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April Fools Day ptarmigan hunt!

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  • April Fools Day ptarmigan hunt!

    Took two of my Brittanys out for some ptarmigan hunting last Friday. Found a good number of both willow and rock ptarmigan. Took a few willows home with me to eat, and then hunted ptarmigan for the rest of the day with my camera.

    Charlie with a willow ptarmigan.


    And Mr. Rudy with another willow ptarmigan.





    Some rock ptarmigan waiting to see exactly what I'm up to!


  • #2
    A few more pics...

    A male rock ptarmigan.



    Stetching before flight!



    This guy is looking for hens!



    Rudy has a bunch pinned!



    That's all for now!

    Jim

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    • #3
      Great pictures of the ptarmigan. Are you shooting the willows because they are bigger or just happened that way? Looked like a real nice day to get the dogs out. Thanks, Mark

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      • #4
        Man, I have to get up that way to chase around those little snowballs next year! Another great post Jim!

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        • #5
          Mark,

          Well, I shot the willows 'cause they were the first birds the dogs found. We found a few coveys of them; one of about 25 birds, another about a dozen, and finally 6 or 7 of them. If I had a choice of which species to shoot this time of year, I'd shoot the willows. They are transitioning through the area I hunted enroute their breeding ground. But I happen to know those rocks are on their breeding ground and are waiting for the hens to arrive. I prefer not to mess with them...at least not to shoot them. But I'm up to keeping them busy and watchful when I move them about while photographing. I'll even cut that off pretty soon.

          LuJon,

          Thanks!

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          • #6
            Those are Definitely Some FINE pics there Jim,

            Great Thread, keep tramping around "Out There," and bringing it all back to us here,
            the pics are priceless
            Ten Hours in that little raft off the AK peninsula, blowin' NW 60, in November.... "the Power of Life and Death is in the Tongue," and Yes, God is Good !

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            • #7
              Kodiakrain,

              Thank you for the kind words. Glad you enjoy them. I sure enjoy making them!

              Starting to look for drumming ruffed grouse and sharptails on the leks pretty soon with the hope I can get some new images and maybe do some HD video as well.

              Life is good.

              Rudy has some pinned.


              Charlie up high.




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              • #8
                Great pictures... Always enjoy looking at your photos... Thanks for sharing.../John

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                • #9
                  My pleasure, John!

                  Jim

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                  • #10
                    I'm late to arrive at the party, but I sure enjoyed the pictures just the same. I'll have to leave my flushing dogs at the house if I ever hope to get any pictures like that. Are you using a bigger lens than the normal 70-200? About how long are your normal shots when you photograph ptarmigan? It seems like you've managed to get within at least 10 or 20 yards but I know that if you're using a tripod and a huge lens it could be much further. It would also be a lot more to carry around in the snow. Thanks for sharing those with us.
                    Passing up shots on mergansers since 1992.

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                    • #11
                      Skinny,

                      In the past - the old film days!- I would have used my Canon 500mm lens mounted to a NewF1 with motor drive and firmly attached to one of my heavy Gitzo tripods and I would have to get even closer than 10 or 20 yards. But these days it's different. On this "hunt" I was carrying a Canon 7D with battery grip and a Canon 100-400 AF lens with image stabilization and I had it mounted on a Bush Hawk shoulder stock. I still had to get very close, like 15 yds or so, and that's not close enough and I had to crop these images considerably. With the extremely bright conditions it was very hard to focus on the birds, either auto or manual. I would have preferred less harsh light, but that gives me something to keep going out there - and up there - for.

                      You have to be very close to your subject when that subject is birds, and even the longest lenses sometimes aren't enough. I'm thinking of purchasing a Canon 500 f4 IS II lens, but at $ 10,000 I'm not sure I'm going to do it. I think my serious wildlife photography days might be over. The lenses I have at present for my 7Ds are good enough for the outdoor work I do mostly. But then Canon is soon to come out with a 200-400 L lens with a matched 1.4 extender built in. On a crop camera like the 7D that's a lot of magnification! It, too, will come in around 10 grand, but might make a better lens for me. It certainly takes money to make money in the photography business.

                      Jim

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                      • #12
                        Nice photos! I enjoyed them.
                        "If I could shoot a game bird and still not hurt it, the way I can take a trout on a fly and release it, I doubt if I would kill another one." George Bird Evans

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                        • #13
                          Thanks, Hoyt! Glad you enjoyed them.

                          And for everyone out there...the sharptails are already dancing on their leks!

                          Jim

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                          • #14
                            Do they mostly dance early and late or is it an all-day thing for the sharp-tails?
                            Passing up shots on mergansers since 1992.

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                            • #15
                              They like to dance early mornings, but like most guys, they're ready to "dance" any old time. :-)

                              Jim

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