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Thread: Shot size for Ptarmigan?

  1. #1
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    Default Shot size for Ptarmigan?

    First, I live "way down here" in Upper Michigan. LOL

    I'm coming up to AK this fall on a caribou hunt and thought I'd like to take a few ptarmigan back with me to have mounted.

    Reading the regs, in GMU 26 you cannot use lead shot.

    So, what size steel shot would a guy want to use? I don't know if I'll find birds I gotta whack with a stick to make fly or birds that will flush at 50 yards or more?

    I was thinking 1 oz of #6 steel in a standard 12 guage might work.

    Thanks.

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    22 cal pistol or rifle.

  3. #3

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    You should be fine with #6 steel. Ptarmigan are not very difficult birds to kill, and most of the time, your shots won't be too far. If you were not planning on mounting them, you might try #4s, they tend to be more readily available as they are a popular size for ducks. They might tear up a little ptarmigan too much though.

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    Moderator AKmud's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Pid View Post
    22 cal pistol or rifle.
    Doesn't work too well for the "mounting" part. Leaves too big of a hole!
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    Quote Originally Posted by AKJOB View Post
    You should be fine with #6 steel. Ptarmigan are not very difficult birds to kill, and most of the time, your shots won't be too far.
    Thanks AKJOB, appreciate the info.

    From the other posts it seems like ptarmigan are probably going to be a short range-type of shot. The suggestion on using a .22 makes me think they tend to be pretty tame.

    If lead were allowed, I'd just bring up a box or so of trap shells with #8 shot. Since I gotta use steel (or non-lead) in GMU 26, I did a little looking on www.midwayusa.com and found that Winchester sells steel non-lead shells in about any shot size you would want really reasonably.

    I'll probably just get a box of steel #7's. We might end up eating a few out on the tundra, but mainly our group would just like to bring some back for mounting.

    Thanks again, Carl

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    Well I hope you plan on eating them,,Is it legal to just shoot Ptarmigan to mount them.

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    nope its not legal just to mount you must recover the meat of the breast with gamebirds, of course trophy happy duck hunters never quite understand ths law

    anyway szz 6 or 8 should be fine, cylinder (no) choke, alternatively you can walk up to them and wring their necks
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    I use size #8 out of a 20 guage of a .410...or a .22 handgun. Both work great.

    -Brian

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    Thumbs up Remington Heavy shot

    I started using Remington Heavy Shot this year on the ducks and geese, I'll never go back to steel.
    "When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it."
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    Member Queen of Kings's Avatar
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    Default Tame?

    They are not really tame! They are camo and believe you can't see them. the more they are hunted the spookier they will get. If you find some that have not seen hunting pressure, it is not uncommon to shoot your limit from one position, head shot with a 22 make for good eating.

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    Quote Originally Posted by danthedewman1 View Post
    Well I hope you plan on eating them,,Is it legal to just shoot Ptarmigan to mount them.
    Never said I was going to toss the meat out for the foxes. Of course I'll eat them, after the taxidermist takes the skin off. And, I'm quite sure it's legal to shoot Ptarmigan to have them mounted. Geeezzzzz!

    Thanks for everyones insights and thoughts on steel shot size.

  12. #12

    Default .177

    Air rifle worked well for me (1000ft/sec). You can pick off more than one without them flying away sometimes, and nothing hard in the meat when you bite down. It's what I used the other day and it was deadly.
    Hike faster. I hear banjo music.

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    Default No. 8

    I have done well with a single shot 28 guage. I find it mo' sportin'.

  14. #14

    Default sporting

    Quote Originally Posted by sayak View Post
    I have done well with a single shot 28 guage. I find it mo' sportin'.
    Hey, it was the first time I shot ptarmigan really, and it was so easy I had difficulty doing it without feeling guilty. Next time I'm going to try to be sporting, I'm going to just ride a fast snow machine and use a tennis racket!
    Hike faster. I hear banjo music.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CarlV View Post
    Never said I was going to toss the meat out for the foxes. Of course I'll eat them, after the taxidermist takes the skin off. And, I'm quite sure it's legal to shoot Ptarmigan to have them mounted. Geeezzzzz!

    Thanks for everyones insights and thoughts on steel shot size.
    Its not legal to shoot ptarmigan just to have them mounted, you must also eat the meat of the breast.
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

  16. #16

    Default FYI about shot size

    Just a heads up, I see several reccomendations for size 8+ shot. That would be fine if you are using lead, but the question was regarding stell shot. I would not reccomend a shot size that small if you are using steel. It simply would not be lethal to kill the birds beyond very close range. That small steel just loses it's velocity too quickly.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by AKJOB View Post
    Just a heads up, I see several reccomendations for size 8+ shot. That would be fine if you are using lead, but the question was regarding stell shot. I would not reccomend a shot size that small if you are using steel. It simply would not be lethal to kill the birds beyond very close range. That small steel just loses it's velocity too quickly.
    Agreed also steel groups tighter. I've heard that generally you should use two sizes larger for equivalent ie if you want to use sz. 8 shot for lead use size 6 steel. I've been able to kill quite a few teal pretty clean with size 4 teal
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ak_powder_monkey View Post
    Its not legal to shoot ptarmigan just to have them mounted, you must also eat the meat of the breast.
    I would think a college student could read better. See these words in my post, "Of course I'll eat them?"

    But, thank you for your input.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by CarlV View Post
    I would think a college student could read better. See these words in my post, "Of course I'll eat them?"

    But, thank you for your input.

    I read that I was just reiterating the law... No offence intended
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

  20. #20

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    They aren't the brightest. But they do seem to get smarter when you encounter a larger group of them. Sometimes you can T ball them with a flyrod holder or a large stick. LoL Otherwise I use 20g no 8.

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