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Thread: Iliamna/lake Clark Snow conditions/bird numbers

  1. #1
    Member Burke's Avatar
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    Default Iliamna/lake Clark Snow conditions/bird numbers

    I may have reason to be in Iliamna / Newhelan during early - mid March. Since bird numbers are low around here, I thought it might be worth taking my young Brittany (Lil' Joe) along to get some ptarmigan contacts for him. I have never been to the area and wondered if anyone with knowledge of the area would be willing to share what the snow conditions might be like at that time and whether the ptarmigan numbers are worthy of taking the dog out for a hunt. Also, if there are land access issues, it would great to know about those ahead of time. I am willing to do some leg work to find the habitat and birds, but don't want to fly the dog out needlessly. Of course, if you have GPS coordinates for local coveys, you can send those along in a PM. :-)

    Any information regarding land access, snow conditions and chance of finding birds would be appreciated.

    It is always nice to see new country, and if I can get the dog some expereince at the same time....all the better.

  2. #2

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    I'm more familiar with the Lake Clark area than down towards Iliamna / Newhalen. If winter conditions persist, expect very little to zero snow in March. As of now Lake Clark area has very little snow, what is around is in the forest. Generally, snow conditions get more patchy and less as you move south and west in that area. Lots of State and Native land around north side of Iliamna and up towards Nondalton, you'll find larger blocks of State land west of Newhalen. Ptarmigan will be around, can't really speak for how numbers this year will compare with what's typical for the area.

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    Member Burke's Avatar
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    Thanks for the good info...I appreciate it.
    Sounds like the dog will be able to get around and that is more than half the battle.

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    Burke,

    There are plenty of ptarmigan around Newhalen/Illiamna but like they are anywhere, some days are diamonds, and some days are stones. I was there once on a magazine assignment and saw fall ptarmigan up along the Newhalen River, and I was going to work a deal with one of the fishing lodges there to hunt ptarmigan over my Brittanys but the problem was - and always will be - the time and expense of possibly having to fly out in search of birds. The number one problem with ptarmigan hunting, and likey the reason they will be around forever. Best of luck to you. I'm thinking you'll find birds nearby "town."

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    Member Burke's Avatar
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    thanks Jim...ptarmigan are where you find them arent they?
    I guess I should have rephrased the question to somehting about habitat...is there habitat within walking diatance or do I need to beg,borrow, steal some mobility device to get around to the habitat where the birds MIGHT habg out... :-)
    I hope to get Lil' Joe some needed contact...continue the memories collection !

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    Burke, It's been a long time since I've been down that way, but there is habitat all around. Just don't know about the birds. There are, of course, brown bears and, in season, large rainbows!

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    Member Burke's Avatar
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    I am excited to go tread where I have never tread before (if it works out)...and hopefully Joe gets a snootful or two of lagopus lagopus...

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