Sweethearts of the Snow Queen

45 million heads in good years is the number of ptarmigan in autumn

Sweethearts of the Snow QueenPhoto: FOTOLIA

Ptarmigan in the years of my youth hunting was plentiful and often it falls under the shot of the hunter. In this bird is a lot of local names. Cockerel called kuropach, pitun drummer (because of its current voice); female — chicken, partridge, kuropat, Talovka, white grouse, and Olhovka Berezovka.

It is found in ptarmigan European mixed taiga in strip of tundra, forest tundra, birch forest-steppe of Western Siberia, Sakhalin, Kamchatka and in the Amur region. Forty or fifty years ago, white partridges were common for both Moscow and for the Tver region. I still remember the days when stores «Gifts of Nature» sold chilled carcasses of these beautiful birds. But in recent decades the southern boundary moved to the breeding partridges north. In the spring of last year grouse in the current Tver region to Unfortunately, not I had a chance to hear the lively mating male ptarmigan. They are sedentary and only in very hard winter search of food can move in on the south side a few hundred kilometers.

Sweethearts of the Snow Queen

In winter hunting is desirable to use cartridges with shot number 6 or even 5. Photo: Oleg Crimeans

The color of the pen in the winter birds of both sexes and white to the eye are indistinguishable from each other. On northeast of the European part of Russia and Siberia and hunting fishing ptarmigan are quite common. Production had to the end of the 20th century, an important economic value. The meat has high taste qualities. Late fall across individuals with Zhirkov presence. Scientists have found 4–5-year cycle of rise and falling numbers of partridges, which is heavily dependent on weather conditions and frequent Scenes­oty in Basically worm, sometimes quite substantial. Also contributed to the drop in the number and unregulated fishing hunting. Therefore, hunters should be aware of biology and methods of hunting it. Spring hunting these birds is prohibited, as in educating young participate both parents. AT regions where permitted summer-autumn and winter hunting ptarmigan, it is very interesting and fascinating.

Going to the opening of the summer-autumn hunting for Peru, partridges should be looked at moist, but not too wet moss bogs covered with small and rare pine forest, abundant blueberry and cranberries, along with birch forest edges berries and cranberries blueberry.

Sweethearts of the Snow Queen

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AT 1955 parents moved to Leningrad region, where in the winter a driven and elk hunting there was my first meeting with favorites of the Snow Queen. Advance on creek, overgrown with willows and alders. I go out to a small clearing, when suddenly in front of me Bouguereau snow, of light cloud of snow dust quickly and noisy flapping their wings, white bird became removed. I stopped in surprise. For me, the Orenburg steppe peoples, it was a miracle. AT top of the front and magic close by the parties continued to dart the other birds. I I watched them spellbound, forgetting about the gun. Going to arrows I I spoke about what I saw birds. The old hunter said I I came across ptarmigan. FROM Since then I have loved hunting them. But we should recognize that it was malorezultativnoy since I I did not know the habits of these birds, and places where they can be found. And hunted «samotopom». But from the acquisition of experience, and later, when I English Setter got Squirrel hunting has become much more interesting. I have a dog and he dragged himself in his spare time with enthusiastically indulged in hunting partridges. AT those early years, the white partridge in Leningrad region were quite common. I I knew all the places around our nearest military camp, where they could meet these birds. FROM the beginning of the summer-autumn hunting I on the bike I went to the nearest swamp, gave a little rest and a dog He directed it in Search. Squirrel knew very well why we have come, and vigorously set about business and I gun at the ready to follow her.

Here she finally picked fresh traces of birds. I am seized by a strong excitement, it seems that the sound of my heart and hear the partridge trying to flee from me, but eventually stops and brood sinks. The squirrel froze in rack. Willow Grouse well kept and rack allow to come close to them. I choked voice husky team.

Sweethearts of the Snow Queen

Photo: Adrian Kolotilin

Bird rises almost simultaneously, all the brood and the noisy flapping with loud cries. Hunter, no yawn… One after another, shots are fired. Rarely able to take a couple of birds doublet. AND for us it was a real triumph. A so we were content with a bird, but and an annoying mistakes. Often the birds cleverly hiding behind tall bushes or trees, left without firing a shot. AT such cases, the birds flew in one direction, taking into several right or left side, and flying 200–300 m fell on ground. I greedy eyes watched them, noticed the landing and I hurry to them. However, no we always find them there. They must have fallen to the ground behind some bushes, flying further, and I do not saw.

We often went to the whole team hunting with overnight on vzgorke have some large marshes. What a wonderful evening it was! Hunting the fire, and Traditional tea over him. On ground bed for several cloak tents. Cover with a hunting table where everything is mixed — and my your. Stories, jokes, Suddenly the evening silence is broken «laughter» and kuropacha him «cab-cab, kbeo-kbeo». All unwittingly fall silent. Squirrel guards. A then begins a stormy discussion the upcoming hunt. Morning also often start leshim «laughter» male and his rough shouts. AT Unlike grouse and vzmaterevshie white grouse partridge almost the end of September and firmly enough cork Rack kept dogs that can successfully hunt them. One day in late autumn colleagues Kandalaksha garrison invited us to hunt ptarmigan, which have on their range, as would say the unforgettable Ostap Cherries: «Yak pus».

Sweethearts of the Snow Queen


Indeed, there were many birds. My comrades successfully hunted «in uzerku». Snow has not yet It was, and poultry already dressed in winter plumage and easy to look out for in willow thickets, shrubs and stony placers. I from and two companions Proteins extracted using two dozen birds. Partridge I found some too tiny, and some birds were black bridle in a bright black stripes from beak to eyes. When I He shared his observations with invited us to his friends, then They explained to us that it’s Rock Ptarmigan, and black bridles — it’s cocks. Winter increasingly come into their rights. Land covered with fluffy white blanket. Willow Grouse with marshes and forest edges moved closer to rivers, streams and ravines, overgrown with willows, aspen, and birch, giving them food and shelter.

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It does not occur and less interesting gambling in the winter hunting ptarmigan. Dressed in white camouflage cloaks (in my reconnaissance there were many) and standing on skiing, I went early in the morning hunting. Hunting partridge in winter is somewhat similar to the hunting wells (pits) on grouse. Not leisurely walk around the floodplain of the river, which flows into the lake near the item. Kirillovskoye, look in gully. How nice, then what! White silence. Either the pace of soft and fluffy snow. Shshuh-Shaa, shshuh-Shaa, Shaa sentenced shshuh-skiing. In me in left hand ski pole in Right-gun, it’s more convenient to walk, and quickly get ready to shot. On Breast binoculars. Periodically stop and Inspects in binoculars riparian willow bushes snow under young birches. Sometimes it was possible to notice the white «tubercles» and approach partridge in sure shot. Silence breaks good doublet. Raise flock to pursue useless. Frightened birds shots became more cautious and approach it is not re- possible. I they are left in alone and I went to look for another flock. AT most cases buried in snow partridge people came unexpectedly. White partridge in the forest area of ​​the Leningrad region usually sleep in open wells, trays, raking, even for this rather dense snow. AT severe frosts sometimes raised birds from the wells. Birds tend to have thick, 0.5 to one meter from each other. Burrowing in snow grouse moved apart his body and movement at the end of the course suit «bedroom»Corresponding to their size, and a little freer. I I saw such a feature — wall «Bedrooms» grouse, black grouse and ptarmigan never and obtaivayut not covered by an icy crust. Although poultry They are found 15–20 hours. AT wells I found snow heaps of excrement. Hunting in winter dobychlivoy was such as to summer-autumn period from the dog. Two or three birds — count, you’re lucky.

Sweethearts of the Snow Queen

In summer and autumn to hunt ptarmigan fit cartridges with shot number 7, and even 8 pictures: FOTOLIA

With what gun to go on hunt partridges? Yes, with those which have hunter. Preferably, of course, a shotgun. Semi-automatic or easy for what. Typically, more than two shots, and even hunting «samotopom», by This agile and the birds do not fast Can not. Shoot accounted for distance 20–30 m, and desirable to have a gun cylindrical porting. If the firing is conducted with a gun Rifling and poluchok Chalk, the should be used cartridges «dispersant». Another thing, when hunting with dog. My squirrel so mastered hunting partridges that sometimes in bushes and avoided brood filed birds me.

Victor Gurov20 December 2010 at 16:38

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