range for chukar dog

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Re: range for chukar dog

Postby Kiger2 » Tue Feb 18, 2020 2:39 am

Avearage Guy.

Im sorry, but you are just wrong. Anyone who thinks that straight line to the cover is good work is just wrong.

Any bird downwind of the line is lost,The dog is only covering 50% of the ground between you and the cover. a covey on the line to the cover is busted. The dog is only covering ground upwind of his line. The video stopped (I wonder why?) when the dog got to the cover. While its good that the dog and us all get that the cover is a good place to look. the dog isn't smart enough to know he needs to go much farther downwind before he turns to the cover. The he gets to the cover, what's he do? if he turns and hunts to the right, he's hunting with the wind and can't smell any birds and he busts them.

To help explain lets look at chukar behavior. Chukars are ominivorous. Feed on bugs, (my chukars I kept even ate mice!) seeds and grass. By chukar season a lot of the bugs are dormant and seeds have been consumed or covered. Primary feed becomes grass shoots. Shoot a chukar in Jan and his crop will be full of grass. where do they find grass?? It starts on the south facing slopes. The slopes that the snow melts of of first and has moisture for grass to grow.

They will roost usually in rimrocks if they have it and then sage or whatever cover they can find. ( we once found a chukar in a road grader during a storm). We will often find communal poop piles, looks like someone dumped a gallon of chukar poop in one place. Usually around rimrock.
They are actually similar to other grazing animals. They don't just feed in one place. they get out and cover ground as they feed. They may return to the same place at night or a favorite places, but they don't just stay in ideal cover and feed.

So as Averagedogs dog is taking that beeline to the cover we all think should hold birds. Where are the birds? Are they left of his line where he can smell them? Or are they right of the line where he can't? Are they right on the line where he will run over them? So like I said, I would direct his hunt to the right of the line, thus covering more ground than his straight line. Quartering is a relative term . Quartering for my retriever is different than a pointer. The pointer has to quarter. If it goes to the right and never comes back to left you would lose the dog.

Lots of discussion of how many miles a dog covers each day. the real question is this....... How many EFFECTIVE miles does it cover.

Average guy, how many days have you actually hunted wild chukars out west???
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Re: range for chukar dog

Postby AverageGuy » Tue Feb 18, 2020 7:35 am

Kiger2,

That dog handled doves, teal, waterfowl, prairie chickens, sharptails, ruffed grouse, sage grouse, huns, chukars, bobwhites in 3 states, pheasants in 4 states, a couple of whitetail recoveries and some fur work this past season.

Neither of us lack for experience or success hunting birds.

I do not value your opinion.

Blather on, I know there is no stopping you.
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Re: range for chukar dog

Postby Meridiandave » Tue Feb 18, 2020 8:52 am

One thing to add on this quartering debate. I often see me pointing dogs quarter. They do it under pretty specific circumstances though. They quarter when there is birds below on a hill. There is usually a pretty good wind or updraft. The dogs nose will go in the air and they will quarter from right to left. They know a covey is there from the wind, but are using the left to right to determine the range of their movements. Almost every time the dogs will lock up on the birds in a few minutes.

I am not sure it invalidates any of the previous arguments, it is just a different situation that is not accounted for.
Last edited by Meridiandave on Tue Feb 18, 2020 9:20 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: range for chukar dog

Postby AverageGuy » Tue Feb 18, 2020 9:05 am

Meridiandave wrote:One thing to add on this quartering debate. I often see me pointing dogs quarter. They do it under pretty specific circumstances though. They quarter when there is birds below the on a hill. There is usually a pretty good wind or updraft. The dogs nose will go in the air and go from right to left. They know a covey is there from the wind, but are using the left to right to determine the range of their movements. Almost every time the dogs will lock up on the birds in a few minutes.

I am not sure it invalidates any of the previous arguments, it is just a different situation that is not accounted for.


What you describe is not a dog's ground pattern while searching big country for a scent cone/birds initially, but rather a dog which has already detected a scent cone, and is then working the scent cone to get a more precise location on the source of it, that leading hopefully to staunch point far enough off the birds to not put them in flight prematurely.

Two importantly different things, both of which are encountered in the course of a bird hunt. Experienced efficient pointing dogs will use both of these scenting searching behaviors in these distinctly differing situations.

This video demonstrates both. It is already in the 70s, the dog has run a couple of big loops, knows we are training and there is a bird somewhere in the that field so he is cautious as he makes swings in the cross wind. Hits the scent cone and immediately points hard well off the bird. Tall Cover screening his view prevented a good mark and the bird is downwind of where he is looping as he searches for the downed bird initially. He persists, hits the scent cone, and then quarters a bit as he homes in on the downed bird.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fxT_jBKhm8E
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Re: range for chukar dog

Postby Meridiandave » Tue Feb 18, 2020 9:59 am

AverageGuy wrote:
Meridiandave wrote:One thing to add on this quartering debate. I often see me pointing dogs quarter. They do it under pretty specific circumstances though. They quarter when there is birds below the on a hill. There is usually a pretty good wind or updraft. The dogs nose will go in the air and go from right to left. They know a covey is there from the wind, but are using the left to right to determine the range of their movements. Almost every time the dogs will lock up on the birds in a few minutes.

I am not sure it invalidates any of the previous arguments, it is just a different situation that is not accounted for.


What you describe is not a dog's ground pattern while searching big country for a scent cone/birds initially, but rather a dog which has already detected a scent cone, and is then working the scent cone to get a more precise location on the source of it, that leading hopefully to staunch point far enough off the birds to not put them in flight prematurely.

Two importantly different things, both of which are encountered in the course of a bird hunt. Experienced efficient pointing dogs will use both of these scenting searching behaviors in these distinctly differing situations.

This video demonstrates both. It is already in the 70s, the dog has run a couple of big loops, knows we are training and there is a bird somewhere in the that field so he is cautious as he makes swings in the cross wind. Hits the scent cone and immediately points hard well off the bird. Tall Cover screening his view prevented a good mark and the bird is downwind of where he is looping as he searches for the downed bird initially. He persists, hits the scent cone, and then quarters a bit as he homes in on the downed bird.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fxT_jBKhm8E


Agreed.
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Re: range for chukar dog

Postby orhunter » Tue Feb 18, 2020 10:05 am

Agree with AG's first paragraph. Dog is looking for center of mass.
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Re: range for chukar dog

Postby KJ » Tue Feb 18, 2020 12:42 pm

Great pics Bruce.

The spot in your last pic is mostly private. Some ranchers don't care about chukar hunters on rangeland, but some do. Onx is a great tool that we have today. There is enough good public chukar country that I usually don't even bother about asking to hunt private for chukar.

I have only ran into one rattlesnake while chukar hunting, which is pretty darn lucky. I know several friends that have got into snakes, with a couple dog bites. The Deschutes and Imnnaha are probably the worst for snakes, especially down low. But pretty much all chukar country has the possibility of snakes until you get some sustained colder weather. It helps to know where dens are located, because late October/early November the snakes will move towards the den and move in and out for a while when the days are warm and the nights are cool. I have known a few people to find themselves surrounded by rattlesnakes on a hillside in this situation.
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Re: range for chukar dog

Postby orhunter » Tue Feb 18, 2020 7:24 pm

Lower Deschutes is a snake farm. John Day is no slouch. Agree with Imnaha being infested but I was there in deer season and didn't see any. It was pretty warm so kind of a surprise.

One thing about the local snakes, they aren't very dangerous, especially to humans. Gotta pay attention to where your dog gets bitten as to the attention it should get. A lot of bites are dry bites so don't panic right away. It seems each snake has a different personality. I've had them rattle when they were 100 ft. away, some 2 ft. away. Some wouldn't rattle or get defensive when you poke 'em with a stick or throw rocks at them. My Cassie ran over the top of one on the John Day and it didn't do anything. Probably wouldn't make good pets no matter how tame they appear.
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Re: range for chukar dog

Postby Drahthaar1108 » Tue Feb 18, 2020 10:29 pm

Bruce, thank you for the beautiful photos.
Would love to hunt wild chukar some day soon , don't know if my old legs are up to it.
Quite a change in elevation ,I live 2' below sea level. Forrest
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Re: range for chukar dog

Postby Bruce Schwartz » Wed Feb 19, 2020 12:44 am

I've hunted the canyons of the Deschutes River, John Day, Snake, Owyhee, etc for many years and have never had a dog bitten by a snake. I've seen an occasional snake and once or twice have had to call the dogs off but luckily never had one bitten. The vets in this area say they see one or two bites a weekend in the summer when they're on call and they highly recommend vaccinating the dogs, saying that a bite is much less serious if you do. So that's what I do and then don't worry about it.


Forrest: there are many places to hunt chukar that don't involve the really steep stuff and, frankly, it seems like most of the chukar hunters I know are getting up in age and hunt up on top and come in on side-by-sides. Lots of places like that. I see guys with new hips and knees who don't do the steep stuff but love watching their dogs and maybe get into a covey or two. Might be that the younger folks have more sense or want more action than present day bird populations provide. The scenery and remoteness is what keeps me doing it.
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Re: range for chukar dog

Postby orhunter » Wed Feb 19, 2020 10:56 am

I've heard folks say, "I've fished the Deschutes for 20 years and never saw a snake." I saw five one day while fishing the Golden Stone emergence in early June. I wouldn't think of taking a dog fishing with me. I live on the wet side so no threat around home.

Bruce is right about the flat ground hunting. It isn't all up and down. It may be getting in and out but not (much) while hunting. It's not a foot race, no need to hurry, the birds will always be there. For the out of towner, this isn't hunting where you can just drive somewhere and shoot a bunch of birds. If you have a hot off the press tip, you are several steps ahead. Doing it on your own takes considerable time, driving out here and hunting 3 or 4 days won't get you very far. 3 or 4 months can pay off and give you the knowledge you can use for future (shorter) hunts.

If any of you want to look at a ton of photos, go to Cedarwood's or Three Devils website, they have/had a pretty good photo spread.

Bruce mentioned, "younger folks." This is a retired person's ball game. Younger folks simply don't have the time, possibly money, family obligations, job, to be a Chukar hunter. I think a lot of younger folks would get into it if it were not so demanding. KJ has it made, he lives there.
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Re: range for chukar dog

Postby AverageGuy » Wed Feb 19, 2020 11:25 am

What Bruce and Orhunter posted is what I did.

Started at or near the top and stayed on top as much as possible. Avoided the urge to chase flushed birds off of covey points down into the canyons and kept hunting the edge for the next covey instead.

It worked well for us, we found plenty of action including a nice mix of Huns and Chukars. It was physical but not as tiring as churning my legs through a cattail marsh or head tall CRP for roosters. Chukars and Huns in the open are a much easier target than bobwhites flying through the brush.

I vaccinate for rattlesnake, do avoidance training, avoid the heat periods when I can, avoid dens and prairie dog towns while on the prairies. The rest is in God's Hands.

Edit:

Couple of other thoughts on older hunters in rough terrain e.g. me. I have a sling on my shotgun and the shotgun weighs 6lbs. Next time I go I will use my Sweet 16 which weighs 5.75 lbs.

I also have a high quality graphite telescoping trekking pole that fits nicely the game bag of my Wing Works Vest. When I hit the rough stuff while hunting Chukars or anywhere else, I put my shotgun on my shoulder and breakout the Trekking pole. Makes a huge difference on reducing stress on my knees and keeps me much more stable and less apt to fall in rough steep terrain. When I no longer need the pole or the dog is making game, I put it away and get my gun at port arms as I approach ...
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Re: range for chukar dog

Postby Kiger2 » Thu Feb 20, 2020 12:10 am

AverageGuy,
My apologies,,,,, You think I was doubting the abilities of your dog. That is not the case. Of the three of us, You , your dog, and me. All of us know that could be a good spot for birds. Apparently though, Im the only one that knows how to approach it properly.
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Re: range for chukar dog

Postby Willie T » Thu Feb 20, 2020 9:49 am

I have enjoyed the pics as usual. Thanks for taking me Chukar hunting with y’all!
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Re: range for chukar dog

Postby Bruce Schwartz » Thu Feb 20, 2020 10:42 am

OK.. so here's the perfect chukar dog: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BMJv8NMd0Z8&t=3s you can stop her from going over a cliff, direct her to an area you you don't want to hunt unless there's some birds down there, has tough feet, and will hunt all day to find birds for you. :D

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BMJv8NMd0Z8&t=3s
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