All Photo Credits: Josh Sutherland

One of the most common mistakes new chukar hunters make is not getting high as they can on each ridge. Though chukars can be found at almost any elevation, they like to stay high. I prefer to hike the spines of each ridge, I do this for a few reasons:

Chukars will normally be on or just below the spine
Thermals will work to my dog’s advantage, my dog can run the spine and allow the thermals to carry scent up to him. Which allows the dog to be effective without wasting a lot of energy Chukars don’t like to run downhill once a dog gets them pointed

Be prepared to cover some country

BECOMING ONEUnlike pheasants or quail that can be found in pretty specific habitat that shrinks the area, you need to hunt, once you hit the chukar hills birds can be spread out across a very large area and you will increase your chances of being successful by covering a lot of ground. There is a saying “miles make piles”, so if you and your dog are in shape the odds of having success increases greatly. 10+ miles a day is pretty common when chasing chukars.

Log those miles in productive areas

BECOMING ONEMake sure that you are logging those miles in birdy areas, for late season birds where there could be snow, spend your time on the south-facing sides of hills. During warmer times birds can be found near water sources but will spread out once frost and snow arrive. Chukar habitat is some of the most unforgiving country around and you can waste a lot of time and effort hunting unproductive areas. I like finding hills or ridges that have grasses and rimrock with south facing slopes. They don’t need to be super steep hills or have a ton of rock but some sort of elevation is crucial for chukars (though I have found more than one flat land chukar)! Most of the western states have awesome chukar country with plenty of habitat and with a little research, you can have a good time!

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