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Thread: 13/14 March Ptarmigan report...pic heavy

  1. #1

    Default 13/14 March Ptarmigan report...pic heavy

    what a great weekend! Saturday I was able to get out and enjoy the great outdoors with my two dogs and bring three birds home with me. I decided to explore a different part and it panned out for the most part. I didn't find a covey of birds but I did find a couple birds holding tight in some deep snow in heavy timber. The second bird I shot is one that I'll never forget. The bird flushed and was flying low and away from me but oddly enough it didn't climb in elevation. The bird finally started to climb out of the timber and presented a shot directly above a tall spruce. I pulled the trigger and the bird folded like a lawn chair. I love it when you make them fold and take a snow nap.

    today two of my buddies and I headed out for some wing shooting and did pretty good. No words can describe this hunt but I'll do my best to find the right ones.

    Not long into the hunt we found a group of three birds...but we managed to shoot holes in the sky instead of the birds...go figure. Ok, not the way we wanted to start but at least we're seeing birds. Not too much longer we find a nice covey of birds. We knocked a couple out of the sky and finally got the skunk off our backs. At one point we were climbing a hill and three birds flew over and I swear they had a tank of NOS on their tail end. I mean these birds we're banking and flying like teal! I'd argue those were the fastest birds I've ever seen!

    We continued to pursue the sheep I mean ptarmigan and brought some more birds to hand. The birds were working great presenting challenging shots...on the swing, over head, buzzing at us...I mean they were swarming almost like wood ducks into flooded timber.

    As we know sore legs and ptarmigan go hand in hand almost like the beer in my right hand so I'm going to sign off and enjoy this one .

    here are the pictures from the weekend




  2. #2

    Default more pics








  3. #3

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    Richie,
    Look like You had a great time! Congrats

  4. #4
    Member bnkwnto's Avatar
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    Default very nice

    Nice pictures!! Thanks for sharing. I should have went hunting instead of playing on the snow machine.

  5. #5

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    Chad, good to hear from you.

    Bnkwnto, let me tell you my legs wished I was on a sled this weekend

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    Member slimm's Avatar
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    Funny how tired you can get bird hunting, I don't think i have ever been as sore from a big game hunt as i have from some bird hunts,,wading through all that snow has got to make it extra brutal..
    Great pics and looks like plenty of good eats..

  7. #7
    Member Burke's Avatar
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    Default Good on you!

    Handsome group of 4 legged friends there!
    I bet they were buzzing too.

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    where did you get these if you dont want it public e-mail me at westenwayne@hotmail.com

  9. #9

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    sorry my friend but I'm gonna have to keep this cat in the bag. A lot of hours walking in the hills will produce ptarmigan. I've seen ptarmigan in a lot of different places....thick woods, bald ridges, alder thickets...etc however I've seen the most up high above the treeline. I recommend bringing a pair of binos and try to find some tracks then follow them and keep your fingers crossed. If you see birds then thats great if not then you spent a wonderful day in the great outdoors. Either way we're lucky to be up here hunting because there are hundreds of thousands of folks that would give a lot to spend a day in this great land.

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    Very well said, Ritchie. And the truth of the matter is, ptarmigan are always on the move, and Ritchie and his pals may not find a single bird the next time he hunts the same place. Some days are diamonds, and some days are stones. The binocular tip is a good one, and having a good bird dog or two is the best bet.

    Enjoy the hunt.

    Jim

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    hey, thanks guys

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    Grouse,

    I hunt birds a lot! I have four top Brittany pointing dogs. I shoot well. And perhaps most important, I am a lifelong student of wildlife, and wildlife habitat. I cannot learn enough about the birds I hunt, and I continue to ask questions, and spend much time and boot leather watching game birds and studying their many habits, not just during the long hunting season, but throughout the year. And I've been chasing Alaska's many gamebirds for 40 years, but somedays I can't buy a bird. Take today for example. I spent about 4 1/2 hours climbing up and down and around two different domes up above treeline, places where I've taken a lot of ptarmigan. This old guy likely lost a few pounds today. The dogs found lots of promising tracks, but when the sun was setting and my two dogs and I were whipped, we ended the day with only actually finding two coveys of five or six birds in each group, and I only took home one ptarmigan.

    Ptarmigan are a wonderful bird, the epitome of wild, and they are found in pure wilderness. Go up into the high treeless areas, look for tracks, and watch the birds when you find them. Study where their tracks go, where they take cover, their vocalizations, what side of the hill they spend their time at a certain time of day, where they sleep at night, what they eat, and make mental note of the amount of food in a bird's crop at a certain time of day...well, you get the point. And read as much as you can about these fine birds. You'd be surprised at what Google actually will provide you. Stop by ADF&G and pick up pamphlets and talk to biologists. Ask questions right here!

    If you get out there - or more appropriately, up there - you will find them. Ptarmigan are beginning their transition time when they start moving toward breeding areas, so you can certainly experience boom and bust hunts.

    I'm beat right now. Boots off, bottle of Merlot opened, talk to you later. And good luck!

    Jim

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    Member Roland on the River's Avatar
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    Default ptarmigan

    Real good post Jim. Hope they give you a rep point for that post.

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    Member Rising_Creek's Avatar
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    Great pics!! Congrats on such a successful day. Thanks for sharing those great pictures.

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