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Thread: Secret Ptarmigan Hunting Spot

  1. #1
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    Default Secret Ptarmigan Hunting Spot

    I know hunters won't give up their secret spot for ptarmigan hunting, but I'll put in the miles and bust the brush. I'm just asking that you get me pointed in the right direction. Please list a trail or two that you've had success on within 2hr of Anchorage.

    Thanks,
    Casey

  2. #2

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    Try the center ridge trail out of turnigian pass. Leave from the skier side parking lot watch for avalanche with this weather.

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    It may just be me, but I've just never seen all that many ptarmigan in the Kenai mountains, never spent time in the Alaska range.


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    Powerline Pass just above Anchorage.

    Back of Palmer Creek

    Summit Creek trail (Near the south end of Summit Lake)

    You need to drive to the highest elevation you can, and then climb from there. The upper hillside above Anchorage has a lot of them. They are above the Alders, and just where the willow brush starts to thin-out to open Alpine or barren rocks.

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    A trail ? Pick a mountain or ridge and climb, fat chance of finding game on a hiking trail...

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    Quote Originally Posted by .338WM View Post
    A trail ? Pick a mountain or ridge and climb, fat chance of finding game on a hiking trail...
    This is truth. It's not that trails aren't a good starting point, but any alpine area will hold ptarmigan - rock ptarmigan up on the windblown ridges, willow ptarmigan down in the willows and alders. There isn't a bad place to hunt ptarmigan if above treeline, and the further from other people the better. Pick a spot and climb, and if in winter, watch for little white balls with small black eyeballs at the base of groups of alders and willows. Often their eyes are the first thing I see.

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    Thanks guys

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian M View Post
    This is truth. It's not that trails aren't a good starting point, but any alpine area will hold ptarmigan - rock ptarmigan up on the windblown ridges, willow ptarmigan down in the willows and alders. There isn't a bad place to hunt ptarmigan if above treeline, and the further from other people the better. Pick a spot and climb, and if in winter, watch for little white balls with small black eyeballs at the base of groups of alders and willows. Often their eyes are the first thing I see.
    I agree with both of you guys. Trails are a good starting point to gain some elevation before breaking off trail. Thanks for the tips and advice.

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    Brian gave you great advice.

    In winter ptarmigan are always on the move. They are like little fugitives, dressed in the best of camo, don't move around a lot unless to eat, never sleep in the same place twice. One day you will hit pay dirt and strike it rich and find large covies and scattered pairs and threesomes. Next day you will find nothing. Ptarmigan are where you find them. Go up high, put in the time and the miles, and you will find them. If you don't have a good dog or two you might consider using a binocular much like you would for big game. Sometimes snowballs actually do fly. Best of luck on your adventure.

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    dont want to be a kill joy but...do check your regulations...not every ridge is open to firearms or hunting without registration

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    Brian is spot on, but I look more for tracks in the snow. Very distinguishable tracks.

    One place where I hunt them is a willowy river bottom. I have pushed them up the canyon, gathering flocks along the way. Gets pretty exciting.

    River bottom


    Out on the flats moose hunting
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    Don't forget bowhunting for ptarmigan too!
    Bowhunting Birds on a Mountain Military Base: http://youtu.be/vE35-4cKjBo

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    if you are willing to put in some miles driving north from Anchorage shoot me a PM (if you have a sno go/ track vehicle) if not I have another area that you can access (same area) by foot but not as much area to play in as the sno-go area).

    "Whoever said the pen is mightier than the sword obviously never encountered automatic weapons."

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    I wonder how the lack of snow is affecting the ptarmigan, as in whether they are still staying high. It has always been my experience that deep snow drives them down... yet I have seen resident flocks near saltwater on Bristol Bay and Cook inlet, so maybe not always the case.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sayak View Post
    I wonder how the lack of snow is affecting the ptarmigan, as in whether they are still staying high. It has always been my experience that deep snow drives them down... yet I have seen resident flocks near saltwater on Bristol Bay and Cook inlet, so maybe not always the case.
    They will move down even with lack of snow cover when the food supply up high becomes exhausted, so the move to lower elevations is inevitable.

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    Sayak,

    As you well know, wildlife will often break the rules and do whatever pleases them. It's true that when snow is deep and security cover is minimal, and other inclement conditions prevail, female and juvenile ptarmigan will move to lower elevations, like right down on the valley floor. Of course, as spring comes on we will also see a change in that ptarmigan are on the move toward breeding grounds and at least for brief periods of time we will find them in different places. And whitetails will move down and admix with willows in some areas. We still don't know all that much about their movements, but I'm encouraged that more will be learned in the coming decade. ADF&G has found some money to spend on radio collaring some birds and I'm excited about what can be learned with this technology. I wish I had a pile of money to buy more radio collars and allow studies all across the state. After pursuing and studying these birds for 40 years I've answered a lot of my questions, but each time I get one answer I come up with ten more questions!

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    Birds are out and about😄

    Good info on this site for giving me an idea where to look.
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    image.jpg
    This is the photo I ment to post

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    You can only hunt them with falconry though In anchorage

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    Quote Originally Posted by COeskimo View Post
    image.jpg
    This is the photo I ment to post
    Yeah, wondered. Thought you were just one of those selfie guys.

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