Author Topic: Camping on the ice.  (Read 54018 times)

Offline Akhardwater

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Re: Camping on the ice.
« Reply #390 on: Jan 10, 2022, 10:04 PM »
I went out New Yearís Eve with the plan of staying for two nights but I left early so as to beat one of if not the most horrific wind storms in south central Alaska history.  They were clocking wind speeds in Palmer over 100mph and with single digit temps it got real ugly.  I havenít done a 2 night popup trip in over ten years, all my popup trips are usually a week long minimum so I left the floor at home and just roughed it a little.  The whole purpose of this trip was to test some new gear so fishing wasnít really a priority.  I built a new run and gun setup for my snow machine, which I detailed in another thread, and I wanted to test it on a rough bumpy trail.  I picked a lake 20+ miles from the lodge and headed out in temps a little warmer than I would have preferred but when you get single digits you just have to deal with the heat.  I made it about 5 miles down the trail before I bumped into a momma lynx trying to kill and eat her kitten so I promptly dispatched the both of them.



The kitten was limping towards me down the trail and I dispatched her at about 75 yards with a 22.250.  I put her in the bag and made it about 50 yards down the trail before momma stepped out and sat down in the trail 20 yards from me.  I took a short video and promptly dispatched her with a 22 instead of the big rifle.  Needless to say I was feeling a little good so the next 15 miles weíre rather enjoyable.  I new there was a potential wind storm on the way so I didnít want to get to far from the trail so only went out onto the lake about a mile and setup.  Something new I was testing this trip was an adjustable pole holding up the ceiling hub to help keep the roof from collapsing from wind or to much weight from hanging stuff off the poles.  Little did I know that pole would save my butt.  I started playing with my new livescope and am throughly addicted, I caught one small laker and that was it.  Right about midnight the wind started and even with a guy lines and a packed down skirt the shack still wanted to collapse in the sustained 40 knot winds.  The center pole held everything together perfectly until I decided to pack it in at about 7:30am.  Iím certain without that center pole the roof would have collapsed and all hell would have broke loose, Iíve had shacks collapse in heavy winds before but not in negative single digits.  I probably could have stayed another night but it was supposed to drop to -20 that night and didnít feel like dealing with those wind chills.  I had a blustery ride back to the lodge and had no issues.



My new setup performed better than I expected and I could not be happier.  I made the 3 hour drive home just in time for the full brunt of the storm to get started.  The wind blew in the valley with sustained winds over 70mph for 5 days with gusts well over 100.  There was massive amounts of damage including whole buildings being ripped apart.  Some people were with out power and heat for 4 days.  The wind is still blowing out there just no where near as bad as it was last week.  Luckily us Alaskans are a hearty bunch and we all pitched in to help those in need just like we do in any of our natural disasters.  I will be heading up this weekend for one more test run to go over my setup and gear before my month long trip in March.  Iíll be taking my floor and big shack and making sure everything is in proper working order.  I was hoping for some good cold to really test my stuff but it looks like Iíll have to deal with more single digits.  Iíve done a bunch trips at -40 so I kind of know how things should go Iíll just have to pretend itís that cold.  Iíll try to take some pics of my setup and some action photos of my boxes actually fishing instead of just hanging out in the lodge parking lot.  I need to test my overflow rescue kit so Iíll defiantly take some pics of that in action and maybe even a fish if I actually get time to fish.  Hope you all have a good season and enjoy your time camping on the ice.
I was born an Alaskan I just didn't live here at the time.

Offline lowaccord66

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Re: Camping on the ice.
« Reply #391 on: Jan 11, 2022, 08:31 PM »
Technically in NH we canít target trout at night.

I never understood that. 

Offline lowaccord66

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Re: Camping on the ice.
« Reply #392 on: Jan 11, 2022, 08:33 PM »
I went out New Yearís Eve with the plan of staying for two nights but I left early so as to beat one of if not the most horrific wind storms in south central Alaska history.  They were clocking wind speeds in Palmer over 100mph and with single digit temps it got real ugly.  I havenít done a 2 night popup trip in over ten years, all my popup trips are usually a week long minimum so I left the floor at home and just roughed it a little.  The whole purpose of this trip was to test some new gear so fishing wasnít really a priority.  I built a new run and gun setup for my snow machine, which I detailed in another thread, and I wanted to test it on a rough bumpy trail.  I picked a lake 20+ miles from the lodge and headed out in temps a little warmer than I would have preferred but when you get single digits you just have to deal with the heat.  I made it about 5 miles down the trail before I bumped into a momma lynx trying to kill and eat her kitten so I promptly dispatched the both of them.



The kitten was limping towards me down the trail and I dispatched her at about 75 yards with a 22.250.  I put her in the bag and made it about 50 yards down the trail before momma stepped out and sat down in the trail 20 yards from me.  I took a short video and promptly dispatched her with a 22 instead of the big rifle.  Needless to say I was feeling a little good so the next 15 miles weíre rather enjoyable.  I new there was a potential wind storm on the way so I didnít want to get to far from the trail so only went out onto the lake about a mile and setup.  Something new I was testing this trip was an adjustable pole holding up the ceiling hub to help keep the roof from collapsing from wind or to much weight from hanging stuff off the poles.  Little did I know that pole would save my butt.  I started playing with my new livescope and am throughly addicted, I caught one small laker and that was it.  Right about midnight the wind started and even with a guy lines and a packed down skirt the shack still wanted to collapse in the sustained 40 knot winds.  The center pole held everything together perfectly until I decided to pack it in at about 7:30am.  Iím certain without that center pole the roof would have collapsed and all hell would have broke loose, Iíve had shacks collapse in heavy winds before but not in negative single digits.  I probably could have stayed another night but it was supposed to drop to -20 that night and didnít feel like dealing with those wind chills.  I had a blustery ride back to the lodge and had no issues.



My new setup performed better than I expected and I could not be happier.  I made the 3 hour drive home just in time for the full brunt of the storm to get started.  The wind blew in the valley with sustained winds over 70mph for 5 days with gusts well over 100.  There was massive amounts of damage including whole buildings being ripped apart.  Some people were with out power and heat for 4 days.  The wind is still blowing out there just no where near as bad as it was last week.  Luckily us Alaskans are a hearty bunch and we all pitched in to help those in need just like we do in any of our natural disasters.  I will be heading up this weekend for one more test run to go over my setup and gear before my month long trip in March.  Iíll be taking my floor and big shack and making sure everything is in proper working order.  I was hoping for some good cold to really test my stuff but it looks like Iíll have to deal with more single digits.  Iíve done a bunch trips at -40 so I kind of know how things should go Iíll just have to pretend itís that cold.  Iíll try to take some pics of my setup and some action photos of my boxes actually fishing instead of just hanging out in the lodge parking lot.  I need to test my overflow rescue kit so Iíll defiantly take some pics of that in action and maybe even a fish if I actually get time to fish.  Hope you all have a good season and enjoy your time camping on the ice.

What a trip, thanks for sharing!

Offline Drifter_016

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Re: Camping on the ice.
« Reply #393 on: Jan 11, 2022, 10:30 PM »
I went out New Yearís Eve with the plan of staying for two nights but I left early so as to beat one of if not the most horrific wind storms in south central Alaska history.  They were clocking wind speeds in Palmer over 100mph and with single digit temps it got real ugly.  I havenít done a 2 night popup trip in over ten years, all my popup trips are usually a week long minimum so I left the floor at home and just roughed it a little.  The whole purpose of this trip was to test some new gear so fishing wasnít really a priority.  I built a new run and gun setup for my snow machine, which I detailed in another thread, and I wanted to test it on a rough bumpy trail.  I picked a lake 20+ miles from the lodge and headed out in temps a little warmer than I would have preferred but when you get single digits you just have to deal with the heat.  I made it about 5 miles down the trail before I bumped into a momma lynx trying to kill and eat her kitten so I promptly dispatched the both of them.



The kitten was limping towards me down the trail and I dispatched her at about 75 yards with a 22.250.  I put her in the bag and made it about 50 yards down the trail before momma stepped out and sat down in the trail 20 yards from me.  I took a short video and promptly dispatched her with a 22 instead of the big rifle.  Needless to say I was feeling a little good so the next 15 miles weíre rather enjoyable.  I new there was a potential wind storm on the way so I didnít want to get to far from the trail so only went out onto the lake about a mile and setup.  Something new I was testing this trip was an adjustable pole holding up the ceiling hub to help keep the roof from collapsing from wind or to much weight from hanging stuff off the poles.  Little did I know that pole would save my butt.  I started playing with my new livescope and am throughly addicted, I caught one small laker and that was it.  Right about midnight the wind started and even with a guy lines and a packed down skirt the shack still wanted to collapse in the sustained 40 knot winds.  The center pole held everything together perfectly until I decided to pack it in at about 7:30am.  Iím certain without that center pole the roof would have collapsed and all hell would have broke loose, Iíve had shacks collapse in heavy winds before but not in negative single digits.  I probably could have stayed another night but it was supposed to drop to -20 that night and didnít feel like dealing with those wind chills.  I had a blustery ride back to the lodge and had no issues.



My new setup performed better than I expected and I could not be happier.  I made the 3 hour drive home just in time for the full brunt of the storm to get started.  The wind blew in the valley with sustained winds over 70mph for 5 days with gusts well over 100.  There was massive amounts of damage including whole buildings being ripped apart.  Some people were with out power and heat for 4 days.  The wind is still blowing out there just no where near as bad as it was last week.  Luckily us Alaskans are a hearty bunch and we all pitched in to help those in need just like we do in any of our natural disasters.  I will be heading up this weekend for one more test run to go over my setup and gear before my month long trip in March.  Iíll be taking my floor and big shack and making sure everything is in proper working order.  I was hoping for some good cold to really test my stuff but it looks like Iíll have to deal with more single digits.  Iíve done a bunch trips at -40 so I kind of know how things should go Iíll just have to pretend itís that cold.  Iíll try to take some pics of my setup and some action photos of my boxes actually fishing instead of just hanging out in the lodge parking lot.  I need to test my overflow rescue kit so Iíll defiantly take some pics of that in action and maybe even a fish if I actually get time to fish.  Hope you all have a good season and enjoy your time camping on the ice.

Jason
Keep you eye on the COVID rules. Not sure where we're at right now.

Here are the NWT rules. I think you could isolate out at camp but you would need email access to fill in the COVID check list unless that's changed.
https://www.gov.nt.ca/covid-19/en/visitors-non-residents

Entry to Canada stuff.
https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/coronavirus-disease-covid-19/arrivecan.html

Offline Akhardwater

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Re: Camping on the ice.
« Reply #394 on: Jan 11, 2022, 11:38 PM »
 Cool thanks I just finished my last vaccine shot and have to check in with arrive Canada app.  I will have to have a negative test within 72 hours of crossing the border.  Iíll look into the web site, itís going to be hard to email when Iím 130 miles from cell service.
I was born an Alaskan I just didn't live here at the time.

Offline Drifter_016

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Re: Camping on the ice.
« Reply #395 on: Jan 12, 2022, 01:35 PM »
Cool thanks I just finished my last vaccine shot and have to check in with arrive Canada app.  I will have to have a negative test within 72 hours of crossing the border.  Iíll look into the web site, itís going to be hard to email when Iím 130 miles from cell service.
Hope they don't mind that you're isolating on the land.
You should get everything you need before you get here so as not to break protocol.
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Offline Akhardwater

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Re: Camping on the ice.
« Reply #396 on: Jan 12, 2022, 02:54 PM »
I hope it all works out and Iím able to make it this year.  I donít think my wife will tolerate another full year of my insane planning and scheming.  Although if I go next year maybe I can fish for 2 months instead of just one😉.
I was born an Alaskan I just didn't live here at the time.

Offline lowaccord66

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Re: Camping on the ice.
« Reply #397 on: Jan 13, 2022, 12:33 PM »
God bless you Canadians dealing with restrictions...I'd lose my mind if it were that bad down here in the states.

Offline thndrvlly

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Re: Camping on the ice.
« Reply #398 on: Jan 13, 2022, 01:19 PM »
"I went out New Yearís Eve with the plan of staying for two nights but I left early so as to beat one of if not the most horrific wind storms in south central Alaska history.  They were clocking wind speeds in Palmer over 100mph and with single digit temps it got real ugly.  I havenít done a 2 night popup trip in over ten years, all my popup trips are usually a week long minimum so I left the floor at home and just roughed it a little.  The whole purpose of this trip was to test some new gear so fishing wasnít really a priority.  I built a new run and gun setup for my snow machine, which I detailed in another thread, and I wanted to test it on a rough bumpy trail.  I picked a lake 20+ miles from the lodge and headed out in temps a little warmer than I would have preferred but when you get single digits you just have to deal with the heat."

holy smokes, i will never complain on how cold or windy it is icefishing here in Ct. this is the Bahamas  here for you guys. absolutely amazing trip and adventure you did. the whole trip blew my mind lol. plus the bonus of some nice fur on top of it. i dont even know if we should could call it icefishing here lol. best of luck icefishing and surviving making a mistake is trully a live or death situation

Offline Akhardwater

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Re: Camping on the ice.
« Reply #399 on: Jan 14, 2022, 04:31 PM »










Made the 3 hour drive north and made it to the lodge about 9:30 due to pretty crappy road conditions.  Less than 3 hours and 10 miles later Iím fully set up and making lunch.  Temps were way warm when I got to the lodge I was literally loading in a T-shirt at 26 above.  Luckily the clouds burned off and now Iím sitting at a very comfortable 10 above with rolling patches of ice fog.  Iím very happy with the efficiency of my new setup and the layout should work very well for a month long trip.  I donít normally do 2 day popup trips so with the ease of this setup I think I might be able to do more remote weekend trips.  Iíll probably setup up my overflow rescue kit and take a few pics after I eat.  Service is spotty out here so hopefully this posts.
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Offline bassin212

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Re: Camping on the ice.
« Reply #400 on: Jan 14, 2022, 05:28 PM »
awesome post! I'd love to see the details on your wood floor. How it was built and how it packs up. Looks like a great set up!
Tight Lines!

Offline Akhardwater

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Re: Camping on the ice.
« Reply #401 on: Jan 14, 2022, 05:52 PM »





The floor is 3/4Ē marine grade plywood and I built it in 4 sections.  Each section is made of 3 other sections that are connected with hinges so I can fold them up and not fight with 12 individual sections.  For blocking I used pressure treated 4x4ís ripped down the middle so I would essentially have odd sized 2x4ís.  Iíll take a pic if I remember when I pack up so you can see how the blocking is laid out.  I have one of those huge otter sleds and I cut all the panels to fit folded up in the freight sled and it only stacks up 9Ē tall so I still have room to put gear on top and not fall out of the sled.  I do a lot of sight fishing so I wanted a hole that was at least 4íx2í but I only cut that big hole when I plan for it.  Right now Iím just running two 10Ē holes one for jigging and the other for the livescope.  Iíve built many floors over the years and for ease of setup this is probably one of the better ones however it does have a little weight to it but I have a snow machine designed to haul some weight so no worries here.  If you are blocking up your floor I would suggest plywood no smaller than 3/4Ē to help support weight in between the blocking.  If you are not blocking up your floor then a minimum of 3/8Ē plywood would work just fine and you wouldnít need hinges to help with support just make sure you label all your sections if they are different sizes.  Also to take into account overflow if your not blocking, having a plywood floor does no good if itís all under water.  Having a floor will defiantly change how you camp and the comfort level is defiantly worth the extra work.
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Offline bassin212

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Re: Camping on the ice.
« Reply #402 on: Jan 14, 2022, 06:04 PM »
this is awesome, thank you! One day i'll build out a floor. I'm debating something like you have there, blocked into sections but I'd definitely need a bigger utility sled. Or i've though about building a floor and basically folding it in half and use the support blocks as ski's. that way it is dual purpose as a floor and a sled.
Tight Lines!

Offline Akhardwater

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Re: Camping on the ice.
« Reply #403 on: Jan 14, 2022, 06:44 PM »
I designed a freight sled floor that a buddy built out of aluminum and didnít quite follow my design.  Full length skis are a must.
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Offline lowaccord66

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Re: Camping on the ice.
« Reply #404 on: Jan 15, 2022, 02:52 AM »
Sick floor.  Amazed by the inginuity in this thread.

Offline lowaccord66

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Re: Camping on the ice.
« Reply #405 on: Jan 15, 2022, 02:52 AM »
this is awesome, thank you! One day i'll build out a floor. I'm debating something like you have there, blocked into sections but I'd definitely need a bigger utility sled. Or i've though about building a floor and basically folding it in half and use the support blocks as ski's. that way it is dual purpose as a floor and a sled.

Id like to camp champlain again this year maybe later season, swanton/alburg area if you want to get down!

Offline bassin212

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Re: Camping on the ice.
« Reply #406 on: Jan 15, 2022, 08:11 AM »
Absolutely ! Just ordered the otter monster lodge too. Iíll be heading to Champlain in a couple weeks (not camping this time) and possibly lake George mid February if it freezes
Tight Lines!

Offline Akhardwater

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Re: Camping on the ice.
« Reply #407 on: Jan 15, 2022, 01:02 PM »
Sick floor.  Amazed by the inginuity in this thread.

Thank you.  The floor is defiantly a game changer for extended trips.  Iíve done floorless trips and after 2 days you spend the next 6 days wearing rubber boots because thereís 2Ē of water on the floor.  I would be sitting in an inch of water as I type this instead of sitting here drinking my coffee barefoot.  Itís such a beautiful morning Iíll probably go for a ride and look for some fur. I did manage one 11 pound burbot last night and had a handful of bites from smaller fish.  The good news is the temps finally got back down to a comfortable range, I woke up and the thermometer said -8 so hopefully that holds and doesnít get much warmer. 
I was born an Alaskan I just didn't live here at the time.

Offline Akhardwater

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Re: Camping on the ice.
« Reply #408 on: Jan 15, 2022, 05:24 PM »
Just got back from a ride and I was able to get two nice river otters.



The one with no back foot weighed 21 pounds and the other one weighed 22 pounds so average size sub adults is what Iím thinking.  Probably both males as they were alone and the one had extremely full scent glands that decided to squirt all over everything including me, little *****.  I saw another one but it was in an unrecoverable location so heís free to keep killing more burbot.  I ended up having to belly crawl a little to get the one cause my recovery hook got hung up on the edge of the ice, slight pucker factor involved.  All in all itís been a good day now I just need to catch some fish.
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Offline Akhardwater

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Re: Camping on the ice.
« Reply #409 on: Jan 16, 2022, 11:29 PM »
Got everything all packed up and made my way home, the roads were pretty bad so it was not my normal pleasant 3 hour drive with billion dollar scenery.








The floor packs up real nice and I had no issues getting the shack put away.  I always make sure before I bank my shack to put a good amount of snow under the skirt before I put snow on top.  If I wouldnít have done this the skirt would have frozen to the ice and I would have torn it trying to get it up.  As you can see in the pics there was a fair amount of water on top the ice due to overflow so without the floor staying for any length of time would have been pretty miserable.  This is my first time using an insulated shack and I am very happy with how it performed and condensation was really not bad at all.  Iíll be curious to see how the condensation is when Iím out for more than a week in real temps not these single digit heat wave temps.  I have a tarp for just in case I need to put it over the roof in the event the ceiling starts to drip.  All in all I think this shake down trip went good now itís time to start planning for a good two week trip in March to see how this setup works on a more lengthy trip.

I had one last surprise on the way back to the lodge. I found this guy wandering around out in the middle of the lake and was fortunate to make another donation to the fur bag.
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Offline Drifter_016

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Re: Camping on the ice.
« Reply #410 on: Jan 17, 2022, 10:19 AM »
Jason
From experience with uninsulated shacks I can tell you that I have never had any dripping (but I haven't stayed in it overnight). I just end up with a thick coat of frost on the ceiling. I believe the moisture issues happen closer to the freezing point and above.

Offline Akhardwater

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Re: Camping on the ice.
« Reply #411 on: Jan 17, 2022, 01:14 PM »
Yes I agree.  When Iím out in super cold stuff the condensation usually just freezes.  However over the course of a two week trip I generally see big temp shifts and have to deal with the drips.  That is why I generally equip all my shacks with tarps so thereís no midnight scramble to keep gear from getting soak.  FYI donít eat the shanty ice it will make you sick donít ask how I know😄.
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Offline mr.clean

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Re: Camping on the ice.
« Reply #412 on: Jan 17, 2022, 08:23 PM »
Akhardwater thank you for sharing the photos and report from your recent trip.
   Steve

Offline Akhardwater

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Re: Camping on the ice.
« Reply #413 on: Jan 17, 2022, 08:49 PM »
Akhardwater thank you for sharing the photos and report from your recent trip.
   Steve

Your welcome.  I figured it was time to start sharing with you guys stuff that Ive developed from over 15 years of camping on ice.  Hopefully something I posted helps you guys in your trips and saves you from the hard lessons learned that I had to go through.  Trust me at -40 those lessons are very painful and sometimes very dangerous so if I can help you guys in any way please feel free to ask Iím happy to help.
I was born an Alaskan I just didn't live here at the time.

Offline Ascott3006

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Re: Camping on the ice.
« Reply #414 on: Jan 17, 2022, 11:23 PM »
Is that a coyote? Where abouts are you located? Im in upstate NY thanks for sharing your trip.
A.J.

Offline Akhardwater

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Re: Camping on the ice.
« Reply #415 on: Jan 18, 2022, 12:20 AM »
Yeah itís a coyote. He was out wondering around in the middle of the lake and made for a pretty easy target with my 22.250.  Unfortunately the rounds Iím shooting are designed for wolves and needless to say Iím going to have to do a little sewing.  Iím located in south central Alaska about 10 miles outside of Anchorage but I fish about 3 hours north in some pretty awesome country.  If the fish arenít biting thereís always fur to chase.
I was born an Alaskan I just didn't live here at the time.

Offline Ascott3006

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Re: Camping on the ice.
« Reply #416 on: Jan 18, 2022, 04:50 AM »
Ive been out calling while the ice builds here. Had 3 red fox come in the other morning. Im shooting a 17 WSM. My father took his 1st wolf with it while in ontario CA. Im super envious Ive always dreamed of AK. Thanks for sharing with us. 22 250 great gun not fur friendly lol.
A.J.

Offline Nosaj

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Re: Camping on the ice.
« Reply #417 on: Jan 19, 2022, 10:05 AM »
Id like to camp champlain again this year maybe later season, swanton/alburg area if you want to get down!

If you guys are up for some company Hawkeye and I have been talking about a Champlain trip for a while.

Offline lowaccord66

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Re: Camping on the ice.
« Reply #418 on: Jan 19, 2022, 11:26 AM »
If you guys are up for some company Hawkeye and I have been talking about a Champlain trip for a while.

Company is best for these missions.  Ive gone solo and its fun but company helps.  Thinking alburg area.  Eyes at night.

Offline jethro

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Re: Camping on the ice.
« Reply #419 on: Jan 19, 2022, 11:50 AM »
Company is best for these missions.  Ive gone solo and its fun but company helps.  Thinking alburg area.  Eyes at night.

I'd be down for this but I guess I'd have to reg my snowmobile in VT. I can't drag my setup by hand at all, it's just a beast.
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