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October 30, 2003
For Immediate Release

A Chukar Hunter's Companion now available

New book about chukar hunting fills a void-and a lot more

Chukar hunting requires dedication-or derangement, depending on your point of view. Chukars, grouse-sized partridges imported from mountainous regions of the Middle East, now inhabit much of the steep, rocky desert lands of the western United States. Because of their harsh, unforgiving habitat-and the elusiveness of the birds themselves-chukars are widely considered the most challenging of all North American upland game birds. Chukar hunters are a devoted lot, and Pat Wray, author of A Chukar Hunter's Companion, is among the most devoted of those. As he explains early in his book:

"The truth is, I'd rather walk eight miles through a snowstorm over rough Utah rimrocks and get two chukars than kill 10 quail in an afternoon stroll around the lower 40. I'd rather hunt chukars all day on a rock-strewn hillside in northern Nevada and miss the only shots I get than take my limit of pheasants on a wheat field. All things considered, I'd rather hunt chukars than anything else I can do with a gun."

Companion opens with well-researched information about the bird itself, its history and habitats, then launches into the book's underpinning, the how-to section. Wray takes you from physical conditioning through the gear you'll need, then into the hunt itself. The hunt section is a comprehensive look at the entire hunting process, from deciding on a hunt location to caring for your birds. It will prepare the rookie hunter for success and help guide experienced hunters toward more productive hunts as well.

Pat Wray has been a Marine helicopter pilot, a public information officer for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and for the last 25 years, a freelance writer. He has been the back page columnist for Game and Fish Publications since 1989 and a regular contributor to national and regional publications, including Oregon Hunter, as well. Wray's 40 years of hunting experience are evident in every part of this book. It includes an extensive section on dogs, including a chapter on hunting without dogs, a state-by-state hunting summary and a fine chapter of chukar recipes.

Companion is a fun read for everyone. Novice chukar hunters will learn something new on every page. Old hands will recognize the book's essential truth and smile in remembrance of 'that very same thing' happening to them. Non-hunters will warm to Wray's obvious respect for the creatures he pursues and to his love for the land.

Wray puts much of life into a chukar hunter's perspective. His essays, sprinkled lightly throughout the text, are funny, introspective, heartwarming and occasionally troubling. They are the spice on a wonderfully fulfilling reading experience. Wray has the heart of a hunter, the gift of a writer and an unerring sense of the best way to tell a story. His ever- present humor sparkles throughout the text. A Chukar Hunter's Companion is not just a hunter's book; it is a reader's pleasure.

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