After a two-week hiatus following the hot, dry, smoky weather of the first week of chukar season in Idaho, we made it out yesterday. I’d been worried since the big early-June storms that bird numbers would be very low in Hells Canyon. One of the biologists at the Andrus Center indicated to a friend of ours that chukar numbers were in fact down a lot because of the storm-related mortality on the chicks that had hatched then.
I’m not sure where he got his data, but we observed excellent bird numbers yesterday, to our great delight. They were high, at ridge tops, not hunkering down, moving steadily on approach. Peat either wasn’t stealthy enough to hold them or they just weren’t having it, but he never held a single point. Instead, right from the beginning, Peat did his best imitation of Angus’s creeping point, the first of which started about halfway up the ridge and went steadily to the top; I could barely see Peat’s little head above the bunchgrass as he stayed at least 120 yards from us until he crossed over and we got a glimpse of the birds busting every which way. A nice welcome-back to the lung-busting, heart-pounding, quad-killing pursuit. I look forward to getting back into chukar hunting shape, but definitely felt old and fat yesterday. Peat seemed to be in a similar boat (he’s never done well in the heat anyway), which is understandable since this was only the second “real” chukar hunt we’ve done this year.
I was able to kill two birds, both busting wild, and felt it was a good day in the field, considering the conditions, which were still quite hot and dry. We’re glad to see that this weekend calls for cooler, wetter weather.
Speaking of which, after selling a crap-ton of Bucking Chukar t-shirts, we’ve still got a couple left (and some beanies and Dri-Duck hats) but are thinking of ordering hoodies. Anyone interested in a hoody, please let me know (we’re trying to figure out how many to order). We’re not planning on ordering more t-shirts unless we hear otherwise.
Anyway, it’s good to be back at it. Stay tuned for more.