Outstanding Chukar Counts
Just when Idaho hunters thought chukar numbers couldn’t be better, they are.

Last year’s fall chukar numbers were the highest in 17 years and the second highest since counts began back in 1984. That record has now fallen.

Surveying the highlands along Brownlee Reservoir, wildlife biologist Andy Ogden and wildlife technician Kevin Warner counted more than 2,000 chukars in the 12-square-mile survey area. That translates to 173.8 chukars per square mile, 12 percent higher than last year’s record count.

“It was just outstanding,” Ogden noted. “We found 116 groups of chukars distributed across the entire survey area with an average group size of 18 birds. There are lots of birds out there.”

While the Lucky Peak area was not surveyed for chukars this year, Ogden expects bird numbers there to be high as well.

Chukar hunters can take these numbers to the bank. “Our surveys have proven to be an accurate predictor of chukar hunting success,” Ogden said. “Year after year, hunter reports confirm our projections. Over time, that has bolstered our confidence in the accuracy of our survey technique.”

Chukar season opens statewide on Saturday, September 17 with a daily bag limit of eight birds. Consult the 2005 upland game rule book for additional information, or find it on the web at http://fishandgame.idaho.gov.
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