How to approach chukkar without a dog?

Hunthigh1

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Jan 23, 2015
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Hi, I located a great chukkar spot by accident today while out hiking around and scouting for shed season. The birds were all over in sage and at little rocky cliff bases.i could have easily shot a limit. Im excited to go back, but want more info on the typical tactics for these weird little birds. It was very snowy and windy. Is that part of why i was able to get close to so many birds?

I am not experienced with bird hunting.... When i go back there in a few days with the shotgun, what is the typical approach? do most guys approach from the bottom to pin them in the little cliffs, therefore forcing a flush, hike side hill along cliff bases, or just wander around and go where i see/hear them?

Does it matter if i am quiet and stealthy on approach?

If the weather is not windy and snowy like it was today, will I have a harder time getting close to the birds?

Thanks in advance.
 

Tex68w

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Jan 1, 2017
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Texas
They will move up the mountain/hill side at a steady pace and almost always stay just out of range. When they near the peak or a cliff they will then flush over the top of you and fly back down the mountain side. They are the most frustrating bird to hunt in the wild but those little red footed devils are worth the chase because they taste oh so good.
 

Jason Snyder

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You will have your best luck hunting down hill, because as Tex said they like to run uphill and you WONT catch them.

They roost in the rocks and then feed outward from the roost, usually uphill. The sagebrush is used when snow is deep and for shelter from wind.

Yes be quiet as you approach. Look for fresh droppings and pause periodically. Chukars won't hold like quail do, but they will hold tight sometimes. Others they will flush at 200 yards.


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Hunthigh1

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Thank you all, this is helpful. Cannot wait to get out there!

Sounds like they will be much harder to get to close range in good weather than they were when i was out there in a snow storm?
 

Jason Snyder

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Thank you all, this is helpful. Cannot wait to get out there!

Sounds like they will be much harder to get to close range in good weather than they were when i was out there in a snow storm?
Not necessarily. It depends on a lot of things. Are they feeding, loafing, bunched up, scattered, etc.

When you find a covet and flush them, mark where they land the get above that elevation and work down on them. They will almost always run uphill immediately after landing.


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tipsntails7

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Not necessarily. It depends on a lot of things. Are they feeding, loafing, bunched up, scattered, etc.

When you find a covet and flush them, mark where they land the get above that elevation and work down on them. They will almost always run uphill immediately after landing.


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This is good advice, this photo was taken just before i whacked one with an arrow. i flushed them from down the hillside, they flew up and ran right up to the rocky outcropping. i worked my way around and came out above them. they hugged that outcrop the entire time i was working my way around. probably a good 45 minutes at least.

 
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Hunthigh1

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It wasn't lights out, but i got into them!

Ended up with one Chukar and 4 quail. Thanks for the help, as you said, approach from above was very useful.

- I would have done much better had my shooting been better and if my gun had not been jamming, but hey not bad for first time ever I suppose.
 

sdfuller

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Reno, NV
Seems like you already gave it a shot and the season is coming to an end but the advice I would give is

1. Don't approach in a straight line. Act like your walking past them then hook towards them. Coming in from uphill or sidehill definitely helps

2. When you're getting close, MOVE FAST! This will put the pressure on them to flush rather than run. Again coming in from uphill helps again here. Sometimes moving in fast makes them hold in the early season so you might walk right past them. Which leads me to my 3rd point.

3. Find a hunting buddy with a dog. First of all it will make getting revenge on those little buggers so much easier and it's awesome to watch the dogs work. Secondly, a lot of chukar country is the really steep & nasty stuff and the season is in the most dangerous time of year. If you do get injured out there, it's a whole lot less miserable having a buddy to help vs doing it yourself or having to stay the night.


Finally, congrats on finding a good spot and bagging some birds!
 

Wasdensid82

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Dec 4, 2018
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Idaho
I purchased a call for $15 and that helped me locate them in the past. I found that when I can better pin down where they are then I can approach anticipating angles good for most shots. This has helped in tall brush and grasses. Now that I have a dog I’ve had to adapt a bit. I loved the pictures.
 

RTR

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Dec 9, 2018
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A wise man once told me that the best way to hunt birds without a dog is to have a friend who has a dog...

You've gotta be pretty tough to take on game birds without a dog--most especially chukkar. Just my two cents.
 

JesseTac

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I also don’t have a dog, but it’s fun to just get out and walk around, maybe even get lucky once in a while
 

Kwabunga

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Glad I saw this thread, some helpful info. Last weekend was my first serious attempt at going after them up high, hike up was a killer as well as the rocks. I have a shorthair but between the heat and the rocks she was staying close and all the chukar were taking off early. Ended up with three of them and some quail and an Erckle on the way up and down. My thought was that it would be better without a dog for chasing Chukar up high on this mountain as the dog takes a beating on the lava and all the birds we shot pretty much just flushed blind. There were some guys above us at probably 10k or higher and they were shooting a lot, I have a feeling they weren't using dogs but not sure, I guess it depends on the amount of birds around. Didn't 'think i'd want to do it again but I think it may become an addiction just because of the challenge and thinking about trying again this week, he,he.
 

Forks

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Tumwater,WA
Glad I saw this thread, some helpful info. Last weekend was my first serious attempt at going after them up high, hike up was a killer as well as the rocks. I have a shorthair but between the heat and the rocks she was staying close and all the chukar were taking off early. Ended up with three of them and some quail and an Erckle on the way up and down. My thought was that it would be better without a dog for chasing Chukar up high on this mountain as the dog takes a beating on the lava and all the birds we shot pretty much just flushed blind. There were some guys above us at probably 10k or higher and they were shooting a lot, I have a feeling they weren't using dogs but not sure, I guess it depends on the amount of birds around. Didn't 'think i'd want to do it again but I think it may become an addiction just because of the challenge and thinking about trying again this week, he,he.
Research motorcycle tube boots for your hound, get it in shape, and go kill them. Hard to believe you have a GSP and wouldn't use it. I guarantee the guys you heard banging away had dogs and you personally will put more in the bag simply due to your dog is a better retriever than you because of it's nose. Give it a chance and it will consume your mind as you live in one of the best regions of the world for the pricks.
 

Kwabunga

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Ha, ha, "pricks" thats' funny. Thanks for the advice, personally I would have a hard time hunting without my dog, love watching her work, it just happens I know a guy who leaves his dog home for a certain area because it's so rough and he knows how to hunt it. Last time I saw him he had a pile of birds, chukars, quail and Erckle, I had two, they were running like crazy and taking off way early, he just knows the area well. Heard of the boots but never really thought about it but will now since i've gotten into these "pricks" he,he. Only two weekends in the season left for us here so I'll work on it off season and try to get her used to it. Thanks again.

Research motorcycle tube boots for your hound, get it in shape, and go kill them. Hard to believe you have a GSP and wouldn't use it. I guarantee the guys you heard banging away had dogs and you personally will put more in the bag simply due to your dog is a better retriever than you because of it's nose. Give it a chance and it will consume your mind as you live in one of the best regions of the world for the pricks.
 
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