One of the best game birds is the Chukar. Unfortunately, this elusive bird can frustrate many hunters. Known for their love of rocky terrain and high altitudes, these birds can make any hunter question his training. Trekking up a mountain may lead to a reward or will leave a hunter empty-handed. Luckily however, Chukar hunting at Longmeadow Game Resort offers a fun and successful hunting experience for hunters of all levels.
The name for this game bird actually comes from its rally call. Most hunters who have hunted these birds have been frustrated with rocky and rugged terrain and while this isn’t an issue at Longmeadow, the Chukar is known for sprinting uphill and flying downhill. A hunter’s best strategy lies in being able to find this sagebrush-loving bird by its water sources and must anticipate its moves before the Chukar’s eagle-like eyes spot him. For too many hunters, luck is not enough to have a successful hunt. At Longmeadow, we want you to enjoy the hunt as much as possible and to still be within reach of all amenities you may desire. Here are some of our best suggestions for successful chukar hunting:
- 12 gauge is a terrific shotgun for shooting chukars, but by the end of the day, it can feel like you’re lugging a Howitzer around.
- Opt instead for a lighter 20 or 16 gauge, preferably a semi-automatic that will allow five shots for a fast turnaround. Rounds 3 through 5 will account for many birds if you miss that first shot.
- Changeable chokes that let you alter the pattern and range are a good idea as the birds fly differently depending on the day. Sometimes Chukar flush underfoot; sometimes your dog will flush them 30 to 50 yards away. If this is the case, a tighter choke can give you the extra yardage you need.
- For ammo #5’s thru #8’s and with loads from 7/8 oz to 1 3/8 oz in lead and 3/4 oz loads of #7 steel will do just fine. Be sure that your gun pattern well with whatever load you choose.
- Walk the perimeter of a pond, or along a creek working you way out in larger and larger circles.
Hunting with Dogs
Chukar hunting with dogs can be extremely beneficial for staying ahead of these sometimes elusive birds. Remember: Chukar can run 28 miles per hour (45 kilometers per hour) uphill. You can’t. Your dog can’t. Try different methods to trap and flush out these birds.
Chukar Strategy #1 – Two Hunters, One Dog.
- If your dog has been trained on directionals, guide your flusher to hunt from a little below the low hunter’s parallel up through about 35 to 50 yards above the high hunter.
- Let your pointer work the same range
- Trust your dog, if he gets birdy and heads inland, follow him! You will likely be rewarded.
Chukar Strategy #2 – Two Hunters, Two Dogs.
- Can be advantageous to hunt different elevation contours a couple hundred yards apart.
- If you are the low man, signal the high man and let your dog track the covey uphill at a reasonable speed.
- If you are the high man, watch the low dog and slowly make your way downhill to his position. As the two parties converge, the covey will often hold for a good shooting opportunity.
- The chukars can’t run uphill because the high man is there and they don’t want to fly downhill past the low man.
Chukar Strategy #3 – Hunting without a dog.
- Good luck. You’re gonna need it. I’m only half kidding, it’s a lot harder
- You are going to have to rely on your eyes, ears and chukar knowledge, instead of your dog’s nose and hunting instinct.
- Try using a chukar call.
- If you manage to locate a covey of chukar by sight or sound, try to get above them and come down on top of the buggers.
- Once you’ve moved a covey, try to spot where the main group touches down. The chukars may land out of sight, but at the very least, you have an idea where they’ve gone.
Squirrel call makes one of the best chukar sounds. It looks and is used just like a standard chukar call, wood barrel on one end powered by a rubber bellows on the other which you tap with your hand.
Start by pointing the barrel of the call toward the area targeted
Compress the bellows of the call against the palm of other hand, hard at first then tapering off in volume but increasing in cadence for a total of 10 chuks or so
Listen for a minute or two and then repeat the call, usually pointed at another hillside.
If you haven’t seen or heard any chukars for awhile, combine calling with a rest stop.
Follow these tips and tricks of the trade from your hunting guides to have the best possible chukar hunting experience at Longmeadow. rather than being outfoxed by these elusive birds, you’ll have the confidence to prove the victor of the day. No more will you have to fear the “How’d you do today?” or answer with defeat. Instead, belly up to our bar, complete with TV and WiFi, and regale all your friends with the success of your hunt.