Tips For Finding And Hunting Ptarmigans

Tales From The Far Territory is a series of updates and expansions in The Long Dark that tell the tale of the furthest reaches of Great Bear Island, the setting of the game. It’s a pretty long walk to Transfer Pass, which connects all the maps in that region, but well worth it for the new gear and storyline.



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One of the first animals added in these updates is the only bird available for hunting, the Ptarmigan. Crows have been circling since the game was in beta, and you still can’t shoot them down, but Ptarmigans bring with them a whole host of gameplay possibilities and exciting items to keep you from fading into The Long Dark.

The Long Dark Ptarmigan Pie Cooking Skillet Recipe And Ingredients

Ptarmigans are part of the paid expansion you can purchase on top of the Survival and Story Modes. They were released during Part 3: Frontier Comforts alongside four additional Fish, which were a free addition for anyone who owned the game.

The main draw of the expanded update was the Cooking mechanic, including new ingredients, such as Carrots and Potatoes found in cool, dark spaces, and shelf staples such as Oil and Flour. In later dishes, the Ptarmigan is an integral component in some of the best recipes you can learn to cook. Six weapon and tool variants were scattered across Great Bear in this update too. The Sport Bow is ideal for hunting these birds, as it’s very lightweight and quick to aim, meaning you can catch out a few before they scatter.

4 Spawning Conditions

The Long Dark Ptarmigan Flock Sitting In The Snow At Sunset Three Birds

The times and places Ptarmigan turn up are a little different from most of the wildlife in the game. Similar to how Rabbits spawn in Rabbit Groves, Ptarmigan have small patches where flocks of two to four will congregate. These spots are often far away from common paths, high up hills or atop snow drifts at the bottom of cliffs. Their white feathers mean they blend in well, even if you’re looking for them, and it’s often only their croaking calls that will draw your attention.

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One flock will spawn per region at a time, so if you scare them away, you won’t find any more for an in-game day. Not every region has a Ptarmigan flock though, so be sure to explore each map thoroughly to know where to check back.

3 Ptarmigan Behavior

The Long Dark Ptarmigan Carcass Harvest

Lots of things spook these little guys, such as a missed Arrow or Stone thrown, a Wolf fleeing near them or catching one. Crucially, if one bird sees you, then all of them will disperse. There won’t be more than four in any region at one time, and it takes a whole day for them to respawn. So, if you manage to catch one, it’s likely that will be it until tomorrow unless you get very good at it.

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After being frightened, they will run along the ground shortly, similar to a Rabbit fleeing, but will then take off. Ptarmigans tend to wander around snowy clearings, scratching and pecking at the ground. If you sneak slowly you can get pretty close to them before firing off a quick Fire-Hardened Arrow. They always drop 0.8-1.5kg of Raw Ptarmigan Meat and four bundles of Ptarmigan Down.

2 Reasons To Hunt

The Long Dark Ranger Stew Recipe Card

It may seem like a paltry pay-off for stalking poultry; however, despite the meager amount of meat, it’s actually a vital ingredient for high-value dishes such as Pies. The only way to make Broth is with Raw Ptarmigan Meat, Potable Water and Salt, so if you want to benefit from those more complex Recipes, you’d better get to hunting. Per 1kg of Ptarmigan Meat, you can make four servings of Broth to make all sorts of delicious Stews.

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You’ll also want to save up the Ptarmigan Down they provide, as you’ll need 15 altogether for the Crafting recipes. A basic Bedroll at full durability provides five degrees of warmth when you snuggle in for a nap. However, if you stuff it with ten handfuls of Ptarmigan Down and three Cloth, you get the Improvised Down Bedroll, which adds another three degrees and weighs only 0.10kg more. Totally worth the extra weight.

To compare, a Bear Skin Bedroll uses up two Cured Bear Skins, ten Cured Guts and over 17 hours at a Workbench, while weighing 3kg. The warmth bonus goes up to 12 degrees, and it even restores Condition a little faster. You need to decide if it’s worth the extra trouble.

The last reason to hunt Ptarmigan flocks is another warming bonus, the Improvised Insulation. This accessory can be equipped in the top right-hand clothing slots instead of a Moose Hide Satchel, Crampons or Security Chief’s Rifle Holster. It can be made anywhere with only four Cloth and five Ptarmigan Down, and keeps you a little bit warmer on your travels.

1 Tips For Hunting

The Long Dark Player Holding A Stone And Stalking Ptarmigan Flock

Each region has one flock per day, though some maps like Coastal Highway don’t get any Ptarmigans, so don’t bother hunting there. Good spots to check if you’re based in Mystery Lake include the rocks opposite the Camp Office front door, the Forestry Lookout and the Destroyed Lookout. Pleasant Valley’s flocks all congregate on Signal Hill, and Forsaken Airfield has a flock right next to the Mindful Cabin overlooking the whole map.

Turn the volume way up and listen for croaking sounds and fluttering to pinpoint where the Ptarmigans are, then crouch until you get very close without scaring them. At this point it’s like hunting Rabbits, and a simple Stone throw can stun them without using up Arrows. Fire-Hardened Arrows are cheap to make, but still require a Bow. The Sport Bow can be found at Shoulder Lake in the Forsaken Airfield, bypassing the need to cure Saplings and spend time crafting.

Next: The Long Dark: Spots To Safely Kill Bears From

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