Hanna Bates Rockchuck Memorial

Discussion in 'West' started by Reliance, May 7, 2012.

  1. Reliance

    Reliance Active Member

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    Hello All,

    Just got back from Bliss Idaho, at the annual Hanna Bates Rockchuck Memorial derby.
    We had a blast again ended up up shooting 13 chucks, the weather this year was unrelentlles rain and high mountain snow, this makes for tough hunting conditions for chucks. The great thing was my partner was able to qualify for the 500 yard varmint kill, for the Varmint Hunters Association Magazine club we belong to. Way to go Bob, 716 yard was official measurement on a big chuck. We also got to weight in our heaviest chucks for the three day event, 7lbs 13oz and 7lbs 11oz., but unfortunately we still couldn't even make the top ten . A new Idaho State record was set of 16lbs 8oz for the biggest chuck ever recorded. This derby is a kids for cancer fund raiser and it ended up making $ 90,000 for the three day event, great job to everyone who participated. There where 10 rifles given away and money for the top placers, there were 501 registered shooters. Check out there web site and hopefully plan on seeing you'all there next year.
    Keeping the second amendment alive. oorah
     
  2. Riverman

    Riverman Well-Known Member

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    I checked out the website. This is my kind of charity event. I'm interested in trying it out in 2013. I buy an out of state hunting license in Idaho every year and my hunting partner lives in Rupert. Bliss appears to be about an hours drive West on I-84.

    How hard is it to find a place to hunt ? Do the local ranchers allow shooters on their land ? It appears that you can shoot where ever as long as you wiegh in atthe Hatrack in Bliss.

    The rules look pretty simple (1) You can't wiegh in a frozen rock chuck. (2) You have to have an Idaho hunting liscense. (3) You have to be registered by Thursday, 4/24/2013
     

  3. Clint Idaho

    Clint Idaho Well-Known Member

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    Unless your plan is to hunt the Hagerman Valley, most of the good rockchuck areas surrounding Bliss are on BLM ground. Just pick up a map from the BLM before the hunt. It will show land ownership. Google Earth will help if your from out of the area. If it shows a lot of rocks. Pretty good chance it will hold chucks. Private ground requires written permision from the land owner if it is under cultivation. Check the Fish and Game web site for the rules on hunting private property.
     
  4. Reliance

    Reliance Active Member

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    Hi All,

    The area north of the freeway around bliss is mostly all blm land and yes if you find rocks it will be loaded with chucks. Now chuck hunting in that area is not like prairie dog hunting where you find a colony and shoot for hours,no this is where you use optics from 200 yards out and you start scourring the rocks looking for bits of body parts mostly just the top of there heads will be showing. So it takes awhile to shoot a half dozen or so, another tip I came up with this year was to buy an electronic fishing scale ( mine was a Berkley) and as you kill one and walk out to get it, you can instantly record its weight and keep it or discard it right there. These critters live underground 8 months of the year so they do have fleas and ticks so the less you come in contact the better one feels. Also the gun of choice down there is a 17 hmr on private land, but blm land the longrange boomers are way more fun, but you are looking to keep the weight on your chucks so precision shooting is a must. Another hint : the largest and current record chucks were taken in the Buhl area. Good luck and good hunting.
     
  5. Reliance

    Reliance Active Member

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    Just a quick update my hunting partner from last year wrote an article about the rock-chuck hunt and it got accepted and is in the April issue of Varmint Hunter Association Magazine. Thanks Bob, great article and great pictures. Looking forward to making the 1000 yard club. gun)
     
  6. Reliance

    Reliance Active Member

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    Hello All,
    Another great yr. at the derby ended up bringing 5 of us down there this yr from the Spokane area, 525 miles one way but very much worth it. Between all of us we killed 30 to 40 chucks, biggest one my friend earl got with a 220 swift shooting 80 gr. hornady I think, at 426 yds great shooting . Bobs wife scored the smallest at 11 ounces with a 17 hmr . Lol I killed one at 637 yds verified by brother in law Jeff . Thanks for spotting . The weather was the best we've had down there in 4 of the last 5 yrs sunny everyday but cold at night. Guess it kept the rattlers at bay. The derby was great also lots of raffle prizes and auction items and all money went to the cancer charity fund . I think the top ten gun winners had chucks weighing in at 14 to 15.9 pounds, biggest one we got was under 10 so the locals definitely have an edge, we may have catch on alive and hand feed it for a yr. Not . To much fun just hunting them. Ended up taking my wall tent and barrel stove to stay warm and my other friends brought there rv, so that also was pretty Cush . We had two atvs and one side by side and hundreds of trails to ride and huge canyons to look out across, gorgeous landscape . Hope to see ya all down there next year .
     
  7. idaho elk hunter

    idaho elk hunter Well-Known Member

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    I live right here in the Heart of Southern Idaho. Bliss is a 30 minute drive for me. As far as finding chucks all you have to do is stay sober and get out of bed. They are in hundreds right off the interstate in Jerome. I even had to encourage one of the local retired shooter to come out and shoot his barrel out to get them off my place. In the last 3 years he has killed over 1200 of the bastards. NOBODY WANTS THESE. If your going to the hills and hunting them like a game animal your definitely not going to win. Get in the rock piles in green partures around hay fields and winter wheat fields. Bring plenty of ammo and a spare barrel. If your smart bring a 22lr or a slingshot would be even cheaper. If you cant afford a slingshot just club them with a stick. Its all good!!
     
  8. Reliance

    Reliance Active Member

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    Hello Idaho elk hunter we are looking for a hot spot for next year , so if needing a few good old boys to eliminate some of the chucks just give me a pm.
    Thanks
     
  9. Reliance

    Reliance Active Member

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    Some Picts from the guys having fun at the rockchuck shoot.
     

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  10. Reliance

    Reliance Active Member

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    Just got off the phone with the Y-Inn motel in bliss and they said there just about maxed out full for the derby, so get to making resv. now!!
    Try to post up another pict.
     

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  11. idaho elk hunter

    idaho elk hunter Well-Known Member

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    FYI . Trust me there will be much more to do just up the interstate in Jerome. The motels are MUCH better. Best Western is the best off exit 168. The majority of chucks are there anyway. I have killed over 120 in a day if you get permission from the boat dealer there.
     
  12. Reliance

    Reliance Active Member

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    Here is another one of my great friends that came to the chuck derby last year, he is a famous country western singer and gunsmith ( EarlWear.com ). Within the first fifteen minutes of being there we find this chuck sunning himself at over 475 yds and Earl shoots him with a 22-250, great shot but a little short to get into the 500 yard club. :-(
    Sorry Earl maybe next year.
     

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