Utah Field Guide: Chukar Partridge

Native of Southern Eurasia, the chukar partridge was first introduced into Utah in 1951. By 1968, nearly 200,000 chukars had been released on Utah’s public lands, giving hunters plenty of opportunity to harvest this popular upland game bird.

The chukar is a small chicken-like bird distinguished by it’s pale colored, but boldly patterned feathers, and it’s red feet, legs and bill. Chukars are fast fliers and prefer arid-rocky hillsides, mountain slopes and canyon walls.

This year, hunters can expect plenty of chukars in the hills. In fact, it might be the best chukar hunt in nearly a decade.

Observations by Division of Wildlife Resources biologists suggests that chukar numbers are well above average across the state this season. This is only the third time in 20 years that chukar numbers have been this high. Biologists suspect two factors have led to more birds this year. One was a mild and warm winter last year. The other is a population boom cycle that happens with chukars about every 8 years.

The statewide hunt for chukars runs through February 15th, with a bag limit of 5 chukars per day. For more info be sure to check out our Utah Field Guide on our Outdoors page at KSLTV.com.

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