Press Release

Chukar hunters get off to good start in the Clearwater and Southwest regions

Fair to good spring conditions may have boosted bird populations

Upland bird hunting has started in many areas of the state and reports are trickling in about fair to good hunting for chukars in a couple of popular areas: Lower Hells Canyon and the Owyhee Desert. 

Chukar season opened Sept. 16, and upland game currently available for hunters include forest grouse, California and bobwhite quail, chukar and gray partridge.

Sharptail grouse opens in Oct. 1, and youth pheasant hunting opens Oct. 7. 

For open areas and full upland bird hunting regulations, see the upland bird hunting rules.

From the Clearwater Region

Two conservation officers working the Snake River on the opening weekend reported seeing, and hunters finding, good numbers of chukar and good production. Their impressions were they saw more birds this year than last.  

Hunters on Craig Mountain also found good numbers of chukar and gray partridge. Chukar were well distributed and  found from the Snake River to the ridgetops.

With the recent rain and cool temperatures, birds will likely stay well scattered for the foreseeable future. Good numbers of gray partridge were found at lower elevations as usual.  

From the Southwest Region

Although some areas had lower than normal over-winter survival - it seems to be offset by better than average chick production due to favorable spring weather. Chukars appeared to have survived the winter better in lower elevation sites with exposed south facing slopes.

Also, decent groups of huns have been observed in the Owyhees, mainly along the front and within the area burned in the Soda fire.

Here's the statewide upland bird outlook. 

Upland bird hunting father and son / IDFG - Photo by Glenn Oakley
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© Glenn Oakley for IDFG

Upland bird hunting father and son / IDFG - Photo by Glenn Oakley