One of Those Days... Great Dog Work, but...

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One of Those Days... Great Dog Work, but...

Postby RowdyGSP » Wed Dec 06, 2017 2:28 pm

Sunday my buddy and I headed out for some chukar. We found a new spot to hunt that was an absolute brutal 1,400 climb to the top, in the light rain and whipping wind. Halfway up the mountain, we were doubting our sanity at not going somewhere slightly less gruelling. However, once at the top, our climb proved fruitful. We immediately got into a covey of chukar, which I managed to make a hail Mary shot on one, which subsequently fell 50 yards out from us and 150 yards straight down. Rowdy ended up making a nice retrieve on that one, even after not seeing it fall. The next covey of chukar both my buddy and I whiffed, when they got up 25 yards from us. The third covey was spread out over about 75 yards in some rosehip thickets and kept coming out in singles, like popcorn (much the way sharptails typically flush). My buddy pulled 1 bird out of that covey. I dropped a leg on a chukar, but it kept flying across the canyon. We continued our walk along the ridgeline and the dogs pointed a large covey of 75 chukar that wild flushed the second we came into view, about 60 yards out. Not 30 seconds after that both dogs locked up on a covey of 6 huns. The huns flushed nearly at our feet and we both whiffed them. (Not a good shooting day so far, and the dogs were starting to give us "the look"). We continued along the ridge, which made a 180 degree turn, around the lee side of a creek drainage, that would then gradually take us back downhill towards the truck. Once we got on the other side of the drainage, both dogs locked up, then relocated on the running birds, before locking up again. These birds flushed right at about 50 yards, not providing a shot for either of us. We stopped to take a picture of both dogs with each of our birds so far. Not 30 yards later, headed downhill, both dogs again became really birdy. They went into the classic chukar slink and locked up on point, on the uphill side of a ledge, facing downhill. As my buddy and I walked around in front of the dogs, a covey of a dozen chukar exploded from the cheat grass in front of us. I lost my footing on the muddy hillside and finally recovered it, for a shot, but by then the birds were 40 yards out and I missed. My buddy pulled a single chukar out of this covey. I was congratulating my buddy on his bird, when Rowdy began to get slinky and locked up on point not even 10 yards from where the last covey just got up. Thinking it was maybe a late-flushing single, I walked around to the front of him. Adam stayed where he was, since he had his hands full, watering his dog. As I walked up, a covey of 5 huns exploded from right in front of me... you guessed it, I missed both shots I put in the air at them. I may have said a somewhat loud and fairly bad word after this last miss. But we got some amazing dog work, and fortunately these types of shooting days are not too common for me. Adam ended up with 2 chukar and I had one.


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Last edited by RowdyGSP on Wed Dec 06, 2017 7:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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"Chukar: The first time you hunt them it's for sport. After that it's revenge."
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Re: One of Those Days... Great Dog Work, but...

Postby mtlhdr » Wed Dec 06, 2017 5:57 pm

Sounds like an awesome day with some great dog work. Sounds like you're settling in to your new hunting grounds just fine. I've earned that look more times than I care to admit...
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Re: One of Those Days... Great Dog Work, but...

Postby orhunter » Wed Dec 06, 2017 6:43 pm

Dang! You gotta find a way in from the top. One place I've hunted for years on the Powder R. has some serious climbing involved. When ya get on top and look back to where you came from, it looks like it's in the next county and way way down there.

Glad you found some birds and thanks for the photos.

Somebody years ago here on V-Dogs mentioned how many shots it took them for a limit of Chukars. Thought I might start keeping track just for grins. I'd usually start the day with 20 or so and have plenty left over. As soon as I started counting, my shooting went in the toilet. Next day out, I ran out of shells and needed one more bird. Grrrrrr.... My best day started at 6 for 3 and ended up 8 for 9. Helps the average to get 4 in 1 shot.
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Re: One of Those Days... Great Dog Work, but...

Postby jlw034 » Wed Dec 06, 2017 8:31 pm

As a flatlander, that looks both insane and incredible.

Maybe one day.
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Re: One of Those Days... Great Dog Work, but...

Postby RowdyGSP » Thu Dec 07, 2017 2:25 pm

orhunter wrote:Dang! You gotta find a way in from the top. One place I've hunted for years on the Powder R. has some serious climbing involved. When ya get on top and look back to where you came from, it looks like it's in the next county and way way down there.

Glad you found some birds and thanks for the photos.

Somebody years ago here on V-Dogs mentioned how many shots it took them for a limit of Chukars. Thought I might start keeping track just for grins. I'd usually start the day with 20 or so and have plenty left over. As soon as I started counting, my shooting went in the toilet. Next day out, I ran out of shells and needed one more bird. Grrrrrr.... My best day started at 6 for 3 and ended up 8 for 9. Helps the average to get 4 in 1 shot.


Dang, Harvey, what were you shooting, skeet choke? I've shot 2 in one shot a few times, but never 3 or 4.
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Re: One of Those Days... Great Dog Work, but...

Postby orhunter » Thu Dec 07, 2017 3:13 pm

That day I mentioned, I had two singles in the bag when Ellie pointed the next covey. When I started to move in, they got up around 40 yards out. When I fired, I saw two drop but figured that was good enough cause I don't like taking long shots. Those two dropped right next to each other. I grabbed them and started to stand up and saw another one about 4 ft away. Dang, a trifecta. Dog and I took off for the next covey and another bird ran out in front of us with a broken wing and leg. Ellie pointed it in some tall grass under a Juniper tree and I picked up no. 4. That was my second quad. Have gotten three maybe three times and gobs of two's. Got a double on phez one time. Probably the luckiest shooting I ever did was the last day of the season in 2005. Ellie and I had four birds and it was getting late. Normally we had our limit by then but we were forced to hunt a little longer. There is this one covey that I could never get up on, always flushed wild, hadn't killed a bird out it all season. Anyhow, Ellie starts working scent that was taking us farther and farther from the edge of the rimrock where the birds were always able to go over before I could get a shot. Finally, she locks up so I move ahead of her and the covey flushes. Some birds go to the right and I start to swing on them. Out of the corner of my eye I see some others going left and they're a little closer. Swung the gun 180 degrees and pull ahead of the lead bird. At the shot, it and the one next to it drop. Swung on the no. 3 bird and fired, dropping it and no. 4, for our limit. All four birds were within a 10 ft. circle.
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Re: One of Those Days... Great Dog Work, but...

Postby mtlhdr » Thu Dec 07, 2017 6:14 pm

Dang Or, I don't know what's crazier, your shooting or the numbers of chukar you were getting into. For me, it's more often the opposite, all these birds flush and not a single one falls! Seems to defy physics :lol:
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Re: One of Those Days... Great Dog Work, but...

Postby RowdyGSP » Thu Dec 07, 2017 8:15 pm

mtlhdr wrote:Dang Or, I don't know what's crazier, your shooting or the numbers of chukar you were getting into. For me, it's more often the opposite, all these birds flush and not a single one falls! Seems to defy physics :lol:


They say "what goes up, must come down," but that is not always the case when hunting chukar.
"You have to be smarter than the dog to train it."
"A working dog is a happy dog."
"Semper Fi" HQ/11th
"Chukar: The first time you hunt them it's for sport. After that it's revenge."
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Re: One of Those Days... Great Dog Work, but...

Postby AverageGuy » Thu Dec 07, 2017 8:31 pm

That top photo is beautiful.
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Re: One of Those Days... Great Dog Work, but...

Postby orhunter » Thu Dec 07, 2017 8:38 pm

"The number of Chukars you were getting into." 14/15 coveys per day, 15 birds per on up. Rowdy knows the spot.... Nothing like a good ugly dog........... Some days, we'd limit before we got to the good stuff. Now what do we do...we just got here....? All good things don't last.......
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Re: One of Those Days... Great Dog Work, but...

Postby RowdyGSP » Thu Dec 07, 2017 9:15 pm

orhunter wrote:"The number of Chukars you were getting into." 14/15 coveys per day, 15 birds per on up. Rowdy knows the spot.... Nothing like a good ugly dog........... Some days, we'd limit before we got to the good stuff. Now what do we do...we just got here....? All good things don't last.......


Not far from that area you were hunting we used to get into 12 to 15 coveys of birds per day, but more towards the big river... it was good... real, good. But this particular day, only the huns held for the point.

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"Chukar: The first time you hunt them it's for sport. After that it's revenge."
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Re: One of Those Days... Great Dog Work, but...

Postby orhunter » Thu Dec 07, 2017 10:24 pm

There were only two places I ran into Huns out there. The first was at the first gate you walk through from the parking lot. The other was out by the fence on the main ridge where it gets into private property. When you get to where the jeep trail goes to the left off the top and go to the right, that's the area. Always wanted to hunt that more but...... There was only one time I saw anyone hunting the private land and they were a long way off. Heard shooting and saw little moving objects over a mile away (hunters/dogs) but that was all. No details. One thing that stands our about the conditions and bird numbers is the amount of water that was present when bird numbers were high. When I first hunted there and for a few years after, it was a complete swamp, water everywhere. Every little depression had water in it. Every cow track, everything held water. Then it dried up..... The last time there with any sort of decent hunting, KJ and I went out there after the roads got too icy where we first wanted to go and we defaulted. I think he got his eight birds and I came up a couple short. It was a disaster after that. Me'n Ellie got spoiled. Took 200 birds a year out of there for the first five years. That's how ya make a huntin' dog.
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Re: One of Those Days... Great Dog Work, but...

Postby Kiger2 » Sat Dec 09, 2017 2:53 pm

Rowdy,
Have you had your shotgun fitted? If not there is over a 60% chance it does not fit. and if it doesn't point where it should or where your eye is telling the brain it is, you will miss. do everything right and you get a miss.

Second, if you have had it fitted then you are most likely checking not focusing on the bird, taking your eye off and looking at the barrel to check your lead. Do that and its a miss.

Check out Optimum shooting performance. Gil and vicki Ash. ton of information there, but specifically check out there flashlight and 3 bullet drills.

We have too many shooting challenges while chukar hunting to not make sure we do everything we can to shoot well. Cant help shale slides, mud, snow, and exhaustion. But we can control how we shoot on the flat.

I would love to see a sporting clays course. 8 miles in chukar country, 2000 feet total elevation change up and down. 20 stations, 100 rounds. 4 hours.
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Re: One of Those Days... Great Dog Work, but...

Postby RowdyGSP » Sat Dec 09, 2017 3:08 pm

Kiger2 wrote:Rowdy,
Have you had your shotgun fitted? If not there is over a 60% chance it does not fit. and if it doesn't point where it should or where your eye is telling the brain it is, you will miss. do everything right and you get a miss.

Second, if you have had it fitted then you are most likely checking not focusing on the bird, taking your eye off and looking at the barrel to check your lead. Do that and its a miss.

Check out Optimum shooting performance. Gil and vicki Ash. ton of information there, but specifically check out there flashlight and 3 bullet drills.

We have too many shooting challenges while chukar hunting to not make sure we do everything we can to shoot well. Cant help shale slides, mud, snow, and exhaustion. But we can control how we shoot on the flat.

I would love to see a sporting clays course. 8 miles in chukar country, 2000 feet total elevation change up and down. 20 stations, 100 rounds. 4 hours.


I normally shoot pretty well with it. I think this is just a funk, kind of like hitters in baseball get a funk in their swing and go 1/18 over four games. I'm definitely not focusing on the barrel, but I honestly think what has been happening is a combination of not leading the bird enough and stopping my swing. One of the coveys I definitely know I stopped my swing.
"You have to be smarter than the dog to train it."
"A working dog is a happy dog."
"Semper Fi" HQ/11th
"Chukar: The first time you hunt them it's for sport. After that it's revenge."
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Re: One of Those Days... Great Dog Work, but...

Postby orhunter » Sat Dec 09, 2017 4:07 pm

It's easy to shoot over the top of Chukars.
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