Welcome back the Hunt Gather Talk podcast, Season Two, sponsored by Hunt to Eat and Filson. This season will focus entirely on upland game — not only upland birds but also small game. Think of this as the podcast behind my latest cookbook, Pheasant, Quail, Cottontail, which covers all things upland.
Every episode will dig deep into the life, habits, hunting, lore, myth and of course prepping and cooking of a particular animal. Expect episodes on pheasants, rabbits, every species of quail, every species of grouse, wild turkeys, rails, woodcock, pigeons and doves, chukars and huns. Today we talk about the alpine birds, white-tailed ptarmigan in the Lower 48, and the introduced Himalayan snowcock.
In this episode I talk with my friend Jim Millensifer of Kansas all about ptarmigan and Himalayan snowcock.
Jim and I have hunted together several times, and he runs the Kansas Ringneck Classic, which focuses attention on the fantastic upland hunting in western Kansas. Over its nine-year history, the event has raised more than $500,000 for habitat.
I was lucky enough to have the guys at Project Upland follow me around with a camera at last year’s classic. You can see that video here.
In this episode, we go over all kinds of things surrounding these hard-to-get birds, from being physically fit enough to hike all the way up to 10,000 feet (and higher!) to find the birds,as well as gear, guns and some biology, the history of the snowcock’s introduction into the United States — as well as how to pluck, prep and cook your birds.
For more information on these topics, here are some helpful links:
- California, Utah, Colorado all have ptarmigan seasons. (As does Alaska.)
- Only Nevada has Himalayan snowcock. Here’s some information on them.
- Here’s what Himalayan snowcock sound like!
- If you want to eat something very close to a white-tailed ptarmigan, you can buy Scottish grouse from D’Artagnan.
- The bierocks recipe I mention in the podcast.
- The story of our ptarmigan hunt in Colorado.
- I have several more recipes for ptarmigan in my book Pheasant, Quail, Cottontail. You can buy a signed copy of that book here.
I am bringing back Hunt Gather Talk with the hopes that your generosity can help keep it going season after season. Think of this like public radio, only with hunting and fishing and wild food and stuff. No, this won’t be a “pay-to-play” podcast, so you don’t necessarily have to chip in. But I am asking you to consider it. Every little bit helps to pay for editing, servers, and, frankly to keep the lights on here. Thanks in advance for whatever you can contribute!
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