Sunday, February 3, 2008

Chukars -- Everyman's Game Bird

Chukars are a pointing dog’s delight. They covey in large numbers and provide great singles and doubles shooting after a covey flush. These great game birds are available on public ground to anyone that takes time to learn the trade.

In the Northwest, open, south facing slopes with rocky rims and outcroppings are good places to start searching for birds. Look for tracks in roadside dust, or droppings in basin heads, saddles and on rock outcroppings. When I find these signs, I park and walk a loop bracketing the elevation where I suspect the birds are, going out a quarter to half a mile or more, looping back above or below my original line of travel. Once you find the level the birds are at, hunt laterally across the slope at that level. Conventional wisdom, which is correct in my experience, says don't hunt up towards the birds, they will just run uphill and flush at the ridge top without (usually) offering a shot. I try to stay out of sight when working to flush birds in front of a point -- and approach from the side at (or slightly below) the level you suspect the covey is holding.

To kill chukars consistently, you must hunt them aggressively - cover all the likely areas in a basin head or rim before moving to the next area and pursue immediately after the covey flush. Remember, when that flushed covey lights, they will be scattered and will immediately begin to make efforts to re-assemble, calling and moving up-slope. By aggressively following up, you can disrupt their re-assembly and your dog can find and hold the singles and doubles. - Photo by Clair Kofoed

For more on chukar hunting go to the story Chukars! At

1 comment:

Dale Hernden said...

Sounds like really tough walking/hunting. Can you hunt from horseback or is it too rocky?