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Thread: Grouse/Ptarmigan Near Fairbanks

  1. #1
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    Question Grouse/Ptarmigan Near Fairbanks

    I am gearing up for my first season of upland bird hunting in AK. Can anyone suggest some good areas within an hour or two of Fairbanks for grouse and/or ptarmigan hunting?

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    The Ruffed Grouse Society has many acres of enhanced grouse hunting across the road from Skinny Dicks Halfway House half way down the Parks highway toward Nenana. Any of the Aspen forest areas around are good grouse habitat.

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    Member fshgde's Avatar
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    Your best bet is to drive the woodcutting roads to find areas where birds are on the road and then hunt this area or similar areas. I have a setter and it makes a huge difference in finding birds up here. I haven't been out this year yet to have a look around but will do so my next r&r the first of aug. send a message later on if you aren't having any luck. Brian

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    Default Brush Lines

    I have had decent luck hunting brushlines. It helps to have a close working dog, but some luck and a .22 rifle does pretty good too. I prefer to wing shoot them and have some great memories with my 2 shorthairs working higher elevations right after the leaves fall of the trees.

    Walking Ive had the best luck, in fact I have had guy fly by me on a ATV and walked twenty feet and gotten into birds, its like they just hunker down when ever they hear an engine noise.

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    Default Frbnks Grouse

    Get yourself a topo of the area and start driving the logging roads looking for patches of highbrush cranberries ( they seem to be quite plentiful this year ), rosehips, and raspberries. Small aspens mixed with spruce and brushy/ grassy areas or grown up timbered areas are also good. There's lots of good areas around Fairbanks if you scout around. Hunting with a close working dog helps alot but if you hunt dogless make sure you zig-zag alot and stop and listen for a few minutes every so often as previously stated they will hunker down and hold tight which is why a dog helps but you will find grouse if you stick to the " grousey" areas. I've read that we're in the low cycle for the next few years but I've been running into clutches of grouse quite frequently while working the dog so don't let that stop you from trying just make sure you concentrate on prime grouse habitat. Good luck

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    Default can anyone help me?

    I was just wanting to know if you can hunt anywhere in alaska or is there plublic hunting areas around fairbanks and where are they i want to start hunting grouse and i have never hunted them before i have only hunted ducks deer and smallgame in Ohio so i'm looking for a challenge.

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    You can hunt on lots of public land near fairbanks. Some of the local fav spots are the Chena flood control project, Old Nenanna Hwy (Standard Creek), Murphy Dome/Cache Creek, Bonanza Creek, Chena Hot Springs Road, out the Rich Hwy toward Delta... on and on .. Basically, this time of year, I would keep a 22 or shotgun int he car/truck (or bow ) and just drive around. I REALLY liek to go out in a anoter few weeks as we start getting regular early morning frosts.

    Remember to get the Fajita seasoning Grouns and P-birds make some real good fajitas.

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    Took my son out yesterday up by Skinny Dicks and did see a single grouse. I am pretty new to grouse hunting also and don't really know what type of weather is best for grouse hunting. It was raining yesterday, I would imagine they hunker down until the rain let's up but I figured what the heck, the boy wanted to go out and I didn't feel like sitting around waiting for the rain to pass. We stayed primarily around the berry patches and along the tree lines but walked around in the woods for a bit also. Were we wasting our time getting wet yesterday?

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    what are the best things right now to look for when hunting grouse logging roads or berrybush areas?

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    Member Vince's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GrouseH100 View Post
    what are the best things right now to look for when hunting grouse logging roads or berrybush areas?

    Feathers
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

    meet on face book here

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    Default Haha!

    Dang Vince.. you are on a roll today!

    I have to meet you for cofee someday soon. Seems like you and I would get along great.

    As for the rain.. I dont ever remember getting a bird in the rain, except ducks.

    Berry patches and roads are great.

    Frosty mornings, ideal!!

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    I went out to rosie creek across from the old nenana highway a few miles down the parks on friday night. We didn't see much, but I did see an area where someone had obviously got a few.

    Tonight I ran out to Fairbanks creek by ski land and ran down a few logging roads. Didn't see anything out there either, but I had a good time.

    For me grouse hunting is a good excuse to get into the woods with a good friend and wander around. Hopefully I'll get to go out on an early morning trip soon. Those have traditionally been better for me.


    JP

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    Default Best Areas/Best Time

    Grouse like to hang out by gravel first thing in the morning. Clear and crispy morning are good. If you can find trails and road to drive down, there is a high likely hood of finding something to shoot at.

    Early to mid September seems to be a good time. It is a little too warm now, in my opinion, to get too much activity thought you will get some.

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    I agree. Mid-September is when it starts getting good. Earlier in the season, you'll find them more around the high-bush cranberries, but by mid-September, look for them (ruffies in particular) in low-bush cranberries. They are most often right in an area of mixed birch/aspen/young spruce where there are small clearings with cranberries. Later in the year, especially after that first quarter inch of snow, they get harder to find but they can be found back on the high-bush cranberries and in young aspen (sometimes in willow and alder too.) I could tell you my hot spots, but then I wouldn't be so lonely all the time... the way I like it when hunting grouse! Go very quietly and be ready for one busting out just a few feet from you... Just when you're sure there aren't any, you'll jump one from right under your feet.

    Brian

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    Default Icould probably

    guess a few of "your hot spots" as they are probably some of mine as well.


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    Thumbs up Hot Spots

    The only hot spots I have are the ones I find my self. There is lots of country around Fairbanks. The best thing is to get out on some of the gravel roads or trails a little outside of Fairbanks. Best time for activity is early in the morning, and in the evening.

    When I go grouse hunting, I don't go to one spot but I look for conditions ripe for grouse. You have enough clues, the only other piece is just get out and start beating the bushes. If you drive slowly on in these areas, you will see them. If you go too fast, they tend to sit still and they are hard to see. When you go slow, it seems to arouse their suspision.

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    Default More on Hot Spots

    Lots of people live in the rural areas around Fairbanks. Be respectful of people's back yards. I especially pay attention to No Trespassing and No Hunting signs. That is a clue you are probably hunting somebody's back yard. Once I don't see those signs, I feel pretty comfortable taking grouse.

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    Default trying it out

    Ok so i have everything i need to go grouse hunting and i'm going out this weekend on on fox and elliot highway

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    I'll be up the Steese Looking for Bears myself and I'm hauling the shotgun with me for Grouse and or Ptarmigan. If ya see a Blue Chevy Diesel with a Green camper shell thats me.....stop by and say howdy.

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    i might be trying on post to i found out you can hunt birch hill so i will give that a try to.

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