There’s a new book out on chukar hunting, which I had a chance to read recently. Strategies and Tactics for Chukars and Huns, by retired wildlife biologist Mike Stamm, is currently available as an e-book on Amazon. It’s a welcome addition to the limited book-length information on chukar hunting, and — while looking at similar things as the books by Pat Wray and Richard O’Toole (whose book seems out of print) — focuses more on the title’s promise: how to hunt these birds successfully.
Written in a straightforward, conversational way, Stamm’s book surveys what most experienced chukar hunters do to prepare for and execute a successful hunt, from equipment, clothing, footware (even more thorough than my several posts on chukar hunting boots), maps (real and virtual), and — most importantly — how to approach birds in different terrain and at different times of the season.
We get a lot of questions from visitors to this blog about where to find birds. Stamm’s book is worth a read for people relatively new to this endeavor because it spends some time on what kind of habitat to look for (and how to look for it), and will give other more experienced hunters either new ideas about or validation of their own strategies and tactics.
This is a self-published book, and is admittedly a work in progress. One of the things I like about it are the author’s own illustrations, which show a humorous side to the activity, which is in keeping with most serious chukar hunters’ self-conception: you have to be able to laugh at yourself to want to keep doing this ridiculousness; when the birds are laughing at you from the rimrock above, if you don’t laugh, too, you’re in for an even harder day. The illustrations also make me feel much better about my own shoddy artistic talent. So there’s that.
Two things missing from Stamm’s book, in my humble opinion, are (first) an informative diatribe about medusahead and the forces that have led to its status as the thing that will extinguish chukar in natural habitat, and (second) any mention of the best chukar dog breed ever, the Brittany. If you can look past those two things, I think it’s well worth a read.