Listen for Utah's west desert chukar

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WENDOVER, Utah — "This is definitely the year of the chukar in Utah," said Dean Mitchell, upland game program coordinator for the Utah Department of Wildlife Resources. He said that nearly every one of the little mountain ranges in the west desert sustains a good population of chukars.

Where to go

Hunters looking for chukars should start with a visit to the DWR Web site for chukar release locations. Then get out your BLM map and navigate to the area you want to hunt.

Mitchell suggests the northwestern part of Box Elder County for the main concentration of birds.

"The Grouse Creek Mountain range west to the Nevada border is a good area for chukar hunters to concentrate their efforts in," said Mitchell.

He also suggests the north end of the Pilot Mountain Range right on the Utah-Nevada border as another good place to chase the little birds.

"Further south and west of Tooele, the Grassy Mountain Range, the Lakeside Mountain Range, the Cedar Mountain Range and the west side of the Stansbury's are all excellent chukar ranges," said Mitchell.

What to look for

When you get yourself in the middle of these vast mountain ranges, watch for rocky outcroppings or canyon bottoms where a little water has collected and there is some green growth on the grasses. Then sit down and listen.

"Listen for the 'chuck-chuck-chukara' sound they will make. Sometimes I've had some success locating birds with the commercially made chukar calls that are on the market," said Mitchell.

"It doesn't always work, but it's another method to help hunters find birds."

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