rotected by a myth and hunted by a relative few, the chukar is thriving on vast tracts of public ground, and is available to everyone who will make the effort to hunt him. The chukar partridge (Alectoris Chukar) occupies a range that stretches from Southern California to British Columbia, and east to Utah and Montana. The chukar lives in the land that nobody wanted - rocky, arid, covered with cheet grass and sage brush. Arriving from Asia in the early twentieth century, they have occupied an ecological niche not exploited by native game birds. Increasingly, hunters are realizing that they have been missing an opportunity to hunt a great game bird on a million acres of public ground.

Chukars are a pointing dog’s delight. They covey in large numbers, hold well, and provide great singles and doubles shooting after a covey flush. Hunting these birds with a good pointing dog doubles the sport. I have Toby, a lemon and white English setter . We have hunted together for seven seasons now and we have learned the chukar business through on the job training.

One October, on Washington’s Grande Ronde River, I met Scott O'Donnell, a steelhead guide who was fishing there for the Fall season. Scott is a transplanted Bostonian who came west with the Navy, discovered fly fishing for steelhead fishing and stayed. We set off to hunt chukar together on one of his free days.

"I'm afraid Sally hasn't learned to range out very far yet" said Scott, nodding towards his young Brittany bitch as we assembled guns, loaded vests with shells, water bottles, lunches and dog snacks. Later, after half a day hunting on the wide open benches and breaks above the Grande Ronde, Sally had corrected that particular deficiency. Scott suggested that perhaps a little more control would have been useful before Sally found her legs.