Ptarmi Hunting



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  • Ptarmi Hunting

    Last week I chased bunnies this weekend I figured I would have a shot at some ptarmi out of my secret spot. These were the first birds in 5 trips up there I knew they were there just hadn't been able to locate them. I was able to take 5 birds, 3 from the air and 2 on the ground. I saw 3 different flocks and prolly could have gotten more if I wanted to but figured 5 was enough. Let me know if the pics don't show

    my secret valley

  • #2
    looks like a good day, it makes me want to get back even more looking at those pics. I'll be back out there next winter and can't wait. Save some birds for me lol, good luck the rest of the year.


    • #3
      whoo-wee you done good.Like the pics also. NIce job dude and keep em coming cause your getting me stoked up for a hunt.


      • #4
        Well I was able to get out again and climb my mountain. Looking for some birds I only saw 5 birds this trip but I was able to put 4 of them down. I actually saw more moose this trip than I did birds overall I saw 23 moose, and none had antlers on, but I couldn't find any sheds I don't why but some of these moose were way up there on the top just hanging out. The first 2 ptarmi I saw I was able to get one of them and it was a willow bird, then at the end of the day when I crossed over the top I jumped 3 birds and was able to take all three down, and they were rock ptarmigan these were the first rock ptarmigan I have ever got they are quite a bit smaller than the willow ones especially noticeable when cleaning them. Hope these pics come up

        Ghosties and their all white tails


        • #5
          Good job

          Good for you to get out. Nice birds. Like you, I noticed those white tailed birds are lots smaller than the grouse I usually see. My wife usually keeps the whole bird but not on those white-tailed ones.


          • #6
            Good Birdin'

            After the 15th of Feb. better birdin' days are ahead! Light returning, food supply improving... more feeding hours and evidence of flock activity tracking around their home-ranges.

            Birds appear to be all Willow Ptarmigan... 1 mature, the smaller ones look just past juveniles into their first winter.

            Can't quite make out the smaller one's heads tho' - but on a mature Rock (males especially) they will show a dark line from its bill rearward of the eye.

            True - adult rocks will be smaller than Willow, but they will have some winter phase black tail feathers as well.

            If they all laughed with a gaggle and did not sound like a dog snoring on the front porch best bet they are all Willows.

            The scenario of the hunt sounds of young birds separated from communication w/ older leadership or century guards w/in the flock. This is often the case in winter and does lend itself to more birds in the backpack. Taste sometimes quite a bit better only smaller.

            I did some bunny hunting this week plus today in Southcentral (all good), and am up to Fairbanks Monday & Tuesday this week for Birds. I'm an avid Ptarmy hunter and photographer... anytime your this way send a pm.

            Good post & pics --- Best wishes and good hunting -
            Attached Files


            • #7

              Those three smaller white tail ptarmigan are just that (white tail ptarmigan) We also have the rock and willow ptarmigain. Both of these have the black tail but the rock has the black slit through the eye. Willow being the biggist and white tail the smallest. Nice bunch of birds anyhow.


              • #8
                Well thanks for letting me know about them being white ptarmi or young willow, looks like I will still be looking for rock ptarmi one of these days.


                • #9
                  Yes... very possible

                  Originally posted by backtracker View Post
                  Those three smaller white tail ptarmigan are just that (white tail ptarmigan) We also have the rock and willow ptarmigain. Both of these have the black tail but the rock has the black slit through the eye. Willow being the biggist and white tail the smallest. Nice bunch of birds anyhow.
                  I'd still go w/ first year winter Willows... notice the sharpness and square ends of the tail feathers vs. the more rounded edges of the mature Willow.

                  Yes... but you may also be correct --- very possible on the White-tailed Ptarmy... particulars being more rugged alpine peaks, cliffs, or the slope and intricate mountain meadow terrain of sheep/goat country.

                  Either way a cool find and a fun hunt to a special spot.

                  The call would tell all if heard by 'catchfish'. White-tailed do not gaggle or snore... it's much more of a distinctly different screaming sound.


                  • #10
                    I all really got to hear from the birds was their little noise that they make when they are alarmed or looking for other birds that little. So i decided to take a look and see if I could find some bird noises. I definetly are thinking that they are white-tailed birds due to this sound clip.


                    the sound towards the end of the clip are what I heard. I did notice that the beaks are different shaped from the willow ptarmi beak. The beak is less curved and alot finer shaped instead of being big and thick. To me I think this is identifying the white tailed birds. I also am leaning towards not willow ptarmi because I had never seen birds on top in this location they are normally down lower and this is the first time I saw sign up that high. I was really surprised because the wind was really gusting up there and I figured most of the birds would be hunkered down lower protected by the willows and some of the smaller little lumps and characteristics of the hill side. I definetly was not up in Sheep country though. Thanks for the input here I got to learn quite a bit about these birds by a quick google search. I will definetly shoot you a PM if I find myself up north Brian.



                    • #11
                      White Tails

                      Those are surely white-tailed ptarmigan, very distinct from Rock and Willow-they're the only ones with a white tail. They are smaller, and usually found higher than both the other species (at least in SE they are higher). Nice work~


                      • #12
                        Yes... nice work as well.

                        That sound tells all plus found in that kind of terrain, size, color, and beak altogether becomes most convincing on the white-tailed call.

                        Good job on the research... pretty cool differences eh?


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