Chukar numbers rebounding

Idaho surveys offer encouraging news for hunters

Idaho’s chukar partridge population appears to be on the rebound, according to recently conducted surveys by the Idaho Department of Fish and Game.

Harsh winters, drought and untimely spring storms have combined to cause the species’s population to plummet in the past two years. The birds live in the dry canyonlands and breaks including southwest Idaho north through Hells Canyon and the Snake River breaks of southeastern Washington.

Idaho wildlife managers had predicted it could take years for the chukar population to recover.

However, wildlife biologist Jake Powell says hunters should be encouraged by agency aerial surveys that counted nearly 900 of the birds in the highlands along Brownlee Reservoir in central Idaho last month.

Powell says about 73 chukars per square mile were found at the survey area, which is almost double the number counted last year and the largest amount recorded since 2005.

Washington no longer conducts aerial chukar surveys.

General hunting seasons for chukars open Sept. 19 in Idaho and Oct. 3 in Washington.

Click here to comment on this story »

Rich Landers

Rich Landers

More Outdoors Columns »
More Outdoors Blog Posts »

Most recent column

Landers: Record run should give all anglers shot at a king

The curtain has opened on the last act in the Columbia River system’s “Year of the Salmon.” The performance began with good returns of spring chinook followed by this summer’s post-dams record returns of sockeye and a great showing of coho. Now the big stars …

Recent blog posts

Court reinstates endangered status for Wyoming wolves

ENDANGERED SPECIES — Federal protections for gray wolves in Wyoming were reinstated today after a judge invalidated the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s 2012 statewide Endangered Species Act delisting of ...

Coho angling record set on lower Columbia

FISHING -- Coho are the latest of the Pacific salmon species prompting records on the Columbia River this year. From August 1 through September 21, there have been an estimated ...

Outdoors Calendar

Submit Your Event »

Outdoors Photography

More SR Photo Galleries »
More Reader Photos »





Contact the Spokesman

Main switchboard:
(509) 459-5000
(800) 338-8801
(509) 459-5400
(800) 789-0029
Customer service:
(800) 338-8801