Chukar hunting season opens in Nevada

RENO — The hunting season for Nevada’s most popular game bird began Saturday with hunters facing poor to fair prospects.

Nevada Department of Wildlife officials said hunters probably will find fewer coveys and smaller covey sizes in many traditional chukar hunting areas after a cold, dry winter.

But they say the 2013-14 chukar season will feature a few bright spots and hunters might experience better success in adjacent mountain ranges.

The wildlife agency bases its forecast on aerial surveys that found an overall average of 41 chukars per square mile, down 35 percent from the 2012 average and down 18 percent from the long-term average of 49 birds per square mile.

Agency spokesman Chris Healy said about 8,700 hunters will take part in the hunt for the nonnative bird through Feb. 2.