Ideas for best luck on Douglas.
I am planning on heading over to Douglas Island to do some hunting on Mon. I am looking for some guidance. I am looking to shoot anything in season that I come across; hare, grouse, ptarmigan. I was planning on hitting it up halfway up towards Eaglecrest and just hiking around. Does this sound rpoductive at all? Should I concentrate at a lower/higher elevation for the best luck (I know ptarmigan is high altitude. I am looking for the most productive all around while not having to lug through 10ft of snow)? Morning, noon, evening, doesn't matter? Thanks
A little late but...
Forget the grouse, they are all basically hibernating in the trees right now and really difficult to find. Wait for later in spring when they start hooting.
My experience has been that the hares on Douglas are pretty thinly populated, I've seen only a handful over the years. That leaves the ptarmigan, they are difficult to get because of access in the winter, but you can find them if you're willing to work. You need to get up HIGH. Right around treeline look for clumps of alder trees interspersed with some scrub spruce. That's where the ptarmigan will be this time of year. Then, start kicking around through the small alder patches looking for poop and tracks.
If the snow is soft, they will actually be hiding underneath the snow. It sounds weird, I know, but in fluffy snow conditions they will fly straight into a snow bank and just sit under the surface. You never know they're there until they explode up from under the snow. So, the moral of the story is to check each patch of alders with sign in it, don't just look for birds skylining themselves on top. I would bring snow shoes for sure.
Good luck and be really mindful of avalanche danger~
Ok. What about hares around the rest of Juneau? Any place I should be concentrating?
Mid-April through mid-may is really good for grouse, and the ptarmigan are easier to get at that time too.
I've never really done well in the Juneau area in late winter, wish I could be more encouraging about it. I'd try to stick to FS trails, etc in order to get up high, then just look for the right habitat after that for ptarmigan. I don't mean to be discouraging, but in SE they are tough to find in late winter.