I wasn't aware that Colorado even had a population of ptarmigan. I did a little research and found that in 2004 there were approximately 463 ptarmigan killed by hunters, compared to 975 in 2003. For 2005 forward, they do not have any figures published for that species. That could indicate that the numbers are dwindling, but not necessarily.
I guess not many people hunt them, and if you do, you will pretty much be alone.
The goal of all hunters is a quick, humane kill where the animal drops in it's tracks and is dead within seconds. But in a pursuit that has as many variables as hunting, sometimes things don't quite go according to plan. However, game can be tracked and recovered with the right skills and with patience.
First of all, you need to wait the right amount of time after the shot before tracking a wounded animal. I've heard estimates of waiting 30 minutes for a hit in the vitals and 5-8 hours for a...