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This is the first year with my pup… and man has it been a learning curve. I have truly loved having a hunting dog as it gives me an excuse to get out in the mountains every chance that I get.

We started off the year chasing ruffs and duskies then moved on to pheasants in November. Since pheasant season closed, I’ve been getting cabin fever sitting around. It wasn’t until a friend reminded me that Chukar season runs into 2023 that I decided to take a chance and try to get into a few coveys. Honestly, if I saw a single bird at all, I would have been stoked!

I honestly had no idea where to go, but after spending a few days looking at Google earth for some steep nasty desert country that might hold some birds, my pup and I took off for a few hours this afternoon to go hunting.

After about 15 minutes of hiking, we flushed our first single. To be honest, I cant tell you how many times this season I’ve been caught with my gun over my shoulder and missed a chance on a bird (you think I would have learned by now). Needless to say, the first chukar got away without having to worry too much.

As we were climbing up the mountain, the snow was getting deeper and deeper. I kept having the thought that there was no way there would be any birds up this high with the snow so deep. It was only a few minutes later that my pup caught a scent and some fresh tracks. Within seconds, he had his first full covey flushed. I took one bird out of this covey, and was so excited I had harvest my first chukar that I set my shotgun down to take everything in only to have even more birds erupt around me. Rookie mistake. Having never hunted chukar before, I was truly impressed with these things… man can they fly! It’s so frustrating to see them take off down a canyon and to know that in order to get back on them, I was going to have to go down 2,000 feet and back up 2,000 feet.

I’m sure finding birds was beginners luck and that I’ll get skunked the next several times, but I can’t tell you what an adrenaline rush that was! Most people told me that I was crazy to go after them with a flushing dog, but it was cool to see that it’s possible.
Cloud Sky Snow Dog Slope
Cloud Sky Snow Dog Slope
Sky Cloud Snow Slope Mountain
 

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This is the first year with my pup… and man has it been a learning curve. I have truly loved having a hunting dog as it gives me an excuse to get out in the mountains every chance that I get.

We started off the year chasing ruffs and duskies then moved on to pheasants in November. Since pheasant season closed, I’ve been getting cabin fever sitting around. It wasn’t until a friend reminded me that Chukar season runs into 2023 that I decided to take a chance and try to get into a few coveys. Honestly, if I saw a single bird at all, I would have been stoked!

I honestly had no idea where to go, but after spending a few days looking at Google earth for some steep nasty desert country that might hold some birds, my pup and I took off for a few hours this afternoon to go hunting.

After about 15 minutes of hiking, we flushed our first single. To be honest, I cant tell you how many times this season I’ve been caught with my gun over my shoulder and missed a chance on a bird (you think I would have learned by now). Needless to say, the first chukar got away without having to worry too much.

As we were climbing up the mountain, the snow was getting deeper and deeper. I kept having the thought that there was no way there would be any birds up this high with the snow so deep. It was only a few minutes later that my pup caught a scent and some fresh tracks. Within seconds, he had his first full covey flushed. I took one bird out of this covey, and was so excited I had harvest my first chukar that I set my shotgun down to take everything in only to have even more birds erupt around me. Rookie mistake. Having never hunted chukar before, I was truly impressed with these things… man can they fly! It’s so frustrating to see them take off down a canyon and to know that in order to get back on them, I was going to have to go down 2,000 feet and back up 2,000 feet.

I’m sure finding birds was beginners luck and that I’ll get skunked the next several times, but I can’t tell you what an adrenaline rush that was! Most people told me that I was crazy to go after them with a flushing dog, but it was cool to see that it’s possible. View attachment 155396 View attachment 155397 View attachment 155399
Good looking dog. What breed is it? Nova Scotia Duck Toiler?
 

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Welcome to the chukar hunting club. Honestly, they're the best game in town as far as Utah upland hunting. The only downside is where they live...:)

I think it's awesome you took your flushing dog. Do what works for you.
 

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You nailed it! I’m impressed you knew the breed. Not many have heard of them
I love hunting dogs. Used to go to alot of dog shows. I took a pointing dog training class years ago and there was Nova Scotia training in a retriever class at the same place. Your breed is one of neatest because of their unique skill of decoying ducks. Congrats on your chuckar hunt. Please keep posting pics of your pup.
 

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I have been out a couple times since the end of duck season and still haven't found a track. Sometimes better to be lucky than good. I feel like I can often find birds at the start of the season, but at the end, I just can not seem to locate them. Do they move up, down, find cover, junipers...for the guys that know how to chukar hunt?
 

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I have been out a couple times since the end of duck season and still haven't found a track. Sometimes better to be lucky than good. I feel like I can often find birds at the start of the season, but at the end, I just can not seem to locate them. Do they move up, down, find cover, junipers...for the guys that know how to chukar hunt?
Yes. All of those.

Depending on where you are and how much snow there is they can be up on wind swept ridges, often at mid elevations under cliff bands where the radiant heat from the rock will melt a little sliver of bare ground, sometimes lower on slopes when the only areas exposed are under shrubs. Widely spread out in mild winters, often more concentrated in harder winters like this one. Basically, try and find the chukar food, and that is a good place to find them. This time of year if there is a little warm up and grass starts to sprout they will be eating it. Otherwise they will be scratching around for seeds on the ground.
 

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I have an old toller-springer mix that is now retired. Never got to get her on any chukars but I never doubted she would have been great at it. Tollers are the best kept secret in the bird dog world no doubt, little powerhouses that can do a little of everything.
 
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