Results 1 to 10 of 10

Thread: White Mountian Ptarmigan

  1. #1
    Member AKPyron's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Interior AK
    Posts
    143

    Default White Mountian Ptarmigan

    I'm a newer upland hunter and headed back to the Whites in the morn. Been out last 3 weekends and have only seen about 6 birds and shot 0. I know for a fact last week (when we saw birds) we were over 3000ft. I was thinking most birds should have molted by now, am I correct? Anyone esle have any advice besides TONS of leg work. Have no dog so its all on me. I've been trying to hunt the edges of open rocky fields with Willow or Alder thickets on the borders and tyring to flush them from there. Any better suggestions?

  2. #2
    Member byrd_hntr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Squarebanks
    Posts
    661

    Default

    If you don't have dogs, use your eyes. A good spotting scope or binos. They are probably completely white by now. They were close two weeks ago. When you find them you'll know.
    I'm going to ctrl-alt-delete you so hard your mama's computer is going to reboot.

  3. #3
    Member Hoyt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Fairbanks
    Posts
    1,154

    Default

    Should be white. Byrd hntr gave good advice...no dog=use bino's. Also, you've seen some, so your doing things right! Hunt the areas you've been seeing them, and look for tracks. Leg work.

  4. #4
    Member sameyer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Kenai, Alaska
    Posts
    269

    Default

    They are all white down here on the Kenai so surely they are there as well. Valleys with crick bottoms lined with scrub willows at snow line.

    Climbed to 3000 feet today, saw a lot of birds, flying fairly high across the mountains. We were in the wrong spot and so it goes with the ptarmigan. In the bottoms along the willows stop and listen every so often. If they are close they will cluck and give themselves away. Why they do that is beyond me but it definitly helps find them if you don't have a dog.

  5. #5
    Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Fairbanks
    Posts
    975

    Default

    Yep, the ptarmigan are white, and have been for a while now. Photoperiod does it, even if there is no snow around.

    According to the experts - who are not themselves ptarmigan, therefore, I wonder how they know this - the reason ptarmigan talk when danger is present is to alert the flock. A simple staccato kow-kow-kow is the basic alert, but the rapid machinegun alert is made when they have decied to get the He## out of there.

    Actually, I've read the books by the experts and they recorded some 26 or more vocalizations between ptarmigan and determined the meaning of some after years of watching them close up. Have to say how I've done the same. Even in a distant country where I cannont speak a lick of the language I can quickly figure out when someone is unhappy with me and calling me bad things. :-)

  6. #6
    Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Fairbanks
    Posts
    975

    Default

    Here's a photo of one of my dogs with a ptarmigan I took last October (the first week of October) in the Alaska Range. It had snowed, but then it got warm and the snow mostly disappeared. Talk about nervous ptarmigan! When I flushed birds they would fly straight for any small patch of snow they could find on the hillsides. Mostly they were gone from the lower elevations and likely way up high where there was snow, but that was high up where the Dall sheep were, too high for this bird hunter on a simple day hunt.


  7. #7
    Member AKPyron's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Interior AK
    Posts
    143

    Default

    What a coinsidense! Here I am slap in the middle of reading your book and get a post from you on my reply. Well at least have some luck lol. Got skunked again today, only saw one bird and he seemed to make a gorgeous loop right out of range and flew back straight towards where I parked lol. Thanks Jim for providing such an informative book beginners like myself can get a real leap ahead with good reading like that!

  8. #8
    Member SkinnyD's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    20B
    Posts
    1,379

    Default

    I read his book the first time when I was a 15-year-old farm kid in Tennessee, so imagine my surprise and excitement when one of the people who made me want to move was giving me bird hunting advice on here. (Here's a hint: his old posts are almost as fun to read as the book).
    Passing up shots on mergansers since 1992.


  9. #9
    Member AKPyron's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Interior AK
    Posts
    143

    Default

    Thanks Skinny I'll have to check those out!

  10. #10
    Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Fairbanks
    Posts
    975

    Default

    Ahhh, you guys are too nice to me. I am one bird hunting fool though. I can't seem to get enough. I'll bet I hunt my dogs...I dunno, 40 or 50 or more days per season. I eat so many birds I tend to flush wild if someone comes up on me too quickly. I hope you enjoy the book. I'm doing lots of "field research" for the next book!

    Jim

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •