I went on another Nevada chukar hunt with a great OUTDOORS INTERNATIONAL outfitter this October outside of Elko, NV and I have to tell you, he really knows his business.
I am very impressed with his knowledge of his territory in Nevada, the fact that it is very huntable even for chukars, and that there are a lot of birds. The conventional wisdom is that chukar country is steep and tough to hunt… but that wasn’t the case at all. In the mornings he takes you to areas where you can drive up to the tops of ridges and plateaus and then you hunt the tops. In the late morning and afternoon when the temperature is getting up there you hunt the valleys where there are streams and seeps.
There were plenty of coveys of both Huns and chukars and his dogs are really terrific.
On one occasion his dog Opie was on point about 200 yards down wind from us. We hunted toward the dog and finally we are all around the dog and there is nothing going on. His dog remained absolutely rigid. He was just about to release Opie, we were talking and I was bent over watering my dog with a squirt bottle when chukars exploded all around us. We had walked right into the middle of them and they held unbelievably, likely because they found themselves pinned between us and his brittany.
Some Good Information on Flying with Dogs
I flew my setter Reese out with me and learned a lot about inconsistencies with the enforcement of airline regulations and flying a dog. You must have a certificate of health for the dog. I made several COLOR copies that were indistinguishable from the original. At the Albany, NY airport leaving from home they took my original, made a copy and put the copy with the dog and crate and gave me back the “original”.
On the way back however, when leaving from the cargo building in Salt Lake they wanted the “original” and would not accept a “copy”. I told them that the same airline in Albany gave me the original and made a copy and that if Albany took the original I would not have one for them. Their response was that if all I had was a copy they would not ship the dog. So a near crisis was averted.
The take home is always have multiple color copies that look like originals as you never know what might happen.
My goal was to get my then 20 month old setter on a lot of birds which as it turns out was a total success.
Within 10 minutes of her first cast she was on a covey of huns with over 20 birds. As it was just my guide and me much of the time I asked him to carry a gun and shoot as I wanted to ensure a bird or birds down when we moved a covey if possible. We both got birds out of that covey and Reese found them all. I was there for five days of hunting and we moved 5-8 coveys a day minimum with a number of singles in addition.
Perhaps one of the most memorable moments for me was the last day.
Reese and I were hunting a ridge alone. She had dropped over the horizon and was out of sight, but the GPS controller alerted me she was on point. I worked over the ridge and found her in a picture perfect outcropping of rock, sage, and cheatgrass. I quietly worked down the vein of rock and was about 10 yards from the dog. She was so intense that I knew there had to be chukars there. Time seemed to stop as I looked for birds only to see none. I was just about to take a step, and then that magic moment when the entire covey rises at once and the air is filled with chukars. I took one, Reese remained steady to wing, shot, and dead falls and then found my bird. That one perfect, magic moment for me was worth the entire trip.
As always the outfitter’s accommodations were top flight.
My hotel had pet friendly rooms and he upgraded me to one such room so Reese could stay with me. There were very nice restaurants as I have come to expect with him and anything on the menu is fair game. The major concern is always that his clients come away feeling their expectations were met and exceeded. I watched and listened as he and his guide prepared for a new male-female couple that had not hunted with them in the past and how they poured over how to make sure their hunt was top flight.
I can’t say enough good about them. The entire operation is consistently excellent and you should never have any worries attaching your name to them. I know I don’t with mine. I highly recommend this hunt.