Obviously the weather is brutally cold with temperatures here in Meadow Lakes at -20F this morning and they were a frigid -33F when I left Fairbanks noon yesterday. I don't hunt much in weather colder than -20F, guess I'll have to learn how to when living in Fairbanks. Cold weather of this magnitude can be hard on game birds if conditions aren't right. It looks like there is enough snow for the birds to snow roost, an important way for grouse and ptarmigan to stay cozy warm and protected from the wind and cold.
On my trip north Saturday, I spied a jaunty ruffed grouse in the south bound center lane of the Parks Highway about MP 318 picking grit. My favorite forest fowl gave me the eyeball as I bombed on by in the right lane headed north. The bird had its feathers up and looked quite fluffy in it's feathered garb. I looked for it on my way back but saw no sign so assume it escaped autos and diving hawks. I'd of picked it up for sure as a training aid at least for my pup.
Has anyone been doing any cold weather bird hunting? Any stories to tell??
I'll be reading Jim McCann's book; Upland Hunting in Alaska again for tips on cold weather hunting. A quick review helps when loading up the truck for a day of cold weather bird hunting.
Another great book for cold gear technique when it is REALLY cold out is Rick Kinmon's Hunting the Hunters about predator hunting in Alaska. This fellow has excellent techniques for staying warm in brutally cold weather.
Fact is this time of year begs some good books and a warm place to hole up...just like the grouse.