Sunday, 28 February 2021

Winter Hare Gear

  The mid season of snow shoe hunting the temperature is going to 20s and below. Keeping warm during these hunts can be difficult because to get in the action you have to move long distance fast building sweat. Then you stand waiting for the dogs to circle it towards you really cooling you off. 

The ride to get to good snowshoe hare country can be long you don't want to sweat on the way. Don't dress for the hunt until you get there. The best method is to dress in base layers with a long sleeve shirt and carhartt pants for the ride. Wear shoes or light boots on the way. Just to keep from sweating. 

Once on location you want to have outer wear that is easy to get on so you can get hunting sooner. The less fussing at the truck the more hunting. 

Boots and socks: Get socks that are as close to wool that you can. Wool will keep your feet warm even if you sweat a little. For boots you want a rubber boots to the knee that has flexibility not stiff like most of the hunting style rubber boots. The lacrosse burly insulated boots are a good choice. Lacrosse boots also go very good with a pair of snow shoes when the snow is soft.

Pants: lined carhartt pants are more breathable the wearing long johns and with a pare of mule bibs on over them you will be warm. Mule bibs will keep you warm and dry they are water resistant making so they also keep the wind out. 

Body:  No need for a long john shirt a short sleeve and long sleeve shirt will do. For a outer layer a sweat shirt and wool jacket work good tacking the jacket off or unzipping when your to warm. The bibs will cover most of your upper half  keeping mostly worry free from water and wind. 

Hat and gloves: A baseball cap is a good idea as most of the time that will be keeping your head warm as a beanie is to hot. Keep a beanie with you one that is on the thin side you don't want a really think one. Get a pair of thin gloves like kinco's that will keep you warm and able to shoot. Also sunglasses are very nice to keep with you because of the brightness of the sun off the snow.

Bag: L.L.Bean makes a nice game bag that makes layering and carrying stuff easy on the go. Just keep hat, gloves, jacket or anything you need to get to in the game bag until you need use of it. When you start filling the game bag the vest has lots of pockets to switch your extra items to. 

Stay warm and hunt long. 

Sunday, 21 February 2021

Mobile Ice Fishing

 The comforts of a big ice shack make it feel like home. Having almost anything from a oven, tv, and bed. While also leaving you in one spot day after day. While fishing From the same location and the same pond can be nice at times. Being able to get out and fish new territory weather it's a new spot or a new pond brings on a new challenge. 

The ability to be mobile while ice fishing gives you more flexibility and opportunity fishing. Being able to change locations on a lake with a quick and simple pack up could mean more flags on a slow day. Scouting a new pond means you can change locations a few times to find fish. No longer do you have to fish the same pond every time out because of the big shack.

The gear that makes you ready to get out there and be mobile is a gear sled, portable ice shack, small heater. 

For an ice shack a shelter made onto a sled is very nice for the fact that you can haul all your stuff out in it. Setting it up  is a breeze and some even come with built in seats.. Insulated tops make heating much easier. Another great option to consider is a pop up ice shack they are very easy to set up but you need the extra sled space to put them. 

For a sled going with any sled of adequate size will work just just fine. Make sure you will have enough room for pack basket, auger, shelter and any other gear you normally carry along. 

If your going to be out long periods of time a heater for your shelter is a nice addition to the gear. On cold days it's nice to get a little time here and there of heat. A buddy heater works very nicely for heating a shelter. It's compact size uses less space but puts off plenty of heat. 

Consider getting out on the ice this winter and checking out new ponds. Old faithful is nice and familiar but new senary can be a great change during the season.

Saturday, 13 February 2021

No winter blues

 The notion of cabin fever has set in to most northeastern's by now. Short days and cold temps keep them looking forward to April showers and May flowers. Unaware of the beauty of winter woods and hard water.

   Nothing is quite like a frosty morning sunrise behind a few beagles. It is something mind clearing to listen to the pack giving chase on a snowshoe hare over the snowy hills and in the icy swamps. Music to a hunters ears baying beagles echoing through the quiet winter woods.


There is a lot we can learn and see in the snow covered woods that would be non-existent any other time of the year. Wing beats of a ruffed grouse taking off, Tracks ending at impressions in the now where an owl grabbed some dinner. Animal tracks telling a story like a lynx's going after the very same quarry those beagles are tracking over the ridge. 

   If the the hunting is limited or fishing is more your style. Hitting a frozen pond for the chance at chasing some flags will surely make cabin fever a distant memory. The best part of ice fishing is the time you can enjoy with family and friends while being out in nature. With all the portable ice shacks and small propane heaters there is no problem staying warm. Ice hockey, skating and more leaves  plenty to do while the fish find the bait. 

    There is definitely something special about ice fishing when you get a flag and the whole fishing party goes over to check it out. It doesn't matter who's hole it is. The flag goes up an you all run to the trap check to see if it's still spinning . Then you pull the trap out, grab the line, set the hook, then hand line it in. Now that's fishing.

    I'm not sure why cabin fever exists but I would say it's time to get out and enjoy the frozen ground before spring is upon us and the opportunity is gone. Time is to short to wait for spring. Some of the best story's come from the cold. 




Season Prep

  This time of year the truck bed Permanently gets smaller till the season end with a two hole dog box. The equipment is packed and truck is...