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Thread: End of Season Denali Hwy Score

  1. #1
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    Thumbs up End of Season Denali Hwy Score

    I was on Denali Hwy this weekend and expected to see more ptarmigan than we did, turns out we saw more snow-machines than birds. I was hiking around with snoeshoes wishing I owned a snow-machine, but found birds just the same. They actually found me, I woke up to the clucks of ptarmigan just outside my tent at around 0600. We shot 8 from a covey of about 50 or so. We scored a few hares as well. We saw plenty of caribou and a black fox. I found a winter/wolf killed bull caribou with an average rack. The weather was beautiful and nature was at her best. I love this land. I tried to attach the pics, but for some reason, I am not having luck. Image me propped next to 8 beauty ptarmigies, a hare, and some 'bou antlers. Good Luck hunting everyone!

  2. #2

    Default Gotta Have Some Pics and Details

    Cmon, C&B, don't do us like that! That's beautiful country, keep trying with the pics! And a few more details -

    Did you go in on Paxson side, or Cantwell side?

    How far in did you go?

    Were you using a .22 or a shotgun?

  3. #3
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    Talking A few more details...

    We left at around 0630 Saturday am, drove to the Paxson side with perfect roads and hardly any traffic. Once we hit the Denali Hwy, we started to drive really slow scouting for sign of ptarmigan, which was everywhere. I've never seen so many tracks in the snow. I was suprised to see brush sticking up all over. The birds had everywhere to hide, unlike 2 years ago when they had a few bushes to crowd into (sure made hunting them a cinch). We could drive on pavement until the gravel pit about 15 miles in, then it was only open to snowmachines. We turned around and found places to hunt off the road. We put on some miles on the snowshoes and my buddies scored next to some ponds about 10 miles west of Paxson. My friend and I ended up sleeping the night in a tent with a crummy heater that froze up (luckily we had a second - or I think we would have slept in the truck burning gas all night). I was awaken by the sounds of ptarmies just outside the tent about 50-80 yards away and on both sides of our tent. We put on some frigid clothes and grabbed out .22's. I use a Marlin .22 Mag and my buddy uses a 10/22 Ruger. Usually I'm good 100% out to 80-90 yards (yea, I know it's not that sporting, but I get off on sniping them). I did pull out the old 870 Express and dumped 2 with 7 1/2 shot, just to mix it up. My kids helped me skin out the rabbits for tanning, and they plucked the breast feathers of my white beauties. I'm going to bacon wrap the breasts and hickory smoke them, then put them in the crockpot with my fav BBQ sauce (Thanks for the recipe Jeremy). I'm sad the the season ended today, but I look forward to Aug ea year. Good luck you guys, I love this land!
    Attached Files Attached Files

  4. #4

    Default Awesome

    OK Dude, you're forgiven! Awesome pics and good story. And, what's not sporting about using a .22? Hitting a ptarmigan in the head with a .22 is about as difficult as hitting them flying with a shotgun, as they aren't the most explosive flyers around, and their head/neck is an awful small target for a .22! Plus, the meat tastes a lot better without those lead shot sprinkled all over!

    I used to love hunting bunnies and ptarmigan with a .22, and I grew up camping, hunting, and fishing on the Denali; we used to go in on the Paxson side and camp at the trail at about 36 Mile, just east of and above the McClaren River. Thanks for sharing a great story.

  5. #5

    Default awsome

    nice birds dude!!!! awsome great story PS: i love this lande to hehe





    Quote Originally Posted by Cast&Blast View Post
    We left at around 0630 Saturday am, drove to the Paxson side with perfect roads and hardly any traffic. Once we hit the Denali Hwy, we started to drive really slow scouting for sign of ptarmigan, which was everywhere. I've never seen so many tracks in the snow. I was suprised to see brush sticking up all over. The birds had everywhere to hide, unlike 2 years ago when they had a few bushes to crowd into (sure made hunting them a cinch). We could drive on pavement until the gravel pit about 15 miles in, then it was only open to snowmachines. We turned around and found places to hunt off the road. We put on some miles on the snowshoes and my buddies scored next to some ponds about 10 miles west of Paxson. My friend and I ended up sleeping the night in a tent with a crummy heater that froze up (luckily we had a second - or I think we would have slept in the truck burning gas all night). I was awaken by the sounds of ptarmies just outside the tent about 50-80 yards away and on both sides of our tent. We put on some frigid clothes and grabbed out .22's. I use a Marlin .22 Mag and my buddy uses a 10/22 Ruger. Usually I'm good 100% out to 80-90 yards (yea, I know it's not that sporting, but I get off on sniping them). I did pull out the old 870 Express and dumped 2 with 7 1/2 shot, just to mix it up. My kids helped me skin out the rabbits for tanning, and they plucked the breast feathers of my white beauties. I'm going to bacon wrap the breasts and hickory smoke them, then put them in the crockpot with my fav BBQ sauce (Thanks for the recipe Jeremy). I'm sad the the season ended today, but I look forward to Aug ea year. Good luck you guys, I love this land!
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  6. #6
    Member martentrapper's Avatar
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    Default

    The bou antlers were a nice addition to the photo. Couldn't you have spelled something with all those dead birds? (that's a joke)
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