Thursday, December 23, 2010

Dancing with the devil partridge

They were imported from Kazakhstan or Afghanistan,  sometime in the early stages of The United States formation. Upon hearing from many returning troops from operation Iraqi Freedom that Afghanistan is pretty much the hardest terrain you could ever imagine, I now know what they are talking about. I went to experience that type of terrain today in the Mojave Desert, although temperatures today were only hovering around 60 degrees. The grade and elevation that we hunted today was simply ridiculous as was my soaking wet shirt and pants.
I have been training with the treadmill on level ten, for an hour, everyday, for the last month. I might as well have not done anything at all. At the end of the first climb today where I estimate we climbed to about 5000 feet, at times with a 85 degree grade, my heart was pounding so loud it was actually audible over the winds among these mountain tops.
It seems to be my theme this fishing and hunting season, I got lucky, very lucky. Jerry (my father in law) and I had decided to split up and take separate ridge lines and meet at the peak of this first breathtaking jaunt, (Pictured)

as I cleared the top of the ridge I saw two chukars approximately 80 yards away feeding on a shrub of some type. I tried to be quiet (and shut my loud heart up) and move in their direction. I then had a very large bird erupt about 30 yards in front of me. I raised the citori superlight and released the charge of copper plated number 6's in its direction. To my surprise, the bird fell immediately.  Also to my surprise an entire covey of 25 birds flushed about 40 yards out and flew down the canyon we had just climbed.
I stayed glued to my trophy and ran to it as fast as I could, straight tunnel vision. At that time one more bird jumped and met second barrel and its contents. I was in shock, two shots/two birds. My day (and trip) was made.
We climbed three more passes today, but to no avail. Sore hips, knees, lungs,and pride were met with a beef brisket bar-b-cue sandwich and a cold sierra Nevada pale ale at the local joint. A great day. Next adventure, quail , coming Sunday, please check in, I'm sure I'll have more stories!


  1. Awesome. I am glad that you had a great day.

  2. Hunting here in the Far West can be addictive. I hunted chukars in the Mojave within the past couple weeks, and valley quail near the Sacramento River last week. Variety and lots of public ground...

  3. no doubt mike, its amazing the opportunities out here

  4. Aren't chukars the best? They're my nemesis for fire both barrels at a fleeing bird and then stand there with an empty smoothbore as the entire covey gets up at your fricken feet! Love it!

  5. THATS SO true shawn, what a helpless feeling!