't get to rough on me for my opinion when it comes to what I feel guzzlers do for partridge populations but this sentence on the signs placed at the guzzlers might help understand it. "Wildlife are here for you to see and enjoy only as long as there is water."

Anonymous said...

Larry, as I get a little bit more wiser chasing these partridge things, I am more and more convinced that most of the time they get all the water they need through the food they eat. Grab a chunk of newly sprouted cheatgrass and squeeze it...usually quite a bit of water will drip out.

I believe a Univ. of Utah study found that Chukar will travel something like up to 3 miles a day (one way) to fill up with water. Anyway, I've gotten into birds, sometimes a lot of birds on land much farther than 3 miles to nearest water source. This in in country that I know well and am about 99.9% certain there are no seeps or springs.

A bird with the brain the size of a pea sure can sometimes makes ya go 'hmm'

Wyo Setters