Idaho Chukar Hunting

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Idaho Chukar Hunting

Postby TXBirdHunter » Mon Jul 17, 2017 9:40 pm

Looking for some help... my buddy and I are starting to plan our out of state hunting trip for the year. We're hoping to chase chukar in Idaho with our shorthairs in December. Not asking for any specific locations but any general tips or help on places to start and look for birds would be greatly appreciated since we'll be traveling up there from Texas! Thanks for the help.
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Re: Idaho Chukar Hunting

Postby Meridiandave » Mon Jul 17, 2017 11:14 pm

First question, where are you planning to make your base?

Are you looking for valley quail or huns also?
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Re: Idaho Chukar Hunting

Postby TXBirdHunter » Mon Jul 17, 2017 11:40 pm

Meridiandave wrote:First question, where are you planning to make your base?

Are you looking for valley quail or huns also?

We are looking to stop for a night or two in the SE corner of Idaho to try and get a couple pheasants. The rest of the trip we are planning to make base in White Bird and hunt around Hell's canyon primarily for chukar but huns as well.
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Re: Idaho Chukar Hunting

Postby Meridiandave » Tue Jul 18, 2017 4:00 pm

Just a reminder that Southeast Idaho closes on Pheasants November 30. Magic Valley is open until December 31. It looks like you got your trip location pretty much planned. Good luck and I hope you get a few birds. I don't have much info on that area, because a lot of the chukar people I know hunt different areas. The few people I do know that hunt that area usually do it early season.
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Re: Idaho Chukar Hunting

Postby TXBirdHunter » Tue Jul 18, 2017 6:43 pm

Meridiandave wrote:Just a reminder that Southeast Idaho closes on Pheasants November 30. Magic Valley is open until December 31. It looks like you got your trip location pretty much planned. Good luck and I hope you get a few birds. I don't have much info on that area, because a lot of the chukar people I know hunt different areas. The few people I do know that hunt that area usually do it early season.

Good to know. This will be our first time in Idaho. Any tips or things to bring? What will the weather be like in the Hell's Canyon area? We're in the early stages of planning so any info helps! Thanks.
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Re: Idaho Chukar Hunting

Postby RowdyGSP » Mon Jul 24, 2017 8:16 pm

TXBirdHunter wrote:
Meridiandave wrote:Just a reminder that Southeast Idaho closes on Pheasants November 30. Magic Valley is open until December 31. It looks like you got your trip location pretty much planned. Good luck and I hope you get a few birds. I don't have much info on that area, because a lot of the chukar people I know hunt different areas. The few people I do know that hunt that area usually do it early season.

Good to know. This will be our first time in Idaho. Any tips or things to bring? What will the weather be like in the Hell's Canyon area? We're in the early stages of planning so any info helps! Thanks.


I have hunted Hells Canyon in early October several times. It can be downright HOT. 90+ degrees by 11 AM. However it can be reasonable 70-ish. Later in the year is better, or at least by the end of October. Bring your big-boy panties... Hell's Canyon is named so for a reason and is a downright brutal hunt on dog and man alike. Good rubber boots for the dog are a must for multi-day hunts. Also, watch out for snakes. They can be out in force before the temps cool down. Otherwise, I think you will have a great time.
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Re: Idaho Chukar Hunting

Postby TXBirdHunter » Mon Jul 24, 2017 9:35 pm

RowdyGSP wrote:
TXBirdHunter wrote:
Meridiandave wrote:Just a reminder that Southeast Idaho closes on Pheasants November 30. Magic Valley is open until December 31. It looks like you got your trip location pretty much planned. Good luck and I hope you get a few birds. I don't have much info on that area, because a lot of the chukar people I know hunt different areas. The few people I do know that hunt that area usually do it early season.

Good to know. This will be our first time in Idaho. Any tips or things to bring? What will the weather be like in the Hell's Canyon area? We're in the early stages of planning so any info helps! Thanks.


I have hunted Hells Canyon in early October several times. It can be downright HOT. 90+ degrees by 11 AM. However it can be reasonable 70-ish. Later in the year is better, or at least by the end of October. Bring your big-boy panties... Hell's Canyon is named so for a reason and is a downright brutal hunt on dog and man alike. Good rubber boots for the dog are a must for multi-day hunts. Also, watch out for snakes. They can be out in force before the temps cool down. Otherwise, I think you will have a great time.

Thanks for the advice! I ordered dog boots today actually. We're planning to go mid December so we shouldn't have a problem with heat.. after doing some research we may start our trip at the Andrus WMA going for a mixed bag. Anyone had any luck out there?
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Re: Idaho Chukar Hunting

Postby Meridiandave » Tue Jul 25, 2017 12:23 am

Andrus typically has good numbers of birds. It is on the North end of Brownlee reservoir. Brownlee is 69 miles long. And Oxbow and Hell's canyon are just north. This area on both the Oregon and Idaho side typically has some of the highest densities of chukars in North America. The negative is the country is rugged and it is generally single chance coveys. The country is just too steep and rugged to chase single coveys. Most of the time local chukar hunters choose areas with fewer birds, but easier walking.

There is a lot of great chukar country between bliss and Brownlee that holds birds. There is the Owyhee's to the South of I-84. Danskins and Bennett Hills to the North. Stuff North of Boise and all the Eastern Oregon stuff. Truth is, none of us are sure what is going to hunt well this year. We had record snowfall this year. At the same time, spring conditions should send every bird on a nest. In a few weeks we will know what is going on a little better.
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Re: Idaho Chukar Hunting

Postby orhunter » Tue Jul 25, 2017 9:36 am

Watch your dog's feet closely. Some boots can be worse than no boots at all. Might suggest hunting your dog a couple of times with the boots before leaving town to see if they're going to work. I'd put together a supply of inner tube boots before leaving town just in case your dog(s) run into a problem. Stretchie tape, duct tape, for installing the boots. I think the NAVHDA website has instructions for making those boots. I have some personal photos (can e-mail) of the boots I made which aren't as clunky/bulky as the NAVHDA boots plus hints on installing them on the pooch.
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Re: Idaho Chukar Hunting

Postby KJ » Tue Jul 25, 2017 10:25 am

It probably isn't the best year to hunt the Brownlee area after our winter last year. The chukar hills didn't have less than a foot of snow on them from Dec 1 - Feb 15th. The winter kill was bad on all wildlife. The deer got hammered real bad, too and F&G cut the tags way back in that area. There were 10+ dead deer up every canyon this spring. I have fished the river a few times early summer and didn't see any chukars. Only heard a few. I heard similar reports from people that fished a lot more than me. The only thing I don't have good feedback on at this time is how well the hatch did, but I would expect hunting to be poor to fair this fall.

It's too bad because bird numbers finally were back up again last year. Now we get to start back over.
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Re: Idaho Chukar Hunting

Postby TXBirdHunter » Tue Jul 25, 2017 5:17 pm

PM sent orhunter.
Well we're pretty set on heading up there so hopefully you guys get good reports of bird numbers in the coming weeks/months... but we'll definitely move around the state if we don't run into any birds the first few days. Thanks for all the comments guys!
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Re: Idaho Chukar Hunting

Postby Meridiandave » Wed Aug 02, 2017 12:56 am

Just keep in touch with guys and some of us locals can let you know what areas are hunting better. There has been some good reports coming in the last couple of weeks. It appears the hatch was good. Just have to figure out which areas got a decentbreeding population through winter.
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Re: Idaho Chukar Hunting

Postby TXBirdHunter » Wed Aug 02, 2017 6:37 pm

Meridiandave wrote:Just keep in touch with guys and some of us locals can let you know what areas are hunting better. There has been some good reports coming in the last couple of weeks. It appears the hatch was good. Just have to figure out which areas got a decentbreeding population through winter.

Great news!
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Re: Idaho Chukar Hunting

Postby Camspal » Sun Aug 13, 2017 12:00 pm

From my experience which is some what limited; your access into Hell's Canyon which I am assuming will be Pittsburgh Landing if you are staying in White Bird could be inaccessible in December due to snow! If so I would recommend trying the Salmon River Canyon around Riggins.
Just wondering; have you ever hunted chukars before? They are my passion but they are also the toughest hunt I ever due including Big Horn Sheep in Colorado.
Good luck and let us know how you do.
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