Chukar Hunting in Idaho - A Brief History
Idaho Game Bird Supervisor, Elwood Bizeau, January-February, 1963 issue of the Idaho Wildlife Review.
Chukar partridge, which are native to southern Asia, were first imported by
private game breeders in Illinois, in about 1893. During the 1930s, a
number of states, including Idaho, California, Washington, Wisconsin,
Minnesota and Nevada, began trial releases. Some were failures, while
others had limited success. Idaho came on board in 1933, releasing 121
birds from the Lapwai game farm. In the late thirties, a few hundred birds
were released from the Jerome Game Farm.
Between then and 1950, less than 3,000 chukars had been released. Little
was known about habitat needs and many of the releases were made in areas
later catalogued as unsuitable. Only one release, at Squaw Butte in Gem
County, flourished rapidly. In 1950 Idaho borrowed an experienced
technician from Nevada, where there was already success with a chukar
program. Better habitats were identified and the release program stepped
up. Season was begun in 1953.
>From 1950 to 1962 nearly 20,000 chukars were released at 81 different
locations. There was a minimum of 100 birds in each release. Follow-up
checks were made to see if the chukars were reproducing in the wild, and if
not, a "booster" release was usually made at the same site. Most releases
achieved some success, most suitable areas had reproducing populations, and
game-farm production was cut back. Seasons and limits were liberalized, and
the rest, as they say, is history.
Idaho Game Bird Supervisor
Idaho Wildlife Review
Chukar Numbers Good Again (1999 ID F & G News Release)
Idaho Upland Game Seasons (1999 F & G Regulations)
Idaho Chukar Distribution and Habitat
Alectoris chukar by Western Gamebird Alliance
Links are provided to books mentioned below.
They are for sale through Idaho fish 'n' hunt in
association with Amazon.com Books
Idaho Atlas & Gazetteer
Echoes on Rimrock - In Pursuit of the Chukar Partridge by Buddy