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Ptarmigan Hunting - Keeping tuned up.
Took some time to do some shooting. Anyone else going after ptarmigan with their bow?
Nice! Was it a wing shot or ground pounded? Cool either way, but taken when in flight- super cool!
I used to hunt them with my dad in Alaska. I have since moved to NM, so not up there in the winter to go after them.
I have some great memories of hiking or snowshoeing early in the spring when the temps started to warm up, covering ground and listening for ptarmigan calls.
Missed a lot of shots back in the day as they are small targets and I don't even think we had a rangefinder last time I chased them. One memorable outing I lined up on a ptarmigan that was standing on the crusted snow at "pretty far" range and let a blunt-tipped arrow fly. CRACK! The bird collapsed without a twitch. Surprised to have such a success, I walked over to check it out. His head had been turned sideways and my arrow blew out both eyes side to side, instantly dead. No other mark on the bird. And my dad was there as my witness!
Killed some in Quebec when I was caribou hunting in 2016. I lost some good arrows on those birds, but they sure do cook up nice.
I'd like to say wing shot but I am nowhere near that good. I'm still ground pounding. :) I am also cheating and using the snowmobile rather than snowshoes, easier to get to more birds.
For decades now, we only get ptarmigan here in the winter approximately 6 out of 7 years. Last year was a good "high cycle" year and as much as I was looking forward to hunting them again this year, I guess it's that 7th year because there are very few around.
The cycle lengths as well as population numbers vary depending on natural circumstances such as spring weather during the hatch and predator numbers, while the migration can vary depending on snow depth during the winter months, and even the location of recent forest fires, and other unforeseen events (ex. - we noticed a big decline ever since they flooded thousands of square miles north of us for a hydro electric project in the late seventies).
We cheated too...flew to remote areas in my dad's plane and snowshoed from there LOL
It's still brutal cold up there this time of year, but those spring days when the sun began to actually feel warm and reflect heat off the snow were wonderful.
Enjoy your birds well done
Here’s a couple from Quebec.
Here’s a couple Minnesota tarm ya ginn
Nice, one thing I hope to do one day...
Frenchman, very nice! Were you hunting something else as well? Asking because I see some non-flu flu arrows. One thing I love about Alaska is the hunting season never ends...it just changes. :)
I arrowed this one in Quebec on a caribou hunt. Lots of fun!
One of the challenges I find hunting Ptarmigan in deep snow is finding my arrows. I have started to fletch my own arrows to get maximum "slow down". An arrow or two each hunt is my sacrifice. :)
Same issue - hence the snaro point. I basically wait until they get in front of a thick bushy spruce tree - in front of a hard snowbank, on on the gravel road... I had in mind to try my old "arrow tracker" device - that had a tiny line tied to the arrow, that may work but I miss so often that I am not sure I'd have the patience to re-rig every time...
I have not tried the snaro points but will give it a try. I started out using the Judo tips but had some of the Ptarmigan fly away with my arrow still in them. Very frustrating to say the least. I switched over to G5 small game heads and get a kill each time now....... well at least when I hit them. ha