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The truth about hunting birds
Shock collars and weight loss plans only add to the sport that is game bird hunting
January 28, 2013
Game bird hunting is broken up into several seasons for several different species of birds so there is plenty of opportunity to go out and get skunked.
Most seasons are over now but there are still a few days left to go after California quail and chukar. Besides a hunting license, there are three pieces of gear necessary in order to be successful for most game birds — shotgun, shells and a dog.
When talking about bird hunting we also need to touch upon shock collars. Great invention, wrong species. Instead of dogs, I believe shock collars should be worn by all hunters (and anglers) as instantaneous lie detectors. They would be issued upon purchasing a license. The bigger the lie, the bigger the shock. I can just imagine the scene at any hunting camp.
“I remember one year while hunting up this canyon I downed five chukars in one hour.” (ZAAAPPP!!!) “Ouch! I mean I got three birds by noon.” (zaapp!!) “Alright, alright, I hunted all day and got just one bird.” (bzzz!)
It would be a lot quieter around campfires.
During decoy operations, when a game warden sees a hunter stick his gun out the window, he can look up the plate number, find the hunter and call up his collar number and give him the shock of his life. He gets the second biggest shock of his life when the warden drives up and gives him a ticket.
Shock collars could be used on teenagers or hunting partners. They would get zapped every time they lie or don’t show up at the agreed-upon time. The collars could also be put on politicians. If they lie or take illegal campaign contributions they get shocked. There’d be a constant buzz in Washington DC and it would smell like a barbecue at a cannibal camp.
Anyone who has ever hunted the elusive chukar knows that it’s one of the most difficult critters on Earth to pursue and find, besides Bigfoot of course. Some chukar hunters joke about going elk hunting to get in shape for chukar hunting. It’s not a joke.
Since chukars live in some of the steepest, gnarliest, most challenging landscapes available, some additional gear is needed to hunt for them including climbing ropes, carabiners, ice axes, helmets and oxygen tanks. I often wonder if two inexperienced chukar hunters head up a steep mountain would it eventually end up being suicide, assisted suicide or attempted suicide.
I like to compare the chukar to the Road Runner and the hunter to Wile E. Coyote. The hunter can get all the latest and greatest hunting gear from the Acme Corporation (rocket-powered hunting boots or at least a large anvil) but he still can’t get the chukar. The hunter usually falls off a cliff and lands at the bottom in a puff of dust. Instead of the usual meep, meep, there’s an echoing chuk, chuk in the canyon.
The more you listen to the call of chukars, the more you realize that the birds are actually laughing at you. They can fly at about 45 miles per hour and even faster when heading downhill or in windy conditions. Many expert sporting clay shooters have arrived home after a chukar hunt with an empty box of shells and no birds.
It’s been said that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. So I guess if you’re alive and hunt chukars then you are now stronger.
I recall one of my first chukar hunts when I spent two full days in cold rain and steep hills, bad roads, no sleep, a wet river crossing, sore feet, burst lungs and I got one bird. However, I look at it as I would a successful elk hunt, just 300 pounds of meat lighter.
Chukar hunting is some of the best exercise and adventure a person can get — climbing steep hills and risking life and limb, all for a bird. The old saying goes that you kill your first chukar for fun and every one after that for revenge, as the birds often take you through some of the roughest terrain on the planet.
Most weight loss plans result in you losing money and not weight but here’s one that’s guaranteed to work: The Chukar Hunter’s Weight Loss Plan. Simply hike 10 miles a day for seven days up and down steep hills, run to your dog on point (usually 100 yards ahead of you), return to camp at dark too tired to eat anything but an apple and go to sleep. Repeat every other week during the four-month season.
There are many sacrifices chukar hunters must make. One hunter told me about a day out hunting chukar on steep ground in freezing rain when he pulled up and took a shot at a bird. The recoil took his legs out from under him and he tumbled down the slope. He broke his shotgun in two pieces.
“That was a good gun,” he said with a bit of sadness in his voice. “But I got the bird,” he added with a grin.