Every time I jump the state line and head out through the barrens of Nevada, I never fail to wonder what in the heck the miners were thinking when they first started exploring these western wastelands. The lust for precious metals appeared to have washed away all common sense and drove thousands of men out through the sage and rocks. Not since that time, around the turn of the century, has there been such an interest for men to scatter about the rough country in search of "color". But this season the rush is not in search of Silver or Gold. This year the chase is for a bag full of tan: CHUKAR-TAN!
Nevada's Division of Wildlife has completed their conditions-and-count survey of chukars. And the good news is "there's Tan in them thar hills!" Across the state, this year's count comes in 25% higher, per section measured, than the highest previous count ever recorded by biologists in Nevada.
Several years of mild-to-moderate winters have allowed conditions to combine, where habitat and carryover of previous year's hatches have joined together to produce a population explosion among Nevada's chukars. Knowledgeable upland hunters can be wet mouthed at the prospect of stepping into the hills with that many birds waiting.
The Yerrington / Walker Lake area is the "quick and easy" for California hunters journeying from either North state or South. A relatively short drive southeast of Reno, this hot spot is only hours away from either jumping off spot. A great combination of surf and turf is available through Marty Howard of Mason Valley Guides (775-463-2915) and Bob Tompkins of Walker Lake Guide Service (775-945-3266). After a day of tough chukar hunting, you can rest your dogs (both canine and the ones in your boots) by spending a day on Walker Lake, lipping-in Cutthroat Trout which average 3 to 5 pounds. With limits of 5 trout and 6 chukars a day, dinner could jump into a whole new taste experience, in rapid fashion.
Although chukar season started the 2nd of October, there are plenty of days left to bag limits of these speedy sage runners prior to the season closure on the 31st of January 2000. Good fishing is available all winter. Just give Bob a call and enjoy a great Christmas present you can give to yourself.
This is the year everyone has waited for. The weather is still cooperating to provide an excellent getaway. All you have to do is go out there and strike it rich!
THINK A GOOD THOUGHT! Frank Medicine Wolf Springer
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