Wednesday, January 30, 2013

My Snowshoe, Wolf Hunt, Fishing Trip

Frozen River
Winter view of the river
As my family can attest, I have never been one who likes to be tied down and set in a routine for very long.  It is not that I am ADD or ADHD, but rather that I seem to have an obsession for the outdoors.  My wife (bless her heart) has at times made a comment or two which sounds something like, "You need to go fishing or something so you're not so grouchy".  She knows me and loves me (who knows why) and I am glad to be married to a woman who is patient enough to deal with my obsession.

Sooo... The other day I was a little stir crazy at work and a bit overwhelmed with the demands of my job, schooling, and other responsibilities.  My employer actually told me that I needed to take time off because they were concerned with the amount of overtime I was working.  Hearing this from my employer on a Wednesday was probably the best/worst thing for me to hear that early into the week.  I decided to focus on my schooling and family responsibilities on Thursday and then attempt to take a day for myself on Friday. 

When Friday rolled around, my day was wide open and the options were limitless.  I knew that whatever I decided to do, I needed to get outside and away from civilization.  I contemplated hiking around with snowshoes seeing how lost I could get with the given time I had.  I then thought about how I wanted to get out and go fishing.  I then thought about how the wolf hunting season in Idaho was only open for a few more days and that I would probably regret it if I didn't give it one last shot.  Sooo... my decision was.... All of the above!
Eberlestock X2 Pack and snowshoes
Eberlestock X2 Pack all loaded up!
 I decided that I would drive up to the mountains, snowshoe along the frozen river looking for a wolf or other predators, and when I got to open water I would pull out my fishing pole just because I could.  Good thing I got the Eberlestock X2 Pack for Christmas, or this trip couldn't have happened.  I packed all of my normal hunting gear, winter survival gear, extra clothes, my rifle, fishing pole, and tackle box all on my pack for this trip.

I parked next to the "Y" in the road (bottom left) on the picture above and walked through the trees along the river until I reached the power-line crossing a few miles up river.  I followed a few tracks of a fox, but ever got a glimps of him.  I walked until I found open water, but even then the ice was to far out from the bank to allow me to fish so I had to walk a lot further than I had planned if I was going to accomplish all of my tasks I had set out to accomplish.

Snowshoe tracksSnowshoe tracks

Snowshoe tracks along the river
Snowshoe tracks long the river
Once I finally got to a spot I could fish, I sat down, threw out my fishing pole, and cooked me a nice warm Mountain House meal to fill me up.  It wasn't long before I started catching fish.  I ended up catching 4 fish in less than half an hour, two of which I decided to bring home for dinner.  I packed everything back up, including the two fish, and hiked back out!

In the end, I accomplished the most important task I sought out to do which was relax and get away from all the busyness of the world.  I hiked over 4 miles through 3+ feet of snow, saw views that some people will never see in their lifetime, tried out my new hunting pack, and caught my wife and I a healthy dinner.  The feelings I get while doing any one of these activities is one that I could explain in words, but it would not do it justice unless you yourself had experienced it.  The only thing I wish I would have done differently would be to follow the moto of the Eberlestock pack and, "go in light come out heavy"... I must have gotten it backwards and decided to pack everything I could to test out the load capacity of my new pack!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Winner of 2 Free Ice Fishing Poles!

The winner of the two 30" medium action South Bend Ice Fishing Poles is Philip Peterson!  Thanks for everyone who entered, and thanks to JawJacker Ice Fishing Supplies which sponsored the giveaway.  Be sure to give them your support by either following them on Twitter and/or on Facebook.

I also want to thank everyone who visit's my blog. I have only been blogging for less than a year, and have really come to enjoy it.  I am glad that you all support me and follow me/my blog in one way or the other.  I truly appreciate the support.  Please let me know if I could every do anything different to make this better.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Ice Fishing Pole Giveaway!!!

JawJacker ice fishing tip up
My JawJacker set up with an Ugly Stick pole
As some of you may have read in one of my earlier posts, I am a pretty big fan/believer in the JawJacker ice fishing tool!  I have caught a lot more fish than I ever thought possible since I've started using them!  I have used them now for about a year, and would never go ice fishing without them.  I have used them mostly to catch trout, seems how this is the type of fish that is primarily in the area I live, but I have also used them to catch kokanee salmon and perch.  I like how versatile the JawJacker is and how it allows me to successfully fish for these different species.  Because kokanee, perch, and trout all bite differently, I am able to use different actions of poles; lighter action for the perch and kokanee, while using heavier action poles for the trout.  I am also able to use various lengths of poles, which I enjoy because I am not tied down to using one specific pole for my JawJacker.  The other adjustment I can make is  the trigger sensitivity for the different types of fish I'm going after, and anyone who has been ice-fishing knows that some days the fish bite harder and other days they barely bump the bait. Those are all the different ways I can adjust and adapt the JawJacker to up my chances of catching fish while on the ice.

JawJacker set up with my South Bend pole. The brook trout I caught with this set up!
In Idaho I am allowed 5 poles while ice-fishing so I typically use as many JawJackers as I have while sitting close to the poles I'm jigging.  One of the only issues I have run into when I began using the JawJackers was not having enough poles!  This was especially true when I would take some of my friends or family fishing with me.  To ensure that this isn't the problem holding some of you back from trying out the JawJacker yourself, Matt (the designer of the JawJacker) has decided to sponsor a giveaway on my blog to win two 30" medium action, South Bend ice fishing poles!!!

South Bend "Blizzard" 30" Medium Action Ice Fishing Pole
South Bend "Blizzard" 30" Medium Action Ice Fishing Pole

Here is the info for the giveaway:
Follow the instructions on the RaffleCopter icon below to be entered to win 2 South Bend, Blizzard 30" Medium action ice fishing poles!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway was sponsored by JawJacker Ice Fishing Supplies.  The ice fishing poles for this giveaway are not made by or associated with JawJacker Ice Fishing Supplies, but have been selected as the items for this giveaway. 

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Danner Boots for Snowshoeing

 It's that time of year to bust out my snowshoes!!! Good thing I have the perfect boots for this activity!

For Christmas, Santa knew how much I love my Danner boots, so he decided to get me another pair to try out! I already had a pair of Danner Elk Ridge boots and think that they are amazing I absolutely love wearing them even when I'm not hunting or hiking around.  The boots I got for my winter fun are the Danner Pathfinder GTX insulated boots.  These boots are especially nice this time of year because they have 600 grams of Thinsulate insulation which is perfect for winter hiking.  These boots are extremely light especially for how warm and comfortable they are.  They are suited with Danner's light weight Mountain Goat outsole which provides amazing traction and durability without weighing down your every step!  Danner provides these specs for the Pathfinder GTX:

Boot Details
  • 100% waterproof and breathable GORE-TEX® liner is engineered to keep your feet dry and comfortable - even in extreme conditions
  • 600 grams of Thinsulate™ Ultra Insulation offer lightweight warmth for those needing protection in cold climates
  • Rugged 1000 Denier nylon for excellent durability and abrasion resistance in a lighter weight package
  • TERRA FORCE™ X platform provides lightweight, durable traction, heel-to-toe energy transfer, side support to enhance maneuverability, and protection from arch overwork and fatigue.
  • Polyurethane footbeds offer increased padded for comfort and high-mileage arch support
  • Foam padded collar for increased ankle comfort and and additional flexibility
  • Realtree AP™ is neutral, open, high contrast, and realistic. The High Definition® printing process stands up to the real-life effects of nature
  • Mountain Goat TF™ outsole was designed with the mountain goat hoof in mind. The tough outer lugs cut into the terrain and the soft inner padding offers superior traction mimicking the goat’s ability to side hill in any condition
  • Nylon shank
  • 8" height
  • 60oz
  • Imported

The fact that these boots are made of rugged Denier nylon instead of leather, provides a lasting comfort in wet conditions which is perfect for me using them for snowshoeing! These boots have been perfect for my hobby of snowshoeing as well as wearing them icefishing, or even shed hunting.  The comfort is amazing and the light weight design is like none other.  I have snowshoed in other boots and I hated how they made snowshoeing miserable due to being uncomfortable or extremely heavy.

snowshoeing in Idaho
Me snowshoeing in my Pathfinder GTX boots!
On Christmas day when I tried them on, the exact words which came out of my mouth were, "They are more comfortable than my slippers!"  At first when I put them on and realized how comfortable they were, I was concerned that these boots were more about comfort than they were about structure and support.  However, the Danner Pathfinder GTX boot does not lack any in ankle support or structure.  While snowshoeing I walk on extremely uneven ground and these boots provide excellent support so that I do not have to worry about rolling an ankle while I'm miles away from the nearest road.