Category Archives: Recent News

President’s Message – Summer 2018

Greetings, I hope your summer is going well, fall will be here soon.

Now is the time to put in for the limited entry upland permits, go to the UDWR website for more information. Join us for the annual Parker Mountain sage grouse count on July. Also, we are excited to continue participating in the youth/family Utah Youth Waterfowl Fair and Outdoor Festival on Sept. 8, at the Farmington Bay WMA ( This is a great youth event for you to attend, or contact Alan at if you can volunteer to help.

We have more guzzler installations that will take place later this summer and fall, look for emails with dates and contact information.

Enjoy the rest of Summer!

President’s Message – 2018 Spring


Thanks for uniting to support upland game in Utah! Many volunteer hours and donations by members of this foundation and supporting companies enable us to make a difference! We made just over $34,000 at our banquet this year. It is amazing what we are able to do with $30K+, a dedicated volunteer group, and a respected voice representing outstanding sportsmen/women. We are greatly pleased with the work we are able to accomplish with the UDWR and other agencies like the BLM, SITLA and partnering organizations. Some quality upland projects we are planning on this year include:

  • Finishing the Central Region guzzler projects
  • Install 2-4 Box Elder guzzlers
  • Supporting and volunteering with two youth fairs.
  • Continuing sage grouse and other grouse data collecting projects.
  • Continuing our partnership with the USU/UDWR forest grouse
  • study.
  • Continuing with trapping, transplanting and releasing upland birds.
  • Volunteering and providing input/feedback on many upland projects in the state.
The UCWF pledges to make sure your voice is heard and to ensure that monies dedicated to Utah’s upland game are used in the best possible way. My deepest thanks to the UCWF board, members, donors and volunteers who do so much to make good things happen for Utah’s upland game! Please support our donors first! Some of our current and future goals are (many of these are long term):

  1. Continue to support Upland research and implementation of research into effective management plans.
  2. Aid in transplanting chukar and building guzzlers in each region.
  3. Continue supporting youth recruitment.
  4. Be involved in upland management decisions.
  5. Be involved in habitat improvement for upland game species including grouse species.
  6. Provide money and a volunteer work force that will help make upland game projects and research happen.
  7. Help create a Utah guzzler crew. 8.) Manage, maintain, and improve our website.
  8. Increase trapping and relocation of valley quail.
  9. Continue to work together with state and federal agencies as well as other wildlife organizations.

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

President’s Message Summer 2017


I hope your summer is going well, fall will be here soon.

Now is the time to put in for the limited entry upland permits, go to the UDWR website for more information. Thanks to those who helped with Outdoor Adventure Days and recent guzzler installs! We will be participating in another youth/family Utah Youth Waterfowl Fair and Outdoor Festival on Sept. 9, at the Farmington Bay WMA ( This is a great youth event for you to attend, or contact Alan at if you can volunteer to help.

We have seen chukar chicks in the desert during our guzzler installations and we hope they are faring well despite the dry weather. Our annual sage grouse count summer activity is coming up on July 28-29. We hope to see many of you there, look for additional information in this issue and via email. We have more guzzler installations that will take place later this summer and fall, look for emails with dates and contact information.

Enjoy the rest of Summer!

2017 Annual Banquet & Fundraiser


I hope your season is going well; winter came in strong after quite the Indian summer.

It’s Banquet time again.  We truly hope most of you will support us again at our annual banquet.  Please find the banquet order form in the newsletter or go to the Banquet page on the website.  For those of you who help us each year and donate, we hope you will find yourself in a position to help again this year.  Please contact Alan at or Travis at or 801-360-6553.

Some Foundation Highlights from this year include:

  • Central Region Guzzler project
  • Supporting and volunteering with two youth fairs
  • Supporting a new grouse infrared lek study
  • Continuing sage grouse and other grouse data collecting projects
  • Partnering with a USU forest grouse study
  • Volunteering and providing input/feedback on many upland projects in the state

We are a strong voice and partner for upland game and upland sportsmen/women in the state.  Your support at our annual banquet provides the necessary funding to support these upland projects on Utah’s public lands.  Working as a partner with the UDWR and other agencies we make your money stretch much further than if we tried to do everything on our own.  Thanks as always for your support!

This year’s annual banquet will be held at the Sheraton in downtown SLC on Feb. 25.  Please sign up early for the banquet to make sure you have a spot.  Even with our new location we anticipate filling up and the earlier you sign up the better the deals and the better we can plan accordingly.  Sign up for the banquet using the enclosed flyer in your newsletter, or go to our Banquet Page. If you can't attend, but still want to donate, see the information on Darin's raffle for the Chukar mount below.


Another Great Chukar Hunt

General season opens Sept. 24 image-1

After flying in helicopters over two areas in Utah’s West Desert, Divis ion of Wildlife Resources biologists have some exciting—and unusual—news to report: the number of chukar partridge in north-central Tooele County is close to a record high. And the number in central Box Elder County is the highest since surveys started there in 2009.

OK, it’s easy to see why that news is exciting. But why is it unusual?

Jason Robinson, upland game coordinator for the DWR, says the number of chukars in Utah usually spikes every eight years. The year following a spike, chukar numbers usually plummet.

In north-central Tooele County, biologists counted 101 chukars per square mile in 2015. That was second highest count on record. During a survey on Aug. 26, 2016, they counted 95 chukars per square mile. That’s the fourth highest on record.

In central Box Elder County, chukar numbers actually climbed from 2015. In 2015, biologists spotted 26 chukars per square mile. During a survey on Aug. 23, 2016, they counted a record high for the county: 34 chukars per square mile.

Robinson isn’t certain why chukar populations didn’t follow their normal pattern of crashing a year after spiking. He thinks, though, that the weather might be a factor.

He says weather conditions for chukars have been ideal over the past nine months. The ideal conditions started last winter, when plenty of snow fell early in the season. (Good snowfall is critical to providing birds with green vegetation and insects months later.) Then, in late winter, the snow stopped falling and temperatures warmed. Those conditions allowed plenty of adult birds to survive the toughest time of the year.

Next, lots of rain fell during the spring. The abundant moisture, combined with the moisture received earlier in the winter, gave newly hatched chicks lots of green vegetation and insects to eat.

Robinson says flying surveys in Tooele and Box Elder counties give biologists, hunters and birdwatchers a great picture of how chukars are doing across the West Desert. “The West Desert has the best chukar habitat in Utah,” he says.

Reports from DWR biologists in other areas of the state indicate chukars are doing well in those areas too.

Even though chukar numbers are high, Robinson says taking these tough, challenging birds requires skill, effort and determination, even in great years like this one. “Whatever the specific reasons,” he says, “chukars in Utah are doing really well this year. This should be a great season to get into chukar country and pursue this unique and tasty bird.”

In addition to the chukar hunt, the gray partridge hunt also opens on Sept. 24. Gray partridge are found mostly on or near agricultural land in Box Elder County. Robinson says gray partridge numbers are up slightly from last year.

Those 17 years of age and younger can hunt chukar and gray partridge Sept. 17, 18 and 19, during Utah's annual youth partridge hunt. After Sept. 19, the hunts will close until Sept. 24 when Utah's general partridge hunt, for hunters of all ages, opens up.

Finding chukars

Finding chukars is the first step to bagging some birds. Robinson provides the following tips:

Tip 1 - See the distribution map on page 36 of the 2016 – 2017 Utah Upland Game and Turkey Guidebook. The map will show you where chukar habitat is found in Utah. The free guidebook is available at

Robinson says Tooele, Juab and Millard counties have the highest concentration of birds in the state. "The state's best chukar habitat is found in the rocky, desert areas west of Interstate 15," he says.

Other areas in Utah do hold plenty of birds, though. Robinson says the Book Cliffs in eastern Utah, and rocky river corridors in southern Utah, are some of the best. "And every year, hunters do take birds in the rocky foothills along the Wasatch Front," he says.

Tip 2 - After arriving in an area that might have chukars in it, focus your efforts on steep, rocky slopes that have cheatgrass, bunch grass or sagebrush on them. These rugged, cheatgrass-covered slopes provide ideal habitat for the birds.

Tip 3 - Because chukars are very vocal, early morning is the perfect time to hunt them. "The birds feed mostly in the early morning," Robinson says. "If you listen closely, they'll often tip you off to their location."

Robinson says chukars live in coveys that typically number between five to 30 birds. "When the covey is feeding," he says, "it always posts a sentry. The sentry sits on a rock that provides it with a good view of the surrounding area. If the bird sees you, it will call out to alert the other birds. There's a flip side to that, though: the sentry's calling will alert you that a covey of chukars is in the area."

Tip 4 - Finding a water source is a good idea, but chukars aren’t completely reliant on water, even early in the season. A good idea, early in the season, is to hunt the steep slopes that are above a water source. "As the season progresses," Robinson says, "water becomes less important to chukars. Hunting near a water source isn't as important later in the season."

Tip 5 - When winter arrives, hunt slopes that face south. "The sun beats on these south-facing slopes in the winter," he says. "That warms the rocks, melts the snow and attracts the chukars."

Hunting chukars

After finding some birds, remember that chukars almost always run uphill to escape danger. "You can't outrun them," Robinson says, "so don't try to chase the birds up the slope."

Instead, try to cut off the birds' escape route by circling around the birds and getting above them. Then, hunt down the slope towards them. "If you get above the birds," he says, "they'll usually stay where they are until you get close enough to shoot at them."

When chukars flush, they almost always fly straight out from the slope before hooking to the left or the right. "Get your shots off while the birds are still in range," he says.

After hooking to the left or right, any bird that isn't bagged will typically fly into a group of rocks, into sagebrush or into bunch grasses. If you watch where the birds land, you'll often have a chance for another shot.

Robinson says dogs aren't needed to hunt chukars. "But having a dog is very helpful," he says, "both in finding birds and retrieving the birds you hit." Reminders

Because of the steep, rough areas where chukars live, it's important to be in good physical shape. When you go afield, make sure you wear sturdy boots that provide your ankles with plenty of support.

"It's also important to carry plenty of water," Robinson says, "especially during the early part of the season."

Five reasons to hunt upland game If you're not currently hunting upland game in Utah, Robinson provides five reasons to consider giving it a try. You can read his list at Upland Game Slam If you'd like to add some fun to your hunt, consider participating in Utah's Upland Game Slam. One of the slams—the Blister Slam—will reward you for taking a five chukar limit in a single day. You can learn more about the Upland Game Slam at

USU Forest Grouse Project Update – Sept 2016

It’s time for an update on the Utah State University Forest Grouse Research Project in the Bear River Range, USFS Logan Ranger District. We have been busy catching and marking grouse, following broods, completing vegetation surveys, and assessing utilization distribution within pastures used by grouse.


Captures – We have captured 35 grouse since July 1, 2016 bringing our project total to 70 marked (banded and/or radio). We have captured 57 dusky grouse with all 14 GPS PTT radios currently deployed and 18 with VHF radios. The rest of the dusky grouse were banded and most were juveniles too small to be radio-marked. We caught 32 female and 25 male dusky grouse. All 13 ruffed grouse were banded and released. We have been able to follow several dusky grouse broods during mid to late summer. Our project goal is to have at least 100 grouse marked, and it seems we will exceed this goal during our next field season. We have only experience a few natural mortalities this summer and survival of radio-marked birds has been high. We have experienced a few capture myopathies and have adjusted our methods accordingly.

Vegetation Surveys – we were able to complete only one survey of vegetation for a dusky grouse nest. With our much larger sample of marked females next spring we should get a much larger sample of nests for dusky grouse. We have completed vegetation surveys for all broods at least once per week as broods have become part of our sample. We have also completed vegetation surveys on dusky grouse males and females without broods based on opportunity.

Utilization Distribution – we have created a systematic grid of points across pastures that grouse have been using. At each point we have estimated utilization of grasses and will use this data to extrapolate a layer of the degree of utilization within our pastures. Utilization consists of both livestock and wildlife grazing and we desire to understand the impact, if any, this is having on habitat selection by dusky grouse.

GPS PTT Radios – we have had some difficulty with some of our solar powered GPS radios keeping enough charge to send location information through the satellite system. Most of these issues have occurred with males following the breeding season. We have continued to receive Doppler locations (huge location error rates) which indicates all these birds are still alive and moving, but not getting GPS fixes. This is concerning and we are checking with the manufacturer to better understand the issue. We cannot tell if the shaded nature of their habitat is causing the issue or if birds have covered part of all of the solar panel by preening their feathers, or if there is some inherent problem with the units. We hope to get this problem resolved soon. Other units have performed remarkably well and continue to provide lots of location data.

Wing Barrels - we were able to get all our wing barrels out prior to the season opener on Sept. 1. We have started collecting wings already. We appreciate the cooperation with USFS in putting these barrels on their property. We hope hunters will return any banded birds that get harvested. We also hope no one shoots a $4000 GPS PTT, but I'm sure it will happen at some point.

img_1462We would like to acknowledge our graduate student, Skyler Farnsworth, who has put in a Yeoman’s effort this last year to get this project up and running and as successful as it has been. We also thank the technicians who have spent countless hours working on the project: Kade Lazenby, Kyle Hawk, and Zack Slick. Stephen Lytle and Justin Brimhall have also put time into the project as technician support.

img_20160803_104625913We also had the privilege of Dr. Dwayne Elmore from Oklahoma State University come and join us for a week of field work in early August. We were able to catch a few grouse with him. If you are wondering why an Oklahoma State Univ. professor would be interested in a dusky grouse project you need to understand Dwayne has a history here in Utah having completed his doctorate here at USU. Dwayne became deeply interested in dusky grouse at that time and when he learned of this research project he became involved. Dwayne is also the Bollenbach Chair (Bollenbach's funded the position to improve and support upland game research and management) in Wildlife Biology in his department.

Here is a video of capturing a dusky grouse with a noose pole:

David Dahlgren, PhD Assistant Professor Wildlife and Rangeland Habitat Utah State University 5230 Old Main Hill Logan UT, 84322-5230 435-881-1910

New Web Design

Welcome to the new and improved Utah Chukar & Wildlife web page. We were experience some issues with the old site and needed to upgrade to a new Content Manager which allows us an easier way to update information and display content that is most important to those who access the site. All information that is currently sent via email will now also be included as a post and will be visible on the home page. This will allow you to easily keep abreast with UCWF projects and activities. Since it is a new design, please let me know if there is any issues or mistakes that might have been missed. I hope you like it. Thanks, Alan Smith

Parker Mountain Sage-grouse Flush Counts July 29-30, 2016

UCWF members have been coming to Parker Mountain the last weekend in July since 2004.  We will again hold our annual flush counts this year (2016) July 29-30 (Fri and Sat).  We have multiple experimental plots where we try to keep track of sage-grouse use. Bird dogs are a great asset to this end.  Folks usually run dogs any time while down there, however, on Saturday morning we will run dogs all together in experimental plots.  I need as many volunteers as possible. If you are running dogs outside of the Saturday morning period we still need to keep track of the number of birds, classification (age, sex, etc.), and the location. I will have multiple transects across the mountain that could be run at any time and we can download them to your GPS unit. UCWF will provide dinner on Friday night around 7pm as we have done in the past.  Otherwise food and water (bring plenty of water) is up to you.  Camping conditions are primitive with no water or toilets, though some have brought camper trailers in the past.  I will be down there the entire week (Monday-Saturday) for those that would like to come early please let me know.  I would appreciate an RSVP so UCWF can plan food accordingly, please e-mail me at If you have already contacted me via email or Facebook don’t worry about RSVPs unless you need to back out. We will be camped in our usual spot just west of Red Knoll.  See map below.  Hope to see you there. Dave Dahlgren Parker Campground-New