For more up-to-date information and lots of pictures, visit our Facebook page at: www.facebook.com/UtahChukarFoundation
BOARD MEETING INFORMATION
In an attempt to provide more social opportunities for UCWF Members and encourage Non-Members and past members to rejoin the UCWF, the Utah Chukar & Wildlife Foundation has reformatted its Board meetings to provide some social time, a presentation, raffles, and of course Board business.
6:00PM - 7:00PM Social Time (Order food, eat, see friends, etc)
7:00PM - 8:00PM Board Business
8:00PM - 8:30PM Presentation
End with Raffles
Board Meetings are held on the second Tuesday of every other month (January, March, May, July, September and November)
Time: 6:00PM - 8:30PM
Location: To Be Announced.
The Curlew National Grasslands is a public lands area open to hunting in Southern Idaho. It has a number of popular upland species including sharp-tailed grouse, sage grouse, hungarian partridge, and pheasant.
The USFS is pursuing a $15,000 dollar grant to help complete a three year $45,000 habitat improvement project on the grasslands. The project's main focus is fencing some valuable tree/shrub rows that provided cover and food for pheasants all year and sharp-tailed grouse and huns during the winter. The old fences have been knocked over and cattle are taking their toll on the trees, shrubs, and vegetation.
The UCWF in partnership with UplandIdaho and Utahbirddogs has sent letters of support for the project and pledged to provide volunteer labor during the spring and summer this year. We have also committed to raising $1000 in supporting funds. These efforts will help ensure that the project will get the grant needed to finish the work. I know many of you hunt Idaho's public lands and will be excited to support this great project. Our goal is to get 100 people to donate $10 each and raise $1000 for this project. Please use the Paypal link below to support the effort. If you wish to donate more than $10 please do so, and please spread the word so we can do our part to help make a difference!
UPLAND HUNTING IN UTAH
2008 is going to be a great year for Upland Game in Utah. Never before has there been such a proactive push for sound upland game management and the UCWF was there to lend a helping hand. Because of your support and strong voice we’re entering a new era in upland hunting.
Among other pursuits, the UCWF pushed for two major objectives: A later opening date for chukar partridge and sage grouse, and to increase hunter opportunity while decreasing complicated game laws. We made a BIG step in these directions. Below are just a few of the up and coming highlights:
∙Starting this fall, you can enjoy some extra chukar and Hungarian partridge hunting during a single, statewide season that begins two weeks later than past years. The season opens the last Saturday in September and runs until mid February.
∙You can enjoy an extra week of sage-grouse hunting. At the same time, adult sage-grouse hens will receive some extra protection, due to the season opening two weeks later.
∙You can enjoy an extra month of forest grouse hunting. The season begins in mid September and runs until the end of December.
∙The general pheasant hunt will run for 16 days across the state, providing hunters with a single statewide general season.
∙Utah has two new quail hunts. The new hunts will be held in Daggett and Sanpete counties.
∙A new sharp-tailed grouse hunt will be held in Cache County.
REASONING BEHIND THE NEW LAWS
With a few seasons of sound biological data in our belts we felt it was time for some much needed changes in Utah hunting regulations. The current regulations were complicated and the UCWF felt it could increase hunter opportunity while keeping upland laws as simple and consistent as possible.
CHUKAR & HUNGARIAN PARTRIDGE: Moving the start of the season back should protect vegetation around artificial guzzlers and other water sources. Chukars are less dependent on these water sources as autumn progresses. As the chukars leave the water sources, the hunters should follow them. That should decrease the amount of vegetation that's damaged by hunters and others driving their vehicles near these sites. It will also give time for younger broods to mature and give hunters a sporting target.
GREATER SAGE GROUSE: The start of the sage grouse season has been moved from mid September to the last Saturday in September. Starting the season two weeks later should reduce the number of mature sage-grouse hens that hunters take. Starting the season in late September will give young birds more time to mature. Broods begin to break up, and the birds scatter more. Not having the birds as concentrated should reduce the number of mature hens that hunters take.
COLUMBIA SHARP TAILED GROUSE: The population of sharp tailed grouse in Cache County has risen to huntable numbers. This new season should give hunters more opportunity and reduce hunter concentration.
FOREST GROUSE: The seasons for both Dusky (Blue) Grouse and Ruffed Grouse have been lengthened. The season extension should give hunters more opportunity while not effecting population levels.
The Utah Chukar & Wildlife Foundation would like to thank the valued support of our members, the Upland Game Advisory Council, and the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources for help in instituting such significant and historic changes.
UPLAND GAME GUIDEBOOK
All of the rules for Utah's 2008–2009 upland game seasons can be found in this year's Upland Game Guidebook. The guidebook is available on the DWR Web site at
It will also be available at DWR offices and hunting license agent locations across Utah.
A few highlights from the year 2007 that the Utah Chukar & Wildlife Foundation was involved in:
We have been instrumental in getting 17 guzzlers installed in Box Elder County with one more left to install this spring. A huge accomplishment, with many thanks to all who helped make it happen.
We helped determine budget and priorities for certain upland game monies.
We helped establish chukar transplant and guzzler priority lists for each region.
We are currently working on season changes and proclamation improvements for upland hunting in Utah; be prepared to get involved in your local RACS.
Walk in Access has been a great success and you should see many more enrolled lands in future years.
Many volunteers helped with guzzler installations, guzzler maintenance, sharp-tailed grouse counts, sage grouse studies, the current chukar study, and youth hunts.
We have contributed and been an upland voice on numerous wildlife issues/projects.
Excerpt from a recent study update by Randy Larsen
This document is intended as a short update regarding the progress of the guzzler study. We have now coordinated research between Utah State University (Dr. John Bissonette) and Brigham Young University (Dr. Jerran Flinders) for two years now and have enjoyed a wonderful partnership with these universities as we have amongst all partners. Thanks to all for your help with the current study. This document includes short discussion of a few interesting findings from 2007 and is not comprehensive of all research efforts. We will have a much more detailed report available shortly.
THE BIG QUESTION
One of the driving questions (perhaps the driving question) is whether or not guzzlers benefit Chukars. What little literature is available on this subject is vague and equivocal. We have a three-part approach to tackling this big question.
1) Paired plots flown with a helicopter where one plot has water and the other does not. These paired plots include seven mountain ranges in western Utah and have been flown for the last three years. The results of these efforts have been mixed with some areas showing a consistent year to year higher density estimate in watered plots compared to non-watered plots and other areas showing no difference or even higher estimates away from water. These results are consistent with initial spatial analysis showing that birds from some areas are eating a diet high in water content (Allium sp. bulbs and other succulent plants) and are randomly distributed with respect to water. Chukars in other areas where they do not eat such a high proportion of succulent plants show a tight clumping around water in their summer distribution. Clearly, we have strong site effects and planning for water development projects should consider this information. Guzzlers in some areas where birds can use pre-formed water in plants are unlikely to benefit Chukars.
2) A meta-BACI (before after control impact) design using Nevada’s flight survey information from the last 25 years. We are looking for increases in density of Chukars after addition of water and controlling for strong year to year differences with reference sites flown during the same years. We show a strong (and statistically significant) guzzler effect for two of six pairs
3) A treatment/control design with radioed Chukars where guzzlers are made non-functional in one area (treatment) and survivorship compared to a control area. This experiment was done in the summer of 2007 in an area where Chukars show a clumped summer distribution around water sources. The results of this experiment have been very interesting and represent one of the key developments of 2007. After removal of surface water, treatment Chukars show increased movement and increased mortality in comparison to the control area and in comparison to the previous year on the treatment area.