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Upland Idaho Forum - Owyhee Chukar Numbers
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 Owyhee Chukar Numbers
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jcinid6
Quail>10 posts

USA
15 Posts

Posted - 01/09/2013 :  13:15:34  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I moved here from Alaska 5 years ago. The 2 main reasons were Chukar
hunting and weather. The Chukar hunting here is alot tuffer than Ptarmagen hunting in Alaska.
The first 3 years here, me and my 4 shorthairs had a blast hunting
Chukars. I hunted 63 days last year and did not get 1 Chukar. We
got 48 quail, 26 pheasants, 1 hun. Have not shot a Chukar for 2 years.
Hunt both sides of Owyhee mountains. How about the rest of you guys.
Are you seeing birds Thanks

Tuckota
Supporting Member - The Legend!

1425 Posts

Posted - 01/09/2013 :  18:19:24  Show Profile  Visit Tuckota's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Wow! That's depressing. I was out today and saw no fewer than 75 chukars. Like you, I get out a lot. So far I've hunted chukars 59 times this year. I hope to get in at least 10 more trips before the season end. That is unless this miserable snow persists. When I go I park my truck and and head out for four to six hours and usually don't see birds for the first two hours and then the fun begins. Very seldom do we not find some fun chukar action.

http://tuckerschukars.blogspot.com
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marsingbob
Quail>10 posts

USA
47 Posts

Posted - 01/09/2013 :  18:29:38  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Check your email. I am no longer able to go 4 to 6 hours, but try to pick areas where there are birds available closer to the vehicle. I only hunt the Owyhees, but I suspect there are more birds north of I-84, particularly huns.
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jcinid6
Quail>10 posts

USA
15 Posts

Posted - 01/09/2013 :  19:27:30  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hey Marsingbob,you are right, as far as I can tell. There seems to be
more birds north of I-84. I run my dogs atleast once a week year round
First to keep my tired old butt and the dogs in shape and to locate
birds. I'm not looking for hunting spots, only openions on the population trend. Up, average, down, ect. I think the numbers are down
and we are huning 3 and 4 year old birds.
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JWP58
Quail>10 posts

USA
41 Posts

Posted - 01/09/2013 :  20:08:33  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I sure hope theres birds in the Owyhee's. Going to spend about 2.5 weeks there next november.

Edited by - JWP58 on 01/09/2013 20:09:08
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jcinid6
Quail>10 posts

USA
15 Posts

Posted - 01/09/2013 :  20:45:57  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Fish and game says that with the right brooding conditions, Chukars
can double their numbers in one nesting season. I guess they can have 2 broods when things are right. My pups and I found birds with 1/4
grown and 3/4 grown chicks last summer. Just don't know what happened.
Oregon fish and game said the numbers were down 34% from 10 year average in Malhure (Owyhee) area of Oregon
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Matt 208
Sage-grouse>150 posts

227 Posts

Posted - 01/09/2013 :  21:01:14  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
jcinid - I am jealous of the amount you are able to get in the hills, it sounds like you are still having fun.

From my observations, chukar are average-ish (good enough) in most areas I have hunted. However, I have had a couple 4-5 hour hunts with very few birds. Also, I have only hunted the Owyhees once but saw a lot of birds.

I am far from a biologist, but my understanding is that chukar typically don't live past two years and they will only have a second "brood" if the first clutch is lost before they hatch.

With my work schedule, I am not able to hunt much in January. That leaves me worrying about the toll this winter weather is going to have on the birds. Any update on conditions in the hills would be appreciated (open slopes? healthy birds?)
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Tuckota
Supporting Member - The Legend!

1425 Posts

Posted - 01/09/2013 :  21:30:13  Show Profile  Visit Tuckota's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Matt, the winter conditions have been great so far. Today, the further up the south slopes you got the more the snow was melted. Birds are healthy and their crops are full. The birds and dogs have no problem getting up those steep slopes, only us old farts. Also it takes only ten seconds for chukars to fly to the next burnt off ridge to avoid predators as most of the hunters are finding out right now.

http://tuckerschukars.blogspot.com
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Kirklan
Chukar>500 Posts

USA
756 Posts

Posted - 01/09/2013 :  21:36:01  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I don't know where your hunting in the Owyhee's, but at 63 days without a chukar tells me your not hunting chukar country. I've only hunted the Owyhee's once this year, but the day I did I saw a good 75+ chukar and at least that many huns as well. I think you need to change up your hunting if your not seeing birds. I don't hunt SW ID as much as some, but I have NEVER not seen birds on a hunt.


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jcinid6
Quail>10 posts

USA
15 Posts

Posted - 01/09/2013 :  21:43:27  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I have talked to game biologists at the Nampa office and talked to
a biologist on the Oregon side and they told me if there is a earley green up of the grass which makes for lots of bugs they will bounce
back big time. They used to post survey numbers on ODFW site about
300 and 400 bird counts one year and 600 to 800 bird count the next
year in their airial survey section above Brownlee reservoir. This is also dependant on weather conditions to. They also said they can live for 3 to 4 years, but 2 years is average. With this snow, its looking
good to me for next year. Which reminds me, I need to get the rest of
the canvas on my pootoon boat for next year and do Chukar/Crappie
combo trips on Owyhee reservoir :-)

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7Shot
Blue Grouse>50 posts

54 Posts

Posted - 01/09/2013 :  22:11:17  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I would say from my hunts, that this is a down year for bird numbers. I still see birds, but not big coveys, and I am seeing a few less coveys per outing than last year. I hunt about 8-10 spots and they are all a bit down. I hunted a few days ago and was excited to hit some south slopes, up high that had melted. Well on the way up there, it was 20 degrees and began to snow. The ground was well frozen and the 1/2 inch of snow that fell made the traction on the hills like standing on a metal slide at the park with dirty shoes. I could not stay upright and the 5 coveys I found all flushed wild (after my dogs pointed them). We pushed around a few groups of birds and then I decided to save the body and head for the truck before I had any serious injuries. The birds were in some pretty steep areas that had melted, and I just could not find any birds on level ground. This was my first outing of the year without shooting a bird. I worked up a good sweat, the dogs got good work and I made it back alive. I will get back out soon and the birds better watch out - Payback time.
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Ithaca 37
Supporting Member

412 Posts

Posted - 01/10/2013 :  15:18:04  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
jcinid6, If you hunted for chukars 63 days last year and didn't get any something is seriously wrong. Were you seeing them and missing them, not getting close enough to them before they flushed, or just not finding any? Those biologists you're talking to ought to be able to recommend some places to find chukars.
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jcinid6
Quail>10 posts

USA
15 Posts

Posted - 01/10/2013 :  15:49:55  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Ithaca 37 - I was only finding 2 or 3 birds in my spots at springs and
year round water holes where we have always found 50 to 70 birds. They flush 100 yards or more aheahd of the dogs, even my 2 older stealthy dogs. We got a few huns this year and they were wild flushing to. With 4 dogs hanging out of the side windows of my truck, guys are always stoping their trucks and asking me if i have seen any Chukars.They have told me the same thing 2 or 3 wild birds. And yes,I hunt up on top of hills I spend 1 to 1 1/2 hours climbing. My
spring holes have always been good in the past. There seems to be birds tight around the bigger reservoirs, so Iam going to hunt off of
my poontoon boat next year and do 2 day trips.My hunting partener has
hunted Chukars in Idah for 50 years and he is perplexed.
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Karl and Zealot
Administrator

USA
4534 Posts

Posted - 01/10/2013 :  17:23:09  Show Profile  Visit Karl and Zealot's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Wow...time to find some New Dirt I would say, at least for the rest of this season.

Karl
If your dog isn't skinny, you don't hunt enough...kmd

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BlakDeth
Hungarian Partridge>300 Posts

USA
364 Posts

Posted - 01/10/2013 :  20:05:54  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
If birds are flushing 100 years ahead of your dogs, I'll agree that it's time to find other places to hunt. Those birds have been pushed hard if they're that spooky. Good news is that you may not have to go far. There are a lot of places in any given area that don't get the attention from hunters that the "hot spots" do. Look for some likely looking spots where no one parks and get over the hills and around the corners. The pontoon idea sounds like a blast.

I've had a tough time this season too. Half was due to much lower birds numbers, half due to a mildly sociopathic pup. Still finding birds though, and hoping to get the dog a strong contact finish to the season.

"Blakdeth is flat out wrong."
-harold
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JWP58
Quail>10 posts

USA
41 Posts

Posted - 01/13/2013 :  14:25:58  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Quick question. Can quail be had in the Owyhee area? (just in general)

As I mentioned before, Im going to be rambling around the Owyhee area of OR and ID next November for a couple of weeks and would like to get into as many species as possible (just for the heck of it).
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