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Thread: An introduction and some pictures...

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    Member tod osier's Avatar
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    Default An introduction and some pictures...

    Hi all, I wanted to introduce myself. We are planning a visit to Alaska July/August/September 2013 and I hope to experience a bunch of what your great state has to offer. One of the goals of the trip is to do some upland hunting, especially to get the dogs on some Ptarmigan.

    As an introduction, my background is that I do a fair amount of waterfowl hunting in my home state of Connecticut. I try to travel to get my pups on some new birds every year – usually this is an upland bird trip. I have used my duck dogs pretty successfully in the uplands - freelancing across the public lands of the lower 48. I love being afield with my pups and am happy to follow them gun in hand. We have had some pretty neat adventures over the years. I think we are at a good point for the ultimate adventure - which as I see it is Alaska.

    Since I’m new here and I’ve been enjoying reading your posts and I don’t have much to contribute… I figure I can at least throw up some pictures of past hunts that we have been on.

    My older lab Pete. He is getting towards his golden years at seven.




    My young’un Mesquite will be two in December. He is often up for sale or even free if you catch me on the right day.




    Pete and I with Sage Grouse in Montana in 2008, he was just a pup and these were his first Western birds.




    Scenery shot - heading back to camp with Sage Grouse. Pete got bit by a rattlesnake a mile or so from where this photo was taken.




    Not one of Pete’s best days, he learned what the funny smell and buzzing sound in the bush was. He was in the field and back on birds the day after.




    Pete with his first Huns (and a couple Sharp-tails) in 2008 in MT, he also “flushed” a skunk at close range that day and got to ride in the back of the truck to camp.




    Spruce grouse in the Rockies of Montana, of all birds Pete is by far the weakest on the forest grouse.




    Chukar in the heat on the Columbia River valley in Washington.




    Valley Quail in Washington in 2008. Our first three, they flushed in succession from a covey in the thick and tall sage.




    Pheasants and Prairie Chickens in South Dakota (I usually wear boots in the field).




    Sharp-tails and Prairie Chickens.




    Limit of roosters and a Prairie Chicken in South Dakota.




    Nice bag of pheasants and prairie grouse.




    Pete with a cockbird flushed from the tall grasses at the end of a long trip.




    Pete and I have made the trip to SW Kansas to try our hand at Lesser Prairie Chickens twice and have come home empty-handed with our tails between our legs – TWICE. We have flushed them and I have shot at them, but no dice. We did run into some nice coveys of Bobwhites on the shortgrass – so that was cool.




    We have hunted Arizona a couple times for quail and doves… Gambel’s and Scalies (but not Mearn’s), but quail are tough to get a good picture of, especially when they fit completely in a dog's mouth and are wet with slobber. Pete and I in Gambel’s country, there is a covey up on that hill.




    Pete and I with a dove on a slow quail hunting day in AZ.




    Now Mesquite is part of the team – This is South Dakota in 2011 with a couple roosters we had to really work for on the prairies.




    Pete and Skeet waiting for the evening Prairie Chicken flight. Prairie Chickens can be pass shot flying to food in the morning or evening. For the fat aging waterfowl hunter and worn out duck dog, this makes for a nice relaxing hunt.




    Skeet with a pile of prairie grouse pass shot by the crew in one morning before pheasants opened at noon. Funny little dog, I’m surprised that he was so protective of the birds. He likes to stand guard like a little chessie.




    Skeet with the first pheasant that he flushed-marked-retrieved himself, this was last year at 10 months old in South Dakota. I knew it was a scruffy cock when I shot it, but I also wasn’t about to let his first good flush get away! Good boy!




    Hope you all enjoyed the pics as half much as I’ve been enjoying yours.

    Tod

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    Welcome! Good looking dogs. And it does appear you get around! Glad you started posting here.

    Jim

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    Member tod osier's Avatar
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    Thanks Jim. I sure have enjoyed reading your stuff!

    Tod

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    Member AK Ray's Avatar
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    Tod, you've done stepped in it now.

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    Member tod osier's Avatar
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    I'm just trying to pad my post count so I can post in the classifieds .

    I've read so much amazing stuff on this forum the past several weeks, I couldn't help but jump in. Ray, you shouldn't have incriminated yourself, now they will know who to blame for me showing up here.

    T

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    Member AK Ray's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tod osier View Post
    I'm just trying to pad my post count so I can post in the classifieds . I'm telling Chuck! Oh wait wrong forum....

    I've read so much amazing stuff on this forum the past several weeks, I couldn't help but jump in. Ray, you shouldn't have incriminated yourself, now they will know who to blame for me showing up here.

    T
    I will freely admit to knowing who you are........ And will warn everyone once something starts....

    And get that post count along with the time on board so that folks can start PMing you info for planning your family trip.

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    Very cool! I really enjoyed your pictures. What would be your favorite month for Dakota - Kansas upland bird hunting?

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    Member tod osier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alaskan Woodsman View Post
    Very cool! I really enjoyed your pictures. What would be your favorite month for Dakota - Kansas upland bird hunting?
    Thanks, I've been sorta travel crazy the past couple years and have been lucky that my schedule has worked out to be able to do it.

    For SD the 3 times I've hunted there, it has been mid-October, which is the pheasant opener. The areas I hunt have modest pheasant numbers, lots of public land, relatively little ground in crops, but there are prairie grouse to go along with the pheasants - so that makes the trip really nice for me. I'd rather work harder for pheasants to be in an area with grouse too.

    Mid october is usually nice, can be hot, but not too bad. Snakes are still out, which is always in the back of my mind. Prairie grouse have been open for quite some time (since september), so they are a little touchy having been hunted. I haven't found that to be a problem with my labs and I get plenty close to them on the flush, but the guys running pointers that I have talked to say they are hard to hunt at that time. I do well with the labs, so I'm OK with it. This year my schedule isn't working out for the pheasant opener, so I'm going to give it a try mid November. Reports are OK for this year, but down, so I will be walking a lot - got to get in shape.

    As for Kansas, bah. I don't really have good advice there. I've focused on Lesser Prairie Chickens in a pretty marginal area and not had all that good luck (actually bad luck). I've shot pheasants and bobs there, but not enough to warrant going back. The part of KS that I've hunted is pretty arid and not the best area for birds, but is a traditional area for the chickens. There are better areas to hunt Lesser Prairie Chickens than where I hunted, but I'm stubborn and wanted to shoot them my way (I hear in my head: how'd that work out for ya?).

    T

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    Member JediMasterSalmonSlayer's Avatar
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    Welcome to the forum, sweet resume of photos...you are quite the bird brain...LOL

    Serious upland hunter you are from your impressive travels and variety of species. Beautiful dogs too! Thanks for sharing.
    http://www.myfishingpictures.com/watermark.php?file=133776
    Jedi Salmon Powers Activated!
    www.alaskansalmonslayers.com


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    Thank you T. Prairie chickens would be cool and huns and sharptails and pheasants too. I hunted 3 years ago in SW Nebraska along the Kansas border. Very cool (-10 f) and had a blast. Shot a limit of pheasant one day hunting CRP and farm stead evergreen shelter belts. The shelter belt shoot was unbelieveable. Fast and furious. I love the mountains but the prairie has a mystery of it's own. I saw some prairie chickens fly by one evening going I'm not sure where.... Had a blast there in KS and NE, hunting and driving around. Will do it again someday too, hopefully.

    You are on the right forum for meeting nice folk that like to hunt birds. No snakes, chiggers or ticks here, which is nice.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JediMasterSalmonSlayer View Post
    Welcome to the forum, sweet resume of photos...you are quite the bird brain...LOL

    Serious upland hunter you are from your impressive travels and variety of species. Beautiful dogs too! Thanks for sharing.
    Thanks JMSS, I have enjoyed reading your Sharp-tail tales this fall and really enjoy the pictures. The Alaska Sharp-tails are handsome birds, more contrast to their plumage than the prairie birds I've shot. I've always found it interesting that sharp-tails have the furry (feathered) feet and Prairie chickens don't, but you can see that in Alaska that the extra insulation may help out.

    It is funny that you mentioned "serious upland hunter", I consider myself the farthest from that you could imagine, I'm a hack. I've hunted quite a few species of upland birds, but haven't come close to being proficient on any one. I like to freelance and wander in new areas and see the sights and I love my dogs, so it has just worked out that way. I seldom actually hunt upland birds here in New England and mostly hunt waterfowl, deer and turkey hunt. Consider me a well-traveled upland hack .

    T

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    Very nice . . thanks . . and welcome.

    But where are photos of the King of all upland birds? . . the Ruffed Grouse . . and his prince? . . the Woodcock?

    Grew up in Michigan . . how I miss it . . especially this time of year . .

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alaskan Woodsman View Post
    Thank you T. Prairie chickens would be cool and huns and sharptails and pheasants too. I hunted 3 years ago in SW Nebraska along the Kansas border. Very cool (-10 f) and had a blast. Shot a limit of pheasant one day hunting CRP and farm stead evergreen shelter belts. The shelter belt shoot was unbelieveable. Fast and furious. I love the mountains but the prairie has a mystery of it's own. I saw some prairie chickens fly by one evening going I'm not sure where.... Had a blast there in KS and NE, hunting and driving around. Will do it again someday too, hopefully.

    You are on the right forum for meeting nice folk that like to hunt birds. No snakes, chiggers or ticks here, which is nice.
    I'm drawn to the prairies more so than any other area that I've hunted. It is like magic when a big cockbird or 30 grouse erupt from basically ankle high grass that can't possibly hide them. The ability to wander and see for miles in all directions. I'm excited to see the tundra, I've been in alpine areas, but not seen the arctic, so that is on my list. From what I've read, I think the actual wandering around on the tundra may be more physically demanding than the prairies, but I expect the same feeling of openness. I like the desert too, so maybe I just like anything that is very different from home.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marcus View Post
    Very nice . . thanks . . and welcome.

    But where are photos of the King of all upland birds? . . the Ruffed Grouse . . and his prince? . . the Woodcock?

    Grew up in Michigan . . how I miss it . . especially this time of year . .
    I said I'm a hack . I haven't had a great Ruffed Grouse and Woodcock hunting experience Sure, I've shot them over the years (mostly NY and WI), but we just don't have grouse numbers here (or the land to hunt them), although the woodcock hunting can be good nearby. I've been thinking about a trip to MI or ME, but it always takes the back burner to some other adventure. My wife grew up in southern MI (near Kalamazoo) so I could base a quick trip to the Northern LP or UP from there, but I just haven't done it.

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    Great pictures where did you hunt in Arizona I was living down there the last 3 years. I mostly chases gambels hunting between Phoenix and Camp Verde, and by Casa Grande

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    Welcome aboard Tod...You do have quite a collection of species...Curious to see what your trophy room looks like with all those different mounts :-)

    Having hunted birds and other game in Montana for 12 years, I will confirm that the ptarmigan tundra can be more tiring to walk than some of the prairie habitat, but you do not seem to have any aversion to pounding boot leather. With the kind of effort you have eluded to here, you should not have a problem adding ptarmigan to your collection. My guess is you do a fair amount of research before heading afield...Therefore, as you probably already know by reading this forum, Jim's book would be useful for you to read prior to making the trip....if you havent already.

    Good luck

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    Quote Originally Posted by Burke View Post
    Welcome aboard Tod...You do have quite a collection of species...Curious to see what your trophy room looks like with all those different mounts :-)

    Having hunted birds and other game in Montana for 12 years, I will confirm that the ptarmigan tundra can be more tiring to walk than some of the prairie habitat, but you do not seem to have any aversion to pounding boot leather. With the kind of effort you have eluded to here, you should not have a problem adding ptarmigan to your collection. My guess is you do a fair amount of research before heading afield...Therefore, as you probably already know by reading this forum, Jim's book would be useful for you to read prior to making the trip....if you havent already.

    Good luck
    Thanks Burke, pics of my trophy room would let you down - I don't have a single bird mounted. I take lots of Pics in the field and try to remember my hunts that way. With duck hunting and upland that would be a mess of birds and not something a working-class guy like I could afford, plus I'm cheap and always trying to save a buck for for gear.

    Yes on Jim's book, Thanks for making sure I knew about it. I'm generally pretty good at doing my research, but there are times when I don't do my part or I'm too stubborn to listen and get burnt. I plan on burning the boot leather on this trip that is for sure, I'd like to get the two easier ptarmigan and a shot at the sharptails. We are going to have our 6 year old son along and I'm expecting that we will have to do a fair amount to packing him through rough terrain (but don't tell him, otherwise he will want to be carried everywhere).

    We are planning a float along one of the North slope rivers in August for caribou and plan to have the dogs along and I heard that there can be a lot of ptarmigan in places at that time. I'm expecting willows, but would be pleased if I ran into rocks somewhere in AK. Given our limitations, I've sorta ruled out white-tailed ptarmigan, but would be all over it if I could figgure out a way to get it done.

    Again thanks.

    T

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    Quote Originally Posted by catchfish View Post
    Great pictures where did you hunt in Arizona I was living down there the last 3 years. I mostly chases gambels hunting between Phoenix and Camp Verde, and by Casa Grande
    Most of my quail hunting for Gambel's was east of Tuscon, North of Willcox around the foothills. I liked the terrain better there, seemed like less cactus and there weren't many folks out and about, so we had the birds to ourselves. I hunted Scaled Quail on those famous flats near Willcox and got a few, but never a lights out hunt on them. In the two trips I was there I never made it to the border to hunt Mearns, I had numbers for Mearns from a good buddy of mine, but just was so turned off by the border trouble that I couldn't make myself to do it.

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    We are planning a float along one of the North slope rivers in August for caribou and plan to have the dogs along and I heard that there can be a lot of ptarmigan in places at that time. I'm expecting willows, but would be pleased if I ran into rocks somewhere in AK. Given our limitations, I've sorta ruled out white-tailed ptarmigan, but would be all over it if I could figgure out a way to get it done.

    Again thanks.

    T[/QUOTE]

    Tod, I hunt caribou up that way every year if possible. You will find plenty of ptarmigan up there,most likely willow ptarmigan. I recommend that you take a fly rod or light spinning tackle as there are plenty of char and grayling as well. This August we had some quests from Georgia hunting with us. On one of the lastnights in the bush, we ate fresh Grayling, ptarmigan and cariboutenderloin. I recommend that you bringsome small containers of seasoning and spices you like to use to cook with aswell. I have attached some pics to get your blood pumping. None of the ptarmigan unfortunately and I apologize for posting big game here but youdid bring it up. If you need some infoabout the caribou hunt feel free to ask. I have an opinion on everything so don’t hesitate to ask. You’ll love the north country, the tundra isan amazing place.












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    Quote Originally Posted by Armymark View Post
    We are planning a float along one of the North slope rivers in August for caribou and plan to have the dogs along and I heard that there can be a lot of ptarmigan in places at that time. I'm expecting willows, but would be pleased if I ran into rocks somewhere in AK. Given our limitations, I've sorta ruled out white-tailed ptarmigan, but would be all over it if I could figgure out a way to get it done.

    Again thanks.

    T
    Tod, I hunt caribou up that way every year if possible. You will find plenty of ptarmigan up there,most likely willow ptarmigan. I recommend that you take a fly rod or light spinning tackle as there are plenty of char and grayling as well. This August we had some quests from Georgia hunting with us. On one of the lastnights in the bush, we ate fresh Grayling, ptarmigan and cariboutenderloin. I recommend that you bringsome small containers of seasoning and spices you like to use to cook with aswell. I have attached some pics to get your blood pumping. None of the ptarmigan unfortunately and I apologize for posting big game here but youdid bring it up. If you need some infoabout the caribou hunt feel free to ask. I have an opinion on everything so don’t hesitate to ask. You’ll love the north country, the tundra isan amazing place.

    [/QUOTE]

    Thanks for the pictures and offer for info. Caribou photo is awesome, if I could get one anything like that I'd be thrilled and have a smile on my face for a good long while. I love the grayling. We caught our first grayling this summer in a little mountain lake in Wyoming this summer, even my 5 year old. I enjoyed it tremendously having read about grayling in Outdoor Life and Field and Stream as a kid and never thinking they were in reach.

    For a float trip the absolute perfect trip would be to combine fishing, a little bird hunting and caribou along with the boy being able to see the wildlife. Wife loves to fish, boy likes to catch and really likes to keep fish, we all love a good meal. If I have a lot of pictures of dead animals, I have just as many of them slapped in oil and crispy, as that is an important part of the deal for us.

    I would love to get your opinionated perspective.

    T

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