The annual Carson Valley Chukar Club fund raiser on March 4

Oh oh! It's almost time for yours truly to have a ton of fun at his all-time favorite, outdoor-oriented fund raiser.

And it's almost time to continue my streak of having miserable luck in winning any raffle prizes at that function.

What is it?

It's the 14th edition of the highly-popular Carson Valley Chukar Club fund raiser. It will be held on March 4 at the Douglas County Fairgrounds.

Hmmm...Right about now, if you're new to the area, you're probably thinking, "What in the heck is a chukar?"

-- Well, for those unfamiliar with a chukar, it is a very popular Nevada upland game bird. It is physically larger than a quail and smaller than a pheasant. It has very unique markings around its eyes that make it look like it is wearing a bandit's mask. It also has bar markings on its chest.

Most importantly for those hunters who are lucky enough to have bagged some, the chukar is noted for producing excellent-tasting gourmet dinners.

That exotic game bird was successfully introduced into Nevada many years ago from its native areas in the Himalayan Mountains of Asia.

It is a very wily bird, equally adapt at either running or flying away from you.

The chukar has produced very tasty, unforgettable gourmet dinners for lucky hunters. On the other hand, it has also produced very bad language from frustrated hunters who have unsuccessfully chased it up and down the steep ridges in Nevada's backcountry.

I do not hunt chukar. I discovered a long time ago that it is absolutely futile to hunt something that can fly away, outrun me and outsmart me.

That combination is too difficult to beat even for little Donnie Q.

-- The Carson Valley Chukar Club is a local sportsmen's organization in Douglas County, dedicated to improving the chukar population of Nevada and to also improving upland game bird habitat.

Each year, the club holds its major fund-raiser at the Douglas County Fairgrounds and that one-night event generates about $20-25,000.

Those monies are then used for many worthwhile projects, such as the rearing and releasing of chukar into the wilds of Nevada, the construction of man-made water collection devices known as "guzzlers," which are used by small animals and birds, the rearing and releasing of ruffed grouse into various areas of the state, support of the Nevada hunter Education Program, significant contributions to the Nevada anti-poaching program known as Operation Game Thief, etc.

-- For those who have never attended any of the past fund raisers, you can reach the Douglas County Fairgrounds by following these easy instructions:

Just drive south on U.S. 395, out of Gardnerville, to the last traffic signal light (at the 7-11 Store).

At that intersection, turn left onto Pinenut Road. Take that road for about three miles to a large metal building, located on your right side.

If in doubt, just look for a huge number of parked cars and trucks including my little, bright-red pickup.

And, before I forget, here's a word of advice to anyone planning to attend this very popular function for the first time.

If you want to sit anywhere near the front of the huge crowd (approximately 400-500) that will be attending, you need to arrive early to secure a good seat.

If you're late, you'll be seated in the far-back of that large room or even worse, you'll be standing. So don't say that you weren't warned. Go early!

The fund raiser will open its doors to the general public at 6 p.m., and the event generally lasts until about 11 p.m.

In between those two times, you can enjoy a great-tasting, barbecued, Tri-Tip sandwich dinner, complete with beans and salad.

During the entire evening, you can order your favorite drinks (including my beloved Manhattens!) from their well-stocked bar.

As a matter of interest, the necessary ingredients for Manhattens are there by special request by yours truly a number of years ago. Those Manhatten ingredients are whisky, sweet vermouth and Maraschino cherries. Many years ago, they did not have those "goodies." I tried to drink some type of weird concoction made with whiskey and Grenadine. Yuk! I drank 3-4 of them and had a "sugar high" for days and days.

Also during the course of the evening's fund raiser, you will have a chance to win from about 100 very nice raffle prizes and about 40 great items in the silent auction and in the live auction.

The cost to attend is $25 per person for adults. It is $15 for those under the age of 18. That price also includes a one-year membership in the Chukar Club.

The fund-raiser is open to everyone, but anyone under the age of 21 must be accompanied by an adult.

Don't miss this annual opportunity to attend one of Western Nevada's most popular sportsmen's events.

And, guess what? One of these years, I hope to win a raffle prize.

Through the previous 13 fund-raisers, my luck has been absolutely atrocious.

Last year, I bought a ton of raffle tickets. My television show co-host Jim McGee bought far fewer tickets than I did. Wanna guess, who won all the prizes at our table? You're right - McGee! Geez, I hate him!

I keep coming back year after year and guess why? Because, the "Law of Averages" says that my luck has to change and, who knows, this could be the year.

Geez I hope so! I can hardly stand the teasing that I take from everyone about being a perennial loser.

Oh well, no matter whether I win a raffle prize or not, don't forget - reserve March 4 for a fun-filled evening.

For information or tickets, call Ron Pierini at 267-3365.

-- Bet Your Favorite Pigeon

Bet your favorite pigeon that he can't tell you one or more nearby areas that contains populations of chukar.

If he answers, "The mountainous area between Carson City and Virginia City and the Carson River area, east of Carson City, have populations of chukar," he might be a serious chukar hunter.


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