Sunday, 9 February 2014

Ptarmigan Hunt in Finnmark - Northern Norway

After many years talking and one year in planning in September I returned from my first ptarmigan hunt over pointing dogs in Finnmark, Northern Norway. Myself and my friend Jon Anders flew from Oslo to Kirkenes and then hired a car for a couple of hours drive to our hunting terrain, we planned to stay in a tent for the whole week with the two dogs so we had arranged for a local guide who had permission to drive into the terrain on his ATV to drop of our equipment at a designated area prior to us hiking up the mountain to the site.

The first picture here was taken at the bottom of the mountain prior to the three hour hike up to our camp site.


Upon arrival at the desired campsite it became apparent that the local guide had dropped off our equipment about 750 meters short of where we actually wanted, so after a long hike we now had to drag all of the equipment to the campsite.

Here's a pic of all our equipment, as you can see we weren't exactly travelling light!


After a few hours of puffing and panting we finally had everything in the correct location, now we just needed to set up the camp. Luckily we had practised this prior to leaving for the hunting trip so within about 1 hour the tent was up and wood burning stove installed, now just to unpack and get everything ready for the hunt.

The campsite all set up and ready to accommodate and the stars of the show, Jon Anders' dogs, Hedda and Brutus.



This is the view we awoke to each morning.


We had one full day to organise and scout the terrain before the hunting season started so this was a great chance for me to get familiar with the terrain and to see how the dogs worked as this was my first time in Finnmark hunting ptarmigan.

A typical camp breakfast, we used the local stream for our fresh water and also as a fridge



Below are some pictures of the landscape in the area we hunted during the week.









And now for some pictures of the birds, the willow ptarmigan are really beautiful birds and their camouflage makes them almost invisible to the eye.








Our quota was 5 birds each per day for a total of 7 days hunting, between us both we managed to take 18 birds but this was extremely hard work and involved us hiking from 8am till 8pm almost every day of the hunt, it's not surprising with all of the kilometres we covered across Finnmark that I was 6kg's lighter when I got back to Oslo, the birds will taste a lot better knowing all of the work involved!

And now some pic's of the stars of the trip:

This is Hedda, the veteran of the trip and an absolute star, no matter what the terrain or the conditions she would find a bird - whether we could hit them though was another story!


And now for Brutus, the younger dog and still with a lot of growing up to do, we really seen a change in him during the trip, we think during this trip it actually clicked in his head what he is supposed to do, looking forward to seeing him develop even further!


My friend Jon Anders having a mid-day snooze with Brutus! :-)
 


And now for yours truly with a left and right double.


We're already planning the next trip, so looking forward to that :-)

4 comments:

  1. Hi!
    Lovely report, well written and nice Pictures.
    Really a nice hunting trip you have done.
    ha ha you dont have to go to the gym then......
    You had some success to get some.
    Yes they taste really good.
    Hope you are doing ok all??
    Majsan//

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Majsan, it was a fantastic trip and I look forward to doing it again later this year.

      You will be glad to know I have re-gained the 6kg's over the Christmas period, so now I need to lose them again :-)

      All is good with me and Geordie, there's too much much snow to take him out in the forest so I have been laying some trails for him to follow which he is doing excellent on.

      I'll keep you updated :-)

      Hilsen
      Jonathan

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  2. Great pictures Jonathan, looks like good trip!

    Greg

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Greg, it was a great trip.

      Plane tickets are already booked for this season :-)

      Counting down the days!

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