My first chukar hunt, almost 10 years ago, was a demoralizing experience. Having relocated from the piney woods of Georgia to the Pacific Northwest, it was immediately apparent that my upland education was incomplete.
In an attempt to get a head start in this new pursuit, I joined a club with a large land lease and cajoled the club leader into showing me around. After winding our way up Rattlesnake Grade, we rumbled across a wheat stubble field and parked. Walking a short distance to the field edge, we stopped at the point where the earth disappears beneath your feet, otherwise known as the Grand Ronde River canyon. It was not unlike looking down from the Empire State building. My guide made a wide, sweeping gesture with his outstretched arm and announced, “There it is. You can hunt anywhere you want.”
I didn’t want to hunt any of it. I couldn’t imagine clinging to the sides of those cliffs and, truthfully, doubted if a bird could gain enough traction to avoid sliding down the black diamond slope. Just then, a covey of birds flushed 100 yards below us and sailed out of sight. I declined to give chase. For the rest of the day, I hunted the kinder, gentler portions of the lease, carefully avoiding the areas without a visible bottom. I also managed to avoid finding any chukars.
The rest of that season was a terrific frustration. After one particularly terrible hunt, I was getting in my rig when an elderly gentleman pulled up in a ranch truck with two shorthairs dozing in the front seat. “How’d you do?”, he asked. I unfurled a tale of woe, which he acknowledged with generous head nods and long faces. I asked if he’d had any luck, to which he responded “oh, a little — can’t walk as good as I used to”. As he pulled away, I noticed a feather fluttering against the back window. Sneaking a glance into the truck bed, I saw a full limit of chukars piled in the middle of the spare tire. I almost quit.
The following year, I caught a break and met Mitch. We’ve been hunting together for many years now and I’m thankful that he was willing to show me the ropes. He’s fond of saying he taught me everything I know about chukar hunting and that maybe one day he’ll teach me everything he knows. My hope is that this website will, in some small measure, do for you what Mitch did for me. I hope you enjoy it and would appreciate any feedback you have.