Wasatch High School Chukar Project – Kaitlyn Horne

The Wasatch Center for Advanced Professional Studies (CAPS) is an opportunity for Wasatch High School students to work on real-world projects to help develop critical thinking and problem solving skills by working with local businesses and industry mentors.

Coming in to CAPS as a Junior in High school was a completely different environment and experience than normal high school classes. We have an entire facility dedicated just to the Wasatch CAPS program, which is located downstairs at the Utah Valley University Wasatch Campus

I am part of the Environment and Agriculture sector. In this sector, our teacher helps us to find a project that would be the best fit for each one of us by exploring all possible projects that involve things that we are interested in, and for most of us, these are the things we want to do in the future for our career. I have always been fascinated with wildlife and the DNR. I have had the opportunity to partner with the DNR and the Utah Chukar Foundation to raise 150 Chukars that will be released onto the Wallsburg Wildlife Management area. The DNR’s program, The Day Old Chick Program, is how we got started with this project. Once I was told about this opportunity, we started researching how to get involved, and everything that we would need to know as this being our first time raising Chukars.

In the beginning stages of my project, most of what we were doing was research. We couldn’t do too much to actually do with the chicks until right before we got them in May. My project partner and I would spend every day that we had CAPS researching all information about them, and what kind of shelter we needed to build for them that would hopefully allow for a high success rate with raising the Chukars.

Once we did as much research as we felt we could at the time to be beneficial to us to start this project, we began working with a student in the Engineering and Industrial Design sector, to help us build the blue prints that we could give to our building crew. Our building crew worked on getting the flight pen and shed built in time for the chicks to arrive. They started as soon as the snow melt and the pen and shed were completed a few days before the chicks arrived.

Once the chicks arrived, we brought more students on to the team to help monitor them. From the time we got them, to when they were about 6 weeks old, we would check on them 3 times a day. We would do this to be sure that our lights were adjusted correctly to ensure they were at a comfortable temperature. Once they got to the age where we thought they could stay at a steady temperature, we would just check on them to refill their feeders and their water. During this time, they were in the brooder which was inside the shed that is attached to the flight pen, once they were starting to fly, we released them into the flight pen, and that is where they are to this day.

Now the Chukars are fully grown, and are ready to be released. We are planning on releasing them at the end of this month. Over the course of this project, we have met with multiple people that have helped us get started and carry out this project. We especially appreciate all the support that the Chukar Foundation has given us throughout this project. We are excited to finally be able to release these Chukars after months of work.

Here is a short video by Scott Root from the Utah DWR showing the project and final release. Wasatch CAPS Chukar Project