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Thread: Ptarmigan in Ptarmigan valley?

  1. #1
    Member Blade Dude's Avatar
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    Default Ptarmigan in Ptarmigan valley?

    Last December I hiked from the ptarmigan valley trailhead to the baldy parking lot hoping to find some Ptarmigan. I started around 8:00 am and hunted all day. I saw LOTS of tracks but only one bird. Any suggestions as to where the birds all were I was thinking about doing the same hunt this weekend before the snow gets deep up there but I don't know if it'll be worth it.

    I know that there were birds up there 'cuz of the tracks, but I just couldn't seem to find them. Any Ideas as to where they could be hiding?

  2. #2
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Walk through the willows as much as possible. Also walk the ridgelines, as there might be birds up high scrounging out the last berries. Ultimately, if it's not stormy, ptarmigan are just where you find them...sometimes in the willows, sometimes out in the open. Breaking brush is probably your best bet, though.

    Also, make sure you stop hunting once you get out of the Ptarmigan drainage. The valleys on either side of Baldy are not open to hunting. I saw a guy toting a shotgun up there two weeks ago complete with a blaze orange vest and a bird dog, but he wasn't within 2 miles of a legal area.

  3. #3
    Member Blade Dude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian M View Post
    Also, make sure you stop hunting once you get out of the Ptarmigan drainage. The valleys on either side of Baldy are not open to hunting.
    From looking at some topo maps from the ADF&G it looks as though the north facing slope on Baldy, onward towards (and beyond) Wallice Ranch, is part of the Chugach State Park Management Area which should be open to small game hunting Right? Your above comment about the valleys on either side of Baldy not being open to hunting is confusing me. Can you explain in more detail? thanks

  4. #4
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    Blade Dude,

    As Brian said, "ptarmigan are just where you find them." True stuff. Because you saw tracks, I'd go back to the same area and try again. Sometimes (many times) you could come full circle on the same hunt and find birds around your recent foot tracks. Ptarmigan are very much a flying bird and they'll get up and move around for no apparent reason. And then there is the possibility that a hawk or falcon or fox or something put them into flight. If you don't have a dog, or even if you do have a dog, you might try using a binocular and try to find them like you would big game.

    Jim

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    I climb -- for hunting and other adventure; and without fail I encounter rock ptarmigan just above the tree line on just about every mountain or ridge, be it Hatcher Pass, Chugach, Talkeetna, Kenai or whatnot other mountains. In winter they're in the same area and just below treeline, usually in large numbers (30+ birds). You'll often hear them before seeing them; stop and look in every direction without moving, looking s-l-o-w-l-y -- the birds will freeze; all that you need to do is stop and wait for them to move. These rock ptarms are prefectly camoflauged with the scree/ rock. Very frequently they are so close, they're too **** close to shoot -- < 10 feet away, I have killed them with a single throw of a rock and a ski pole. Tend to see them later in the day than any other time. I see willow ptarms on trails through mixed forests of willow, spruce and birch. Same terrain you expect to see bears this time of year

  6. #6

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    i live at the old trail head and you are asking a lot to find bird in the summer time here as the areas you might find them would be horrible to hike through because it is bad in there until you have enough snow to fill the area in some and all the high spot are dead ends where you would double the hiking unless you stumbled on some on the ridge between the the creek bed and the highway and i wouldn't try to get
    on it until i hung the right going up the old road bed and came to the creek crossing then climb up to the west and follow the ridge to baldy area good luck

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