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Ptarmigan Fairbanks

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  • Ptarmigan Fairbanks

    Has anybody hunted some of these birds in the Fairbanks area recently? Thinking of heading out with the dog and trying to determine where to go...

  • #2
    Try the hilltops/ridges

    I have seen them on Birch Hill (surprised me), Murphy Dome, Haystack and Cleary Summits.

    Bottom line is get out there. Usually the higher the better. I have had the most fun on Murphy Dome over the years. If it isn't too windy you are almost surely to get some shots.

    Note the winds here right now. I WOULD NOT go out in the high country until things settle down signficantly. Search the National Weather Service site Public Forecasts/Alaska Roundup for places around FB. Ths site shows windspeeds, and you can BET that if it is 5 MPH in town, the summits are 4-5x that.

    Good luck!

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    • #3
      Which is the highest elevation of those?

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      • #4
        Has anybody had any luck around Fbks this winter?

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        • #5
          I was up on Murphy Dome today with my dog and we didn't see a single thing. Weather was awsome for this time of year. A lot of people in the parking lot, and a ton of people tracks all over.

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          • #6
            Yea I drove up there with my dog also today, but turned around after seeing way to many cars. I went to Cleary Summit and chased 3 birds around for about 3 hours or so. Dog did his job and found them twice. I just couldn't hit them, got of 2 shots.

            I grew up in Valdez and used to Thompson pass where there were alot of ptarmigan. Is there any other places to go around Fairbanks that has more birds?

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            • #7
              Originally posted by TobinZeke View Post
              Yea I drove up there with my dog also today, but turned around after seeing way to many cars. I went to Cleary Summit and chased 3 birds around for about 3 hours or so. Dog did his job and found them twice. I just couldn't hit them, got of 2 shots.

              I grew up in Valdez and used to Thompson pass where there were alot of ptarmigan. Is there any other places to go around Fairbanks that has more birds?
              I have not been up there for two years now, but I always went up toward minto flats. Turn left on the elliot just past livengood and once you get out of the woods it is open ptarmigan country. I dont know what the snow situation is but everytime I went there I had to take snow shoes. Its a little bit of humping but they were everywhere and would always come back with about 15 between two people and would see a lot more than that. Well I hope you find em and shoot straight. Good luck

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              • #8
                Are you talking about a left turn off the Elliot right past Livingood? Is this a access road that is passable with a truck or do you need snowmachines???

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by TobinZeke View Post
                  Are you talking about a left turn off the Elliot right past Livingood? Is this a access road that is passable with a truck or do you need snowmachines???
                  its the road that takes you to minto and to manley hot springs. The road is just past livengood to the left, Ive never had issues on that road even in 2wd. There were some canadiens we had to pull out one year but that is the only people I have seen stuck. There are areas where people collect to unload there snowmachines, but for the most part it is open cntry and I have taken birds all along that stretch of road. The wooded area you encounter before the flats had a lot of lynx and grouse in it. I just get out and start walking every couple miles or spot tracks from the road. There are a couple places that you can glass for flocks in the open areas. In the early morning right at day break they would be all along the side of the road. Good luck I hope this works for you.

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                  • #10
                    OK thanks might have to plan that one out and pack the dog up and run up that way... Looks like about a 3 hour trek one way...

                    When you moving back up to Alaska? Where you going to be located at

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                    • #11
                      More Birds

                      Well of course ther are "around" Fairbanks, but is anyone going to tell you their secret spot.. haha..

                      Murphy DOne can be a lot of fun, but it desont surprise me there were a lot of people there. I like going up on weekdays when I can, usually not many folks there.

                      Ester Dome can work too. Bonanza/Standard Creek are good for grouse usually. I have heard people talk about hunting P-birds off the high ridges surrounding Chena hot Springs, never done that myself.

                      You MAY find success in open places like the Nordale flats, Chena Flood Control, and off the Tanana Dike toward the river.

                      These are ALL areas I hunted/shot grouse AND Ptarmigan

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                      • #12
                        I second this area.. lots of fun.. low pressure and yeah it is a drive, but that is EXACTLY why I like it

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                        • #13
                          yep! you can also find them along the dike out off south cushman......and believe it or not I saw a few right by the house here on the corner of Bradway and Badger in N.P. couldnt believe it and them rascals flew across the street into to Jehovas Church lot dang-it, dog was drooling and freaking out.
                          Anyhow been seeing birds down low even on Wainwright around the airfield and up on top of the Hill.Like everyone said Murphy Dome....But there are a couple of fellas that hit that hard with snowshoes and dogs.Most of the trucks up there are out riding sleds and going to there cabins.
                          Other than that everyone seems to have pointed into some good locations,but the further out you go the better you'll do.When it warms up again Im headed out myself. I need one maybe two birds to finsh my mount I want. Good Luck to you. Daniel

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                          • #14
                            Fbksbowhunter-I am not looking for anyone's so called sweet spots, just trying to find out if anyone goes close to Fairbanks or does the 2 hour trek thing.

                            Like I said I am accustomed to Valdez where you drive 45min and your on top of Thompson pass.

                            Yea, I know most of those people were snowmachining, but I did see a few with guns and dont really like the idea of my dog and me out walking around on a side of a hill with a few others with guns around. I do remember when I first moved up here I saw a whole flock right by the library, So yes I do know they are around was just seeing if anyone else has gone out and where abouts and if they have had any luck THIS year...

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                            • #15
                              Slim Pickens

                              Unless you have some secret spot right now, the pickens are slim.

                              Sept and October were GREAT here in the interior...

                              Now after this cold snap, hard to find em... been out many times since it warmed up and have not done too well... nothing like before December...

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