Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Chukar hunting is going to get you

I've heard the saying "the first time out chukar hunting is for fun and the next is for revenge" and although sometimes I think revenge is a good reason, I've seen more proof that chukar hunting is a sickness more than an attitude. Once you get over the fact that there is a lot of work to getting one of those red legged devils it gets in your blood and there aren't enough white blood cells in your body to ward off the sickness.

So, if it's so much work, why do we think it's so much fun? I think I found the answer through the chukar hunters I have met in the past. Although I don't hunt beside other hunters when we go to the hills we share many stories on the ride or in camp. The stories are always about the dogs or the impossible shots along with the scenery and what was over the next mountain. Although we're in search of a limit of birds that's very seldom the outcome. Getting a limit is hard and that's what makes it fun and keeps us chasing our dogs over the next mountain.

I started this blog 10 years ago thanks to another chukar site "Upland Idaho" moderated by Karl Dehart and some of his members. Most of them shared the same passion for chukar hunting that I have and understand that chukar hunting isn't just a drive to the park and doing some shooting. They had that love of dogs that I have. Because of this blog I have met many chukar hunters even though I haven't seen their faces yet. Hopefully, one day we will meet in person.

One of the people I met through this blog has increasingly impressed me. We traded words through the blog and then one day out of the blue he introduced himself to me at a high school football game. His grandson happened to be playing in a game and they were honoring me and some other members of past football teams and he recognized my name. We started talking chukar and the rest is history.

Greg Munther is from the big sky country in Montana and we soon were on our first hunting trip together here in Idaho. After a few years we found time to meet up in other Idaho and Oregon locations to chase birds. We camped together and would head off in different directions to try and find a limit of chukars and then return with the great stories.

Greg is proof of how chukar hunting sucks you in and doesn't let go. Although, he is an accomplished hunter, fisherman and general outdoor enthusiast he keeps coming back to the steep mountains that chukar inhabit and follows his dogs to their points. When we met Greg had one GSP named Lucy.
She was a pup back then and so was Greg(67). I marveled at how he covered the country and hoped I could keep the drive to go like he did when I get to his age. Well the chukar sickness took care of that. Now 8 years later, Greg is chasing a new pup through the hills named Oakley along with Lucy.
What really blows me away about Greg starting with this new pup is what his plans must be. Oakley will be providing him at least twelve more years of chukar hunting and Greg is now 75. Getting to know Greg I have to wonder if he'll be getting another chukar dog at 87. Greg is 7 years older than me and has done some fantastic traveling and hunting in his life and has inspired me with his tales. We only get to see each other once or twice a year but I always learn something new from him.

I've met many other people from other places while chukar hunting and blogging. Last year I met a couple of great guys from California and am hoping to see Troy and his new pup again this year. I love hearing puppy tales. Also, this year a couple of chukar hunters from Badger country in Wisconsin are coming to Idaho to chase chukars in a week or so and I'm hoping to get some time in with them and hopefully be able to post some pictures of their great dogs and experiences.

I hope maybe one day to see more of you and be able to be inspired by your accomplishments. I'll end with a few more of Greg's pictures of his fine partners.

Good Luck and keep our lands public.


Chukarhunter50 said...

80 is my goal. Going to have to stop falling down mountains however. Greg is like my dad. Forward looking keeps them young.

Troy, Rowdy and Ben said...

Quite honestly Larry, I had been wondering how much of a chukar career I had left in me at 60, then I ran into you last year and was truly inspired. And now, hearing about Greg confirms that I just needed to get the mind right. Ito is just a number for the foreseeable future assuming we all keep ourselves in proper condition ALL YEAR LONG!
Then add a new pup to the equation and BAM, I am really excited about upland bird hunting in my 60’s and 70’s.
Not to mention the very talented hunters and dog handlers that I have had the pleasure and privilege to meet, and even hunt with, in Idaho. Thanks to all of you for extending an old chukar hunter’s passion and showing him how it is done!

Chukarchaser62 said...

Fantastic! Greg and those like him are so inspiring and I look up to them and only hope I can be chasing chukar at 70. We have several friends in their 80's and early 90's who are still skiing, hunting and fishing, my idols! I am also from Montana, acquired the sickness from my dad and the rest is history. Larry I hope to meet you someday, I've enjoyed your blog so much. Thank you!