I was wandering along near the treeline yesterday looking for ptarmigan. I finally flushed some birds, but they flew directly behind a spruce tree and no shot was presented to me, even though I had my scattergun. I watched five or six flutter off down the ridge and land, just as I expected them to do. They didn't fly far... perhaps 80 yards or so. I watched them land. So I leashed my dog and sneaked my way toward the birds. As I got closer, I could hear them clucking to each other. I was positive that I was about to find feathery success.
But the birds disappeared. As I said, I was at the treeline and I would have known if they flew again. Did they run away like pheasants or is it possible that all five hid in the snow? I couldn't find any tracks, feathers, depressions in the snow. Nothing. Anyone got any ideas?