During a helicopter survey over western Box Elder County on Aug. 29th, Division of Wildlife Resources Biologist Jim Christensen counted 16 chukars per square mile. That’s almost double the nine chukars per square mile he spotted in September 2012.
DWR Upland Game Coordinator Jason Robinson is optimistic that fellow biologist Tom Becker will find similar results when Becker flies over central Tooele County soon.
In 2012, a total of 46 chukars per square were spotted in central Tooele County. The 46 chukars per square mile were the most chukars DWR biologists had seen in the area since 2006. “The number of chukar partridge is definitely climbing in Utah,” Robinson says.
While Robinson isn’t predicting an outstanding chukar hunt in Utah this fall, he says “the hunt will definitely be better than it was last fall.”
Those 15 years of age and younger can hunt chukars on Sept. 21 during Utah’s annual youth partridge hunt. After Sept. 21, the hunt will close until Sept. 28 when Utah’s general hunt, for hunters of all ages, opens up.
The news for gray partridge isn’t as good. Gray partridge (also known as Hungarian partridge) are found mostly on or near agricultural land in Box Elder County.
Christensen says the number of grays is quite a bit lower than it was last fall. Robinson says 2012 was a really good year for gray partridge. “Agricultural land, especially land enrolled in the federal Conservation Reserve Program, is very important to the birds,” he says. “I’m not certain why the birds aren’t doing as well this year, but numbers are definitely down.”