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Author Topic: Insight from chukar gurus  (Read 1960 times)

Offline RobinHoodlum

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Insight from chukar gurus
« on: December 27, 2020, 07:16:22 PM »
This is only my second year of chasing the red legged devils with a 2 year old griffon. So, we are both definitely still learning.

Here's the deal - was out in fresh snow over the weekend and got into several different coveys and managed a few birds. Hunted a variety of cover and was really hoping to find some on flatter ground, but that was not the case. Pretty much every covey was up against the base of the cliffs and usually protected by talus below. The dog made some great points, but the birds were often plumb line downslope 20 to 100 feet below and only occasionally unapproachable by me due to por footing in snow covered rock.

A couple times I encouraged the dog off her point to flush and this worked okay. Hate to do that though, as we are still working on sold pointing. A few other times we just had to walk away as I was afraid the dog would plunge to her death either by encouraging her to go after them or during the retrieve after the shot.   

My questions are what to do when you can't find chukar in more open ground where the dog can be expected to hold a point in places where you can safely approach? And, am I screwing up the dog's pointing learning curve by encouraging her to flush in these scenarios?

Offline metlhead

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Re: Insight from chukar gurus
« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2020, 07:58:54 PM »
Honestly not seeing any problem at all. You are finding and shooting birds, where they should be this time of year. You can break your dog to flush, on command. And you can walk your dog off point in a dangerous situation. It isn't a TV show. You are doing great.

Offline RobinHoodlum

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Re: Insight from chukar gurus
« Reply #2 on: December 28, 2020, 07:03:53 AM »
Thanks metlhead. Means a lot to hear encouraging words as I question my tactics and decision making. Love the challenge of chukar hunting, but the slick and gloppy snow was almost a bit too much

Offline KP-Skagit

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Re: Insight from chukar gurus
« Reply #3 on: December 28, 2020, 08:08:02 AM »
I hunt a golden so take this with a grain of salt. I have had issues with the birds running up into nasty stuff that I can't get into, especially in snowy conditions. Sometimes its just plain to slow going to catch up to them and you find yourself in a death march watching dozens of birds hop through the rocks in front of you. Last time I went out I let her roam a little further. She went into the stuff I couldn't, way up the hill/cliff and flushed the birds and I actually was able to get several.

A pointing dog is a different game but if you were able to train it to release a point you could employ the same scheme. Bottom line is, there are a lot more chukar than shooting opportunities.

Offline chukar hunter

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Re: Insight from chukar gurus
« Reply #4 on: December 28, 2020, 08:27:23 AM »
This is only my second year of chasing the red legged devils with a 2 year old griffon. So, we are both definitely still learning.

Here's the deal - was out in fresh snow over the weekend and got into several different coveys and managed a few birds. Hunted a variety of cover and was really hoping to find some on flatter ground, but that was not the case. Pretty much every covey was up against the base of the cliffs and usually protected by talus below. The dog made some great points, but the birds were often plumb line downslope 20 to 100 feet below and only occasionally unapproachable by me due to por footing in snow covered rock.

A couple times I encouraged the dog off her point to flush and this worked okay. Hate to do that though, as we are still working on sold pointing. A few other times we just had to walk away as I was afraid the dog would plunge to her death either by encouraging her to go after them or during the retrieve after the shot.   

My questions are what to do when you can't find chukar in more open ground where the dog can be expected to hold a point in places where you can safely approach? And, am I screwing up the dog's pointing learning curve by encouraging her to flush in these scenarios?

Agree with other posts, doing great.  In WA I've never found chuckar on open/gentle sloping ground.  Always on rocky outcroppings or steep ravines.  I always coined chuckar hunting "rock climbing with a gun" for the reasons you explained. 

I've always hunted over a lab, though often have birds flushing at distance, so never would conceive this quarry as much of a pointing opportunity where I hunt.  Quail or Pheasants would be a different story. 

Offline RobinHoodlum

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Re: Insight from chukar gurus
« Reply #5 on: December 28, 2020, 09:41:23 AM »
Thanks everyone for the input! Rock climbing with a gun indeed!

Chukar are definitely flighty, but they will occasionally hold in slightly more vulnerable terrain. Seems more so after a covey is broken up.

I appreciate the suggestion of letting the dog climb up after them into places that would take me forever to get to - if at all. But, I am hesitant to encourage her to consistently flush or be called off point when she has birds pinned. We do hunt phez and quail and this goes against the grain of developing and reinforcing her pointing skills.

Striving to find the balance of adapting on the fly with chukar in these scenarios and feeling confident the dog will hold point when I need her to.

Offline KP-Skagit

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Re: Insight from chukar gurus
« Reply #6 on: December 28, 2020, 09:47:42 AM »
My dad always said he would break up the coveys and then hunt singles and doubles as they would hold tight. I find it very rare to be able to see the birds go down, but when I have, this works wonders. In fact, quite often they will call to one another when busted up which can help.

I have found chukar in the flats only a couple times, it was snowing hard and windy, I actually thought they were huns until the dog brought them back. They had worked their way out of a ravine that the wind was ripping up and found a depression in the flat where they were in a lee. In my observation they do not like sitting in a strong wind and that can congregate them in odd areas. If your approach is obscured they will hold tight. If they see you coming they will be long gone.

Offline jagermiester

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Re: Insight from chukar gurus
« Reply #7 on: December 31, 2020, 07:37:09 AM »
Where you found them today you will find them tomorrow..... So similar elevation similar south facing slope with similar cover etc..... Keep exploring you will find more coveys that don’t present this challenge and then you can go back to the dangerous stuff and get frustrated. As far as I am concerned there is not a better bird to pursue....
Lead em if they're running.

Offline GWP

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Re: Insight from chukar gurus
« Reply #8 on: March 19, 2021, 10:38:39 PM »
Most all of the dings in our shotguns came from hunting Chukar. Just part of hunting them. Rocks, steep, nasty. ‘Flat area’ is pretty much just planted birds...
Like one buddy said, “Pull into the ugliest canyon you can find. Look for the worst and hardest place to get to. Hunt Chukar.”
As was said, you can train a separate flush command. Just make sure the dog is VERY solid on pointing (if that is what you want) before you do it. Much more fun for the dog to ‘chase birds’.

 


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