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Tip of the day: Hunting ice on prairie sloughs. See first post.

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  • Tip of the day: Hunting ice on prairie sloughs. See first post.

    Tip of the day: Hunting ice on prairie sloughs. See first post.

  • #2
    Remember that prairie surface water is often highly mineralized (alkalai particularly). That water freezes at much lower temps and it is often rotten when it does freeze. I found that out the hard way today. Went through three times pheasant hunting in minus twenty. Sure looked solid! The pheasants weren't having any trouble running on it. I made it out okay and got the last two birds before I got back to the rig. Could have been worse ... a lot worse. Everyone can learn from my mistake.

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    • #3
      Look at he bright side Honker, the water underneath was only 32 degrees F or more,,, How long did it take before your skivy's froze? LOL (been there, don't feel bad)

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      • #4
        First the right leg went in up to thigh. Pulled it out, took two steps and left leg went in to thigh. Pulled it out and right leg promptly went in again. At that point I was getting concerned. Wised up, stayed on all fours and crawled to the nearby grass flat. Very lucky both legs didn't go through at once. That mineralized water smelled like I crapped my pants ... or did I? Hardest part was walking in two pairs of pants frozen together stiff as oil rig casings. I see the outside edge of my right foot has frostbite. Nothing serious. What the hell, it was the last day of hunting so risking a minor frostbite injury wasn't worth worrying about. I got the second bird almost immediately after the bath so decided to keep going till I had my limit of three. That boot was a solid block of ice. Made a really fine rather long shot on the last rooster. No. 6 low base steel (a federal refuge so had to use steel). Those shells would just go "pap" but sure as hell knocked the birds down. Did a much better job than Federal supersonic 1500 fps #4s. Go figure! Had a lot of birds flying away gut shot with those painful fast loads. We got all but one (which was lost day before yesterday in a whiteout) but it took some work! Hunted that refuge on the way over to Montana when I shot four (lost one) in five shots. Incidentally, those were the only two birds of any sort lost this season. Then yesterday I killed three birds in four shots with those cheap loads. Yesterday I also had my ONLY chance at a double for the season when first bird fell but -21 F and low base shells were too much for the Browning humpback even with the compression ring taken out of it. She wouldn't eject so I switched to the 870 goose gun to kill the last two. Should have known that would happen. The 870 has fixed full barrel and I am DEADLY with that thing (which is why I usually use the Browning - also the long 870 doesn't handle as well in the thick stuff). Heck, I was pretty damned deadly with the Browning this year too. Very few missed shots. I'm in a donut shop only four hours from home but it's the most treacherous part of the trip. Keep your fingers crossed for me and the dogs.

        So damned cold and windy the Canada border guard wouldn't even get out his booth to check my guns or birds. Took my word for everything. We were both happy about that! -45 wind chill here.

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        • #5
          Your post made me smile OH! I can remember many years where my shins were scabbed over because of just that! I can also remember a time when I was athletic enough to instantly jump up such that I thought I was learning to fly. It is amazing how the human body can elevate against all physical odds by the threat of another dunk in freezing waters and potential drowning. Normally the prairie sloughs are shallow enough, all you do is cut your shins on the ice as you fall through. On occassion several times within a few seconds. Good luck with that nasty weather and keep your trap door buttoned UP!

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