Chukar Club fundraiser Saturday |

Chukar Club fundraiser Saturday

About 1,600 water guzzlers to enhance Nevada's chukar population have been put in place thanks to efforts by organizations such as the Carson Valley Chukar Club. The club is holding its 30th annual fundraiser Saturday at the Douglas County Fairgrounds.
Courtesy Nevada Department of Wildlife |

In 1986, the Carson Valley Chukar Club held its inaugural fundraiser at the Carson Valley Inn.

On Saturday, the chukar club will host its 30th annual fundraiser at the Douglas County Fairgrounds and continue what has turned into a tradition of enhancing their sport statewide.

A tri-tip dinner will be a featured part of the event, which starts at 5 p.m. More than 100 raffle prizes and 40 auction items will be available as part of an evening agenda designed to promote fun and funds.

“It’s really neat stuff,” said Nevada Department of Wildlife Public Information Officer Chris Healy. “This is another example of the sportsmen in this state putting in their hard-earned dollars — you know the old saying about putting your money where your mouth is — and these guys have been doing it for 30 years.”

Proceeds from the 2015 event helped fund a number of chukar club projects, including a Columbian Sharp-tailed Grouse restoration in Northeastern Nevada, the Maison T. Ortiz Outdoor Skill Camp, Carson Valley Ducks Unlimited Youth Day, the Coalition for Nevada Wildlife and funds for Nevada Department of Wildlife upland game projects.

Keep in mind, the benefits of the fundraiser extend far beyond Carson Valley, Healy pointed out.

“There’s not a lot of chukar that are real close to Carson Valley, so a lot of these guys are getting up and heading toward northern Washoe County, Pershing County and up into the Winnemucca country. If you’re going to be a hunter in Nevada, you’ve got to be willing to put a few miles on your car.”

The chukar club’s fundraiser has helped NDOW in its program to establish about 1,600 water guzzlers statewide, the majority of which are located in Northern Nevada, Healy explained. The guzzlers are particularly important in the high desert areas where sufficient water is crucial to the bird population.

“There are four elements of habits: food, water, shelter and space,” Healy said. “So when you add water some place where it’s missing and you have the other elements, you can quickly expand the number of chukar in a particular area.”

Healy, who grew up as an avid sportsman in Northern Nevada (a 1974 graduate of Bishop Manogue High School in Reno and later from the University of Nevada) added that there are additional benefits.

“One of the key things, when they donate money, we can match it with federal excise tax dollars, and it’s really cool because we can sometimes match it on a 3-to-1 basis,” he said. “So you can turn sportsmen’s dollars into a much larger piece of the pie. And these guys (Carson Valley Chukar Club) were pioneers in helping the (Nevada) Department of Wildlife make big strides in pushing chukar out there.”

Hunting the crafty chukar can be quite a challenge, too.

“There’s an old saying, the first time you go chukar hunting, you go for fun; the rest of your life, you go for revenge,” Healy said, laughing. “The birds are very frustrating to hunt, especially because we have difficult conditions here. You have high mountains and it’s usually dry and all that. So it can be frustrating, but chukar hunters are avid people.”

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