All-time, favorite, outdoor-oriented fund raiser on March 2

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Well gang, it's getting closer and closer to the first weekend of March and you know what that means.

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

Yep! It's almost time for the 16th Carson Valley Chukar Club fund raiser. That highly-popular event will be held on March 2 at the Douglas County Fairgrounds building.

So mark that date on your calendar and then draw a great, big, red circle around it to ensure that you won't forget. I guarantee that you'll have an unforgettable evening with a great group of people.

I'd also be willing to bet that if you are fairly new to this area, about now you are probably wondering,"What in the heck is a Chukar?"

Well, in response to that question, I believe that it is a diabolical, game bird that God created just for the sheer joy of tormenting hunters.

Many, many hunters have been heard to say that when you hunt Chukar, "The first time you hunt, it's for the sport, the rest of the time it's for revenge!" How true!

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

It normally lives in remote, steep, rocky areas. That wily bird can run away from you, it can fly away from you and it is definitely smarter than the average person. That is a tough, tough combination to beat.

The Chukar is not only Nevada's most popular but also its most frustrating game bird. Here's why:

When you are out hunting, it will attract your attention by making a noise known as "chucking." Then when you begin to walk toward it, you are getting in deep trouble.

As you approach it, the Chukar will lure you into walking up a steep rocky ridge by staying just out of your shotgun range. Then after much panting, puffing, sweating, swearing and climbing, you will near the top of one of those steep ridges.

That's when it will "gleefully" jump into the air and glide back down to the bottom of the slope that you just climbed. Once there, it will continue to "chuck" at you to try to get your attention. If you are foolish enough to do so, you will climb back down to the bottom to repeat the up-and-down process, over and over.

It truly is diabolical.

Now that you know what it does, here is what it looks like:

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. The Chukar also has bar markings on its chest.

Most importantly, it tastes great!

For those hunters who are lucky enough to have bagged some, the Chukar is noted, far and wide, for producing truly excellent-tasting gourmet dinners.

On the other hand, more times than not, it has also produced very nasty language from frustrated hunters who have unsuccessfully chased it up and down the steep ridges in Nevada's backcountry.

I do not hunt Chukar.

That's a fact, Jack!

I discovered a long time ago that it is absolutely futile to hunt something that can outrun me, fly away and outsmart me. That combination is too difficult to beat even for little Donnie Q. Heck, I might be ugly but I'm sure not stupid.

In a nutshell, that's what you basically need to know about the Chukar.

Now, to get back to the fund raiser:

-- 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 will generate as much as $40-$50,000.

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, support of the annual Kids' Fishing Derby at Lampe Park in Gardnerville and helping out with registration fees for youths enrolling in the Hunter Education Program in Douglas County.

-- For those who have never attended any of the past Carson Valley Chukar Club fund raisers, you can reach the Douglas County Fairgrounds building 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 you're in doubt, just look for a huge number of parked cars and trucks including my little, bright-red, Ford Ranger pickup.

However, here is some helpful advice whether you are a first-time attendee or an old timer like me:

If you want to sit anywhere near the front of the huge crowd (approximately 500-600) that will be attending, you need to arrive early to secure a good seat. Go early!

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 opens its doors to the public at 5 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.

Also during the course of the evening, 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 Carson Valley 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.

Reserve March 2 for a fun-filled evening with good friends.

See ya there!

For fund raiser information or tickets, call 586-9337

-- Bet Your Favorite Pigeon

Bet your favorite pigeon that he can't tell you about any nearby areas that contain populations of Chukar.

If he answers, "The McCellean Peak area between Carson City and Virginia City and the Carson River area, east of Carson City, both have good populations of Chukar," he might be a serious game bird hunter.


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