CHUKAR HUNTERS ARE DIFFERENT, so different from our other game birds that they are developing their own cult of hunters—
Charley F. Waterman Hunting Upland Birds
I’m waiting patiently for gobbling turkeys and caddis flies here in Colorado as the snows continue to fall on my Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Six inches this morning matter of fact. The greenbacks are under several feet of snow…however, it won’t be long ’til I’m tossing dries to my favorite natives, but until then I’ve been reminiscing on my days spent in Idaho with birds & dogs. Idaho last October 2011 was unseasonably warm and dry. Chukars were still way up in the rim-rock country Idaho is infamous for. The previous day was spent with my brother, Scott, chasing valley quail, pheasants and huns. What a unbelievable day with the coveys caught out in the sagebrush hillsides. My cover setterdog Gretchen and Gary Thompson’s long-legged GSP Pepper had over 50 staunch points on valley quail.
Grouse River Gretchen on Idaho Valley Quail
Scott and I were lured by the Siren’s call 2000 vertical feet to get to Lucifer’s birds that morning. The first covey Scott came upon were scurrying in front of him causing a salivary response like Pavlov’s dogs tempting a ground sluicing…but Scott heartily adores these devil birds, and they roared off the ridge top unscathed to the valley below where we’d just clawed our way from. The next bevy we saw was flushed by a menacing bird of prey. Scott and I climbed higher and higher and were surrounded by cantankerous chukars until the storm rolled in. Nothing like being vertical on talus slopes when it’s a whiteout…specially without skis. It’s been said many times that a person hunts chukars once for the challenge and from thereafter for revenge. I can’t wait to even the score!
Recently Pat Wray (author of A Chukar Hunter’s Companion) sent me an email informing me of his new Chukar Hunter’s website and forum. Pat’s been chasing these birds for many years and has a wealth of chukar knowledge to share. Anyone one interested in wild chukar hunting should stop in and visit Pat’s site. Another excellent chukar forum site is Upland Idaho.
Enjoy the Spring weather and let’s count the days until we’re back in the uplands with our birddogs and smooth bores.
Filed under AYA Shotguns, Bird Dog Wisdom, Bird Dogs, Bird Dogs and Blessings, chukar hunting, Field Days, Fine Doubles, Grouse Dogs, gun dogs, Hunting, hunting partners, Idaho Bird Dogs and Bird Hunting, Pa'tridge Hunting, Pointing Dogs, Quail Dogs, setterdogs, Upland Bird, Upland Bird Hunting, Upland Birds, Upland Idaho, Upland Life, Upland Photographs, Wingshooting
I arrived the first afternoon in southeastern Idaho to chase sharp-tailed grouse and gray partridge after an 11 hour white-knuckled drive…I left Colorado at O’dark-30 so that Andy and I could get in a half day’s hunt before heading to our folks home. We were told of a place where our brother Scott and his hunting compadres had been recently chasing muley bucks. We found this bird haven and loosed our bird dogs in anticipation of coveys of huns and Columbia sharp-tailed grouse. As the light faded and long shadows were cast on the winter wheat, we had seen (and missed) numerous grouse and 4 to 5 nice coveys of huns.
One highlight was Gary’s dog Pepper pointing a 15 to 20 bird covey of huns and me actually making a rare double on the covey rise.
One low light was that my setter Gretchen had developed Limber Tail Syndrome in the very first afternoon of chasing birds in the Idaho uplands.
Limber Tail Syndrome is a condition commonly referred to as limber tail, cold water tail, or flaccid tail syndrome and is familiar to owners/trainers with bird dogs, primarily English pointers, English setters, Gordon setters, and Labrador retrievers. The typical case consists of a bird dog that suddenly develops a flaccid tail immediately after vigorous exercise. The tail either hangs down from the tail base or is held out horizontally for several inches ( 3 to 4) from the tail base and then hangs straight down or at some degree below horizontal. Most bird dogs recover spontaneously within a few days to a couple of weeks. Less than one third of affected bird dogs experience a recurrence at some point in their field career. Affected bird dogs almost always have a history of long crate transport, vigorous roading or exercise the previous day, or exposure to swimming in cold water or cold/wet weather. There is some evidence in the literature that suggests that affected bird dogs have elevation in their muscle enzymes at the immediate onset of the condition and they therefore have muscle damage (although reversible) to the coccygeal muscles. As I mentioned before, most bird dogs recover spontaneously with rest and NSAID’s (anti-inflammatory meds such as Rimadyl or Meloxicam) therapy. Gretchen has not yet completely recovered in 10 days, but I’m hopeful!
Next up: Colorado scaled quail on the prairies!
Filed under Andy Wayment, AYA Shotguns, Bird Dog Wisdom, Bird Dogs, Bird Dogs and Blessings, birddogdoc, chukar hunting, Double Guns, Elhew Pointers, Everything Quail, Field Days, Filson Products, Fine Doubles, Follow your Folly, Friendships, Grouse Dogs, gun dogs, Huns, Hunting, hunting partners, Idaho Bird Dogs and Bird Hunting, Limber Tail Syndrome, Pointers and Setters in Eastern Colorado Scaled Quail Country, Pointing Dogs, Prairies, Quail Dogs, Scaled Quail and Pointing Dogs, Setter Quail Dogs, setterdogs, Upland Bird, Upland Bird Hunting, Upland Birds, Upland Idaho, Upland Life, Valley Quail Haven, Wingshooting
Here’s some of my favorite photos from my recent trip to South Eastern Idaho.
I’ll post some specifics later this week…
Filed under Bird Dog Wisdom, Bird Dogs, Bird Dogs and Blessings, birddogdoc, Blue Grouse, Chasing Idaho's Uplands for Chukars, chukar hunting, Colorado Bird Dogs, Double Guns, Everything Quail, Field Days, Fine Doubles, Follow your Folly, Grouse Dogs, grouse hunting, gun dogs, Huns, Hunting, hunting partners, Idaho Bird Dogs and Bird Hunting, Pa'tridge Hunting, Pointing Dogs, Quail Dogs, Setter Quail Dogs, setterdogs, Upland Bird, Upland Birds, Upland Idaho, Upland Life, Upland Photographs, Valley Quail Haven, Wingshooting
Gadabout is a person that travels for personal pleasure…which is what I’ve been fortunate enough to be doing the past 10 days in southern Idaho in search of birds with dogs!
Below are a few preview photos from Idaho….much more to follow when I return to Colorado next week.
Filed under Andy Wayment, Bird Dogs, Bird Dogs and Blessings, birddogdoc, Blue Grouse, chukar hunting, Double Guns, Field Bred English Cocker, Field Days, Fine Doubles, Food for Thought, Friendships, Good Food, Grouse Dogs, grouse hunting, gun dogs, Huns, Hunting, hunting partners, Pointing Dogs, Prairies, Quail Dogs, quail eating, Ruffed Grouse, Setter Quail Dogs, setterdogs, Uncategorized, Upland Bird, Upland Bird Hunting, Upland Birds, Upland Idaho, Upland Life, Upland Photographs, Valley Quail Haven