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Thread: Ptarmigan and Hare on the Peninsula

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    Member txsuddethak's Avatar
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    Default Ptarmigan and Hare on the Peninsula

    I am fairly new to the area still and am just wondering how the ptarmigan and hare hunting is here on the Peninsula? I'm curious because I haven't seen very much of either..any help/advice would be greatly appreciated. I'm definitely not trying to steal anyone's favorite spots!


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    Member hoose35's Avatar
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    Rabbits come and go, around my house they are on a down cycle, a couple years ago they seemed to be everywhere. Ptarmigan are here, up in the mountains

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    Member Hunt&FishAK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by txsuddethak View Post
    I am fairly new to the area still and am just wondering how the ptarmigan and hare hunting is here on the Peninsula? I'm curious because I haven't seen very much of either..any help/advice would be greatly appreciated. I'm definitely not trying to steal anyone's favorite spots!


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    ptarmies are plentiful in the higher altitudes on the pen. Find the berry patches and you'll find birds. Gotta find the food sources. Hare can be found anywhere below tree line. Big areas of willow and alder will hold hare, though how many varies greatly from valley to valley or drainage to drainage. Good luck and hope this helped



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    Member 4merguide's Avatar
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    As what's been said it's on a down cycle on the hares, as well as it seems the grouse too. But get up into the alpine and you can run into birds most anywhere. Find a few of the popular trails that take you up there and give it a go. If you have access to a boat and really want to spend a few days for ptarmigan send me a pm......
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hunt&FishAK View Post
    ptarmies are plentiful in the higher altitudes on the pen. Find the berry patches and you'll find birds. Gotta find the food sources.
    Is it a realistic goal to be able to day-hunt ptarmigan on the KP? This is my first year in AK, so I'm still learning the geography, but I have been swinging and missing like crazy on ptarmigan. I've seen the terrain/food/cover combo that the birds like in closed areas of the mountains around Anchorage, and on a successful fly-in KP hunt (Dad paid, I'm on a hike-in budget). So far, I can't find birds on my own two legs. Every trail I try either won't get me high enough with day-trip mileage, or has what looks to be good food and habitat, with zero bird sign. Do I need to start packing a sleeping bag, or keeping swinging at short hikes until I strike gold? I'm a little out of shape, but I can go 12-15 miles a day with easy walking and mild elevation changes, steep climbs or busting brush obviously reduces my range quite a bit. I don't mind working hard for birds, but I'm really starting to think I'm wasting my time and energy without some success to build confidence in what I'm doing.

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    If you can go 12-15 miles in a day, you should be able to find birds. There are trails on the Peninsula that will get you up high quickly, then it's just a matter of finding the birds. Keep after it - day trips are a totally viable option.

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    Thanks for the encouragement, Brian. I'll just keep trying trails until I find them. Worst case scenario, I get out of the house for the day for some much needed fresh air and exercise.

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    Member PG13's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Low_Sky View Post
    So far, I can't find birds on my own two legs.
    Try taking a partner with 4 legs. You might be in no bird areas but more likely you're just not kicking them up. My little doggy extends my range by the magnitude of MILES. If you have a half day think about the thermals and try to cut across as much good country as possible. I've had incredible success in the longer springtime afternoons taking flatter trails and letting my little lady use her nose to find the alder/willow draw holding birds and we will make a productive push up one or two draws versus beating brush and wearing ourselves out where the little white buggers aren't. Dogs are a lot of work so starting your own may not fit your lifestyle at the moment but there are probably more than a few guys that wouldn't mind you taking their canines for a spin just to get the dog out of the yard.

    ADDITION: If you're new to Alaska be sure to understand the likely response any dog may have to a bear encounter. You'll want to know if the dog will alert you to bear, seek them out, or worst case rile up the bruin and then lead it right back to your feet! It's nothing worth keeping you out of the field but it's a simple inquiry that could pay huge dividends especially in brushy country.
    Go Big Red!

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    Quote Originally Posted by PG13 View Post
    Try taking a partner with 4 legs. You might be in no bird areas but more likely you're just not kicking them up. My little doggy extends my range by the magnitude of MILES. If you have a half day think about the thermals and try to cut across as much good country as possible. I've had incredible success in the longer springtime afternoons taking flatter trails and letting my little lady use her nose to find the alder/willow draw holding birds and we will make a productive push up one or two draws versus beating brush and wearing ourselves out where the little white buggers aren't. Dogs are a lot of work so starting your own may not fit your lifestyle at the moment but there are probably more than a few guys that wouldn't mind you taking their canines for a spin just to get the dog out of the yard.

    ADDITION: If you're new to Alaska be sure to understand the likely response any dog may have to a bear encounter. You'll want to know if the dog will alert you to bear, seek them out, or worst case rile up the bruin and then lead it right back to your feet! It's nothing worth keeping you out of the field but it's a simple inquiry that could pay huge dividends especially in brushy country.
    That sounds like a great strategy, PG13. I wish a bird dog was an option for me, but starting a pup or even getting a finished dog isn't an option for me right now.


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    Member Hoyt's Avatar
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    Dogs are very helpful. I walked 7 miles the other day. My two setters covered near 21 miles a piece. They both wear GPS tracking collar, so I know the numbers are accurate. A well trained bird dog is worth every penny.

    Quote Originally Posted by PG13 View Post
    Try taking a partner with 4 legs. You might be in no bird areas but more likely you're just not kicking them up. My little doggy extends my range by the magnitude of MILES. If you have a half day think about the thermals and try to cut across as much good country as possible. I've had incredible success in the longer springtime afternoons taking flatter trails and letting my little lady use her nose to find the alder/willow draw holding birds and we will make a productive push up one or two draws versus beating brush and wearing ourselves out where the little white buggers aren't. Dogs are a lot of work so starting your own may not fit your lifestyle at the moment but there are probably more than a few guys that wouldn't mind you taking their canines for a spin just to get the dog out of the yard.

    ADDITION: If you're new to Alaska be sure to understand the likely response any dog may have to a bear encounter. You'll want to know if the dog will alert you to bear, seek them out, or worst case rile up the bruin and then lead it right back to your feet! It's nothing worth keeping you out of the field but it's a simple inquiry that could pay huge dividends especially in brushy country.
    "If I could shoot a game bird and still not hurt it, the way I can take a trout on a fly and release it, I doubt if I would kill another one." George Bird Evans

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