Travis Warren is a fanatical upland bird hunter based out of Reno, Nevada. His passion for chukar hunting led to Travis creating the Upchukar Podcast. Read on for a glimpse inside the mind of one the West's most committed hunters of the bird known as "the masked bandit."
Tell us a bit about yourself.
My name is Travis Warren and I live in Reno, NV with my wife and two girls. When I'm not spending time at work or with the family, I'm out in the desert chasing chukar with my two dogs. In the off season I train my dogs and work on my podcast - The Upchukar Podcast.
How and why did you get into chukar hunting?
I ventured into chukar hunting through both a friend and my father-in-law. Both had similar influences on my beginnings, but it wasn’t until I was introduced to bird dogs through my friend Jay that I became fully involved. I spend a lot of my hunting time solo, just me and my dogs. Funny, I never feel alone when it’s just me and the dogs, and I find these times a centering part of my life.
Do you do any other types of hunting?
Most notably I spend a large portion of the month of September hunting Himalayan Snowcock in the mountains of Nevada. I also recently discovered turkey hunting, which is pretty damn addicting.
What is it about chukar hunting specifically that you enjoy?
I enjoy how physically tough it is. It forces me to focus on what I’m doing and to stay engaged with my dogs and my surroundings. It’s simplistic in that sense and there are no distractions.
The demands on a truck have to be brutal, how do you prepare for the inevitable?
I’m no stranger to breaking down in the middle of the Nevada desert. Thankfully, I keep my truck well-stocked with recovery gear, food/water and survival gear to last for a few days. I also leave a hunt plan with my wife and use a satellite communicator so I can contact home if I'm in trouble.
How has the DECKED Drawer System changed how you hunt?
I used to store all my tools, recovery gear and survival stuff in those black & yellow Costco totes. They worked well, but made it difficult to pull from the front of the bed, especially the one housing tire chains for all 4 tires, jack and tools. With the DECKED system I maintain an organized truck bed, where everything is easily accessible and I can secure it safely.
What’s your go-to DECKED accessory?
I use the D-Bag a lot. Both for the Drawer System to pack clothes on trips, but also as a carry-on for flights. Perfect size for someone who packs light, or needs a bag for a weekend trip.
What’s the best advice you can give someone looking to get into chukar hunting?
It's most enjoyable if you can maintain a base level of fitness, especially cardio. It also makes it a whole lot safer to be out there. Apart from that, listen to the Upchukar podcast: it’s a great place to develop knowledge for both new and seasoned hunters alike.
More from Travis: 5 Ways to Die in Chukar Country