Book Review: Strategies & Tactics for Chukars and Huns

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.

My favorite illustration in Stamm’s book. I can think of other figures that visit (or live in) chukar habitat to describe as “outlaws.” I prefer to think of chukar more as naturalized overlords facing an invasion from bovine and ATV abuse.

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.

5 Replies to “Book Review: Strategies & Tactics for Chukars and Huns”

  1. No doubt he is trying to keep the Brittany a secret, thus the omission. If everyone had Brittanys like Peat and Angus the chukars would be all hunted out by now.

  2. Just finished the book, which I wouldn’t have found absent your recommendation. Thank you.

    The suggestion to circle well below a dog pointing downhill, to pin birds between you and the dog and produce a more shootable flush, is intriguing. I’m looking forward to attempting — and botching — that move for the rest of the season.

    Also, good catch about the failure to mention the best chukar dog breed ever. It was a glaring omission and a good catch on your part but, I have to say, you sure do have a funny way of spelling “Pudelpointer.” 😉

    1. Ha! You had me expecting “Brittany”! Good one. That tactic of circling below the point is one I figured out a few years ago by mistake, and it works, which is one of the things I liked in Mike’s book. The problem with it, though, which happens to me at least half the time, is when it’s windy and the dog points way, way uphill of the birds, and I don’t go low enough below him. In that situation, the dog and I are looking at each other, and the birds bust below me, with my back to them, and I can’t even get one shot off. So I’ve had to experiment with how far below I go, and think about the wind speed and direction, and make a guess. The whole thing adds to the excitement and suspense, and when it works you get the best shot opportunities ever. On another matter, our next dog will be a Pudelpointer, an orange-and-white or maybe a tri-color. 🙂

    1. Yes. Cheatgrass is bad. Medusahead is worse. At least you can walk through cheat, no matter how prevalent it is. Medusahead is impossible to walk through after it’s taken over. Still, none of it is good and it’s here to stay, thanks to our fantastic love affair with cattle. Mike would have to answer the doobie question, but that’s how it looked to me, too!

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