Friday, August 16, 2019

Final scouting trip of 2019

I know it's been only a week since my prediction post but the dogs and I got out a few more times since then and although we got whipped by the heat we were more than pleased with our findings. The reason today was my last scouting day of 2019 is due to the heat. With the temperature going to be in the 90s for the remainder of the month we're going to spend some getting in shape time in the high country and close to water. Today, all three of us did a little more than we should have and this air conditioned house is feeling mighty good.

Filming was tough with most birds just being bumped and not a lot of time to get the camera into action. We got a couple of blues pointed, and some chukars off point but the number of chukars seen in our last two outings would have excited even some of the old timers that say it isn't like it use to be. The big difference in the last two trips was the size of the birds. I'd say at least 50% of the birds we saw were around four weeks old and we saw very few chick coveys over 6 weeks old. On top of that, most coveys had good number of birds. Almost every covey we found had at least 15 birds and one covey had no fewer than 40 chicks in it. I saw adults with them but couldn't say how many.

After looking over my notes from the past years I am now convinced more than ever that the majority of chukars hatch  around the first of July. I know that's not what the bird biologist say but it seems that I see this more than not. But it doesn't matter when they were hatched.  We have five more weeks before the opener and most of these birds will not be that much smaller than a full grown bird and will give you all of the challenge you could want.

I am convinced now that it is going to be a good year for the bird hunters. I am seeing quail numbers like I've never seen, the huns seem to be doing alright, and the chukars are definitely up from a good last year. The huns are probably doing great also but I usually don't find many until later in the season. I can't say much about grouse populations because I really haven't given much time in those areas this year. I know turkeys aren't a dog hunting bird but they have done phenomenal this year. If quail have done so well and turkeys have done the same why wouldn't all those birds in between their sizes do well also.

The main reason I mentioned turkeys is because of where I am finding them this year and how much Grady enjoys them. My Astro showed a new long distant record for Grady today. He was 700 yards away and when I looked way up the hill in his direction I saw a flock of turkeys flying my way. Evidently they didn't want to hold and Grady figured he could out run them. Here's a picture of a few of them in the chukar country we hunt. I know of no roosting size trees within two miles of here. Notice the size of the young ones for August 16.
I did the best I could at getting some chukar action on video but as I said it was to fast and furious for me and a camera. One part of the video is where I'm walking up on Jake's point but missed the flush of over 40 birds but I showed it anyway just to show how thick the cover is in spots. The rye grass or whatever it is was up to my shoulders in spots.

So, as far as I'm concerned, coming August 30th, I'll be out chasing grouse on any cool morning I can find and training for a great chukar season which opens about three weeks later. Get your boots greased, your shot gun oiled and that canine partner in shape for a great chukar season.

Good luck this year and send me plenty of pictures.


Randy Shepard said...

Can't tell you how nice it is reading your reports. Makes the summers bearable. Still exciting and I'm not even sure if I can make it to Idaho this year. Good Lcuk and can't wait for your hunting reports!

Greg said...

I love good news these days.....