range for chukar dog

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Re: range for chukar dog

Postby orhunter » Mon Feb 17, 2020 10:42 am

A dog that quarters is no good in my camp. I used to help at the NAVHDA training days and part of the curriculum was teaching quartering and some other useless crap with a check cord. Told 'em I didn't want to teach stuff I wouldn't teach my own dog so I quit volunteering.
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Re: range for chukar dog

Postby Bruce Schwartz » Mon Feb 17, 2020 12:13 pm

Lots of open spaces and rugged country to enjoy while chukar hunting. Glad to relive a few trips in these images. Look for Orhunter's head to show up, as well as myself and three of my dogs. Plus an RV I would rent on vacation from Alaska. These images are all from different parts of Oregon.

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Re: range for chukar dog

Postby jlw034 » Mon Feb 17, 2020 12:43 pm

To those that know, is there a certain month that is the best to chukar hunt? If a guy did a bucket list trip out?
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Re: range for chukar dog

Postby AverageGuy » Mon Feb 17, 2020 1:32 pm

jlw034 wrote:To those that know, is there a certain month that is the best to chukar hunt? If a guy did a bucket list trip out?


We will see what the experts have to say. I went in mid October for reasons that may ring true for your situation, which is similar to mine. Locals can pick their spots/dates relative to weather a whole lot better than you and I can is the short version.

One being I have to drive a long ways to get to a Chukar State. I wanted better odds of decent highways for the long distance multiple days drive, than hunting later is going to bring. As is, we ran on ice, snow and dangerously high winds across a couple of western states on the drive home with some stretches of IS Highway high mountain passes being closed for 12 hours.

Two - the temperatures were excellent for a Vdog with a good dual coat to do a lot of hunting without being shutdown by heat, and required I wear a long underwear top and wind breaker or vest, stocking cap. Waiting longer risks snow preventing being able to reach alot of the country we hunted. Enough snow fell one night that we were never able to access the best Chukar spot we had hunted one day, again. Hunting later just raises the odds of access problems and the two tracks we drove on were not for the faint of heart when they got wet/slick. We drove past several stranded trailers and trucks which had slide off badly in some really difficult to extract places.

Three - hunting in October did not conflict with alot of other waterfowl and upland hunting opportunities which open up closer to home in November. It provided a wonderful experience during a period when there is not much going on in the closer to home states I hunt.
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Re: range for chukar dog

Postby jlw034 » Mon Feb 17, 2020 1:56 pm

AverageGuy wrote:
jlw034 wrote:To those that know, is there a certain month that is the best to chukar hunt? If a guy did a bucket list trip out?


We will see what the experts have to say. I went in mid October for reasons that may ring true for your situation, which is similar to mine. Locals can pick their spots/dates relative to weather a whole lot better than you and I can is the short version.

One being I have to drive a long ways to get to a Chukar State. I wanted better odds of decent highways for the long distance multiple days drive, than hunting later is going to bring. As is, we ran on ice, snow and dangerously high winds across a couple of western states on the drive home with some stretches of IS Highway high mountain passes being closed for 12 hours.

Two - the temperatures were excellent for a Vdog with a good dual coat to do a lot of hunting without being shutdown by heat, and required I wear a long underwear top and wind breaker or vest, stocking cap. Waiting longer risks snow preventing being able to reach alot of the country we hunted. Enough snow fell one night that we were never able to access the best Chukar spot we had hunted one day, again. Hunting later just raises the odds of access problems and the two tracks we drove on were not for the faint of heart when they got wet/slick. We drove past several stranded trailers and trucks which had slide off badly in some really difficult to extract places.

Three - hunting in October did not conflict with alot of other waterfowl and upland hunting opportunities which open up closer to home in November. It provided a wonderful experience during a period when there is not much going on in the closer to home states I hunt.


Thanks AG! Would love to get out there soon. At 33 my knees are already starting to require a brace (thanks football/wrestling), hate to think what it will be like in 10-15 years.
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Re: range for chukar dog

Postby AverageGuy » Mon Feb 17, 2020 1:56 pm

Bruce,

Thanks for the photos, I always enjoy them.

Kelly sent me similarly spectacular video last week of a couple of his veteran dogs pointing/backing while a puppy vacillates on which of the two it was going to do. Kelly walks in, flushes and shoots a bird way down the steep slope below the dogs continuing to hold point up above and then his dogs charge down the steep slope past him to the fall. It is beautiful!
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Re: range for chukar dog

Postby orhunter » Mon Feb 17, 2020 2:51 pm

Bird numbers are another problem. After the big die off, location, location, location. Every year is different. Last year's report can be so yesterday as to be completely useless.

I never hunted opening week. Always waited till temperatures put the snakes to rest for the winter. My hunting season always began the second Wednesday after the opener. Never encountered a Rattler and hunted a high snake area in KJ's back yard. That first photo of Bruce's is the general area and it developed into a warm day which would have increased the odds but we saw nothing.

I think a highly neglected area is the Orygun/Nevada border area. Nevada's Chukar country is quite small but it can be productive some years. I don't actually know where it is, never been there.

Don't forget Idaho.

A good rain can get the birds up out of the canyons on onto the flats above. Makes for easier hunting but it can be a hike getting there if you can't drive. One of my favorite places is just across the road from where Bruce took a couple of the photos. There are some high plateaus about five miles and 1,000 ft. higher from where I'd park. Worth the hike if it's a good bird year and just exercise if it isn't. Fun being there with the Eagle Cap Wilderness Area just above, quite a view. I've bumped into elk a few times also. Walked up on a gal one day with a 6 pt in the back of her truck. Dunno how she drove in there? The only other person(s) I've ever seen there is me and Bruce. It was really infested with birds before the die off. Requires a person to hunt/cross private property and permission should be obtained for access. A BLM map is handy where ever you go. On-X is great.
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Re: range for chukar dog

Postby Bruce Schwartz » Mon Feb 17, 2020 4:16 pm

Image

This is the area Orhunter was talking about that's across the road from the shot of him in the last post. The kind of country he was talking about can be seen in the distance on the left side of the image. We started the hunt at the river and had hiked another 1000 feet or so above this point to hunt. We're about 2/3 of the way down here. Idaho is in the far distance, this being the Powder River, a tributary of the Snake River that separates the two states. Looks like we had booties on the dogs and you can see the basalt rocks in the foreground. You need tough feet on your dog or sometimes booties. I saw an English Setter's pads disappear after just two hours on this stuff - he was out of commission for several weeks.

Lots of public land in the west (thank God) and as sportsmen we need to support it. The hills across the road in the right side of the photo are private and the land owner will not allow hunting. It looks like good hunting otherwise. The season runs from early October until the end of January and early hunting is hampered by hot weather and later hunting is hampered by the dirt roads being too wet. It's also desolate country and, although I mostly hunt by myself, I always have some sort of GPS emergency beacon on me. I've fallen and hit my head, torn a knee meniscus requiring surgery, and ruined several guns from falls. It's best to let others know where you'll be hunting if you're by yourself ... but you can have bells on the dog and blow your whistle to your heart's desire. LOL. The days may be in the 80's but the nights are in the 30's so it can be brutal. At least there's a paved road in this region.
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Re: range for chukar dog

Postby orhunter » Mon Feb 17, 2020 6:06 pm

Bruce: That photo brings back so many memories. I've hunted that land across the road lots of times and never had a landowner problem. I've had people drive by me on that dirt road that we walked in on and nobody has said anything to me. There's a lot of fences and can't tell private from BLM. Have no idea who might own it. Where we parked that day shown in the photo is private and posted now, it wasn't posted back then. Lucky to have permission. Last time I hunted, never saw a single bird on the lower part. Year before it was infested with Huns, a few Chukars. The high plateaus can be a mixed bag also, including snipe in a couple of damp places. I got three green heads one day while hunting quail along the river. Nice to see the great and powerful OZ.
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Re: range for chukar dog

Postby Bruce Schwartz » Mon Feb 17, 2020 6:51 pm

Thanks for the comment about Oz - I miss her every day.

About the public/private land: better ask KJ - he probably lives less than 20 miles from there? Looks like his dogs could really stretch out on that ground.
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Re: range for chukar dog

Postby jlw034 » Mon Feb 17, 2020 6:57 pm

Thanks for the advice folks. I think 2021 will be the year. The new pup should be old enough to be worth a damn, and have two dogs just makes me feel better in that kind of country.
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Re: range for chukar dog

Postby orhunter » Mon Feb 17, 2020 7:11 pm

Bruce:

KJ has hunted there but not this year. Says he has lots of other areas where he doesn't need permission. Easy to get permission, bribe them with canned/smoked salmon and tuna. I bring 'em goodies even when I'm not hunting.
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Re: range for chukar dog

Postby J D Patrick » Mon Feb 17, 2020 8:43 pm

awesome photos in this thread,,,thanks folks
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Re: range for chukar dog

Postby orhunter » Mon Feb 17, 2020 9:42 pm

JD: Chukar hunters never run out of scenery.
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Re: range for chukar dog

Postby Kiger2 » Tue Feb 18, 2020 2:11 am

JLW34,
Bucket list chukar hunt? .. Lots of good advice given so far, I may repeat some things but Ill give you my two cents.

Heat can be a killer. Ran into a guy once on the John Day who had a friend that killed a gsp (short coat dog) hunting early and only saved dog number two because he got it into the Deschutes and cooled it off. And then there snakes. My cocker literally jumped over one once early in the season. Other safety issues, porcupines, and cliffs. Better be able to stop your dog when you need. Friends GSP broke its leg jumping down a cliff. There are cougars but I have only heard of one issue with a hunting dog. Mostly we make so much noise they know we are there and leave.

My group has hunted the first week of December for 20 years or so. Once we had to cancel because there was too much snow to get from the valley over the mountains and too much snow to hunt if we did get there. There are a few trips where we drive snow and ice all the way over. (8 to 10 hour drive). Most days weather is great and I can hunt with a simple sweatshirt and we have a lot of days I have to go down to a Tee shirt. Rain is rare but possible. I usually do a last week of Jan trip. Weather can still be tee shirt.

Roads can be an issue. Cold weather is best for the roads ,But there are always paved or good gravel roads you can use to get to good hunting. Depends on how much driving you are willing to do. Get up and drive a half hour to hunt or two hours??

I also do a trip the last week of jan at the end of the season. But I would use that as a back up for you and not as first choice.

Where will you stay? Hotel? Camper?, tent?
Are you in good shape? How much ground can you cover? Get your dogs feet in shape. Roading on gravel roads is good. Break into it gradually. Some country is really rocky and other not so hard on a dogs feet. But, if you are going to the effort to come out, take the time to help your dog excell. Hate to cut the trip short due to bloody feet. We do mostly 5 day hunts and the dogs do fine. But we do have dogs that have bloody feet on occasion. They are beat up and tired but still hunt.

I would plan on a week in later October, if weather looks bad , cancel and come the week before thanksgiving. Bad weather usually only lasts a week or so. Weather may be bad in SE but good in other areas?
You may want to see if its a good bird year, but we really haven't had a really good year since 2006. This year was our best since then. I would just plan the trip and take what you are given. There are places we always see lots and lots of birds, just can't always get to them.

Can be good coyote hunting, please kill all you can.

Bring a 12 gauge with a good hot load of number 5's. No sense being under gunned. ( hunt with a 20 ga and believe me it costs me birds.) Use an auto also. And reload, reload, reload!!! Lots of late flushers with chukars.
Carry water for you and your dog. Bring a good set of forceps to remove port quills.
OnX is great for private property.
More questions or need ideas let me know. Ill help as I can?
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