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Old 12-12-2017, 01:51 PM
lasers lasers is offline
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Originally Posted by a bear named smokey View Post
Here's the video where he shows you how to convert tarp into hot tent:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HfiUgGhTe1k

I've been thinking about it, and I could really use the money I was planning on spending for a tent elsewhere, so I'm going to give it a go. I'll get the materials stitched and cut and set up in the backyard with my stove and post a pic!



I could have someone stop by after two weeks (when I move campsites) for resupply, I did consider it. I'll also have that PLB in case of emergency. And I can fit a lot in my rucksack and sled, but might have to stash the duffle and doubleback for it.
I just re watched the video on showing how the guy makes his tent. He used a 12x 16 tarp. I used a 10 x 20 with the hanging point right in the middle of the longest side right on the edge. It made the tent 8 feet tall and 10 feet in diameter. Using the same set up you can make the center taller and the diameter a bit smaller and they you have a larger over lap for the door. I also put another tarp above the door hanging down to keep wind out.

Also don't get the cheapest tarp. Use at least a medium duty tarp best would be a heavy duty pvc tarp but they are more expensive, heavier and don't want to fold up as nice in cold weather(although I have never had one crack from cold)

I would also bring a second tarp so you can set up an emergency shelter encase something happens to your main tent(collapse from snow, high wind, ripping, fire, etc) Having a second tarp/shelter could save your life.
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Old 12-12-2017, 04:52 PM
3cyl 3cyl is offline
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In Minnesota you can not have unattended lines for fishing
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Old 12-12-2017, 10:19 PM
ljcygnet ljcygnet is offline
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Originally Posted by ECF View Post
I haven't read the entire thread, so not sure what state this is, but I don't think bears will be trouble, should be hole up for the winter.
Funny thing about bears is that they don't always read the book about what they're supposed to do. Somewhere, I have photos of bear tracks left in two feet of snow on a five degree morning, after a couple weeks of freezing weather, in early January.

They do hibernate even here, just not ... always.

Besides that, if you bear bag your stuff up a tree you're also protecting it from every other varmit out there. Bears are honestly way down my list of concerns but I'd rather not have little critters get into my food either. Last thing I need is to get sick from mouse germs and that's honestly a more realistic fear than a bear, 99% of the time.

OTOH, like I said, they don't always do what they're supposed to do and I dunno about the rest of you, but I'd rather prefer not to have to argue about ownership over my food with a winter hungry bear when I'm days from a trailhead.

(As a side note, I know where there is a bear den around here -- under the roots of a fallen tree. I'll be avoiding that area for the next several months. Normally, bears run, but I wouldn't want to surprise a very sleepy bear on some cold winter morning when he was in too much of a winter funk to hear me coming. Whooops! Yeah, let's not do that.)
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Old 12-12-2017, 11:05 PM
a bear named smokey a bear named smokey is offline
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After reading a little more about your reasons, plans and experience - I'll recommend you scale back your excursion from 30 days to 10 days. That will allow you more than enough time to test-out your ideas. Take what you learn during that trip and extend your trip the following year.
No rain here, I appreciate the input! I'm going to head up there a couple weeks early, without the dog or heavy gear, and set up a supply cache near egress / entry point, scout out the area a bit, and if I can lock down a suitable camp site hang some food so I don't have to carry it when I actually set out. I'm also going to have the guy that drops me off swing back through two weeks later to bring additional supplies, check on me and give me the oppurtunity to get out if I've had enough. I am all about mitigating risk, and I'm thankful for the input received on this thread.

I don't have much experience trapping. I have done a couple backcountry camping trips, but they were only for a few days. However, one thing I am confident in is my LandNav abilities. Did a lot of that when I was in the army, both during FTX and on my free time hiking in Tennessee. The area I'll be in has a paved road 5 miles north and 5 miles east of where I plan to camp. There's a lodge / resort close by and an outfitters cottage too.
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Old 12-12-2017, 11:08 PM
a bear named smokey a bear named smokey is offline
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Originally Posted by 3cyl View Post
In Minnesota you can not have unattended lines for fishing
You can have two unattended lines in the winter as long as you are in sight of them. Trot lines are prohibited though, which is unfortunate.
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Old 12-13-2017, 12:15 AM
a bear named smokey a bear named smokey is offline
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Originally Posted by Hick Industries View Post
What state, what terrain, what time of year, how much snow?
Northern MN. Moderate to heavy snow (I think, but can't predict) and definitely cold (NOAA predicting below average temps this winter). This will be end of December / beginning of January time frame. I'm looking at a five mile radius between me and the nearest road, so only a few hours hiking in good conditions. The terrain is mostly flat until I get about 4 miles south of where I'll get dropped off. Then there are some hills. Lots and lots of lakes and streams.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hick Industries View Post
What kind of trapping are you planning for?
Mixed line, so I guess it depends what signs I see. I could see Coons, foxes, coyotes, fisher, mink, maybe a bobcat. Wolf and Lynx are both off limits, but I think I'm too far east to worry about Lynx. There is a pond and some wetlands nearby, so I could get lucky and find a beaver lodge, or some muskrat burrows, but it sucks trying to get through the ice. I'll probably use the 110's for squirrels and weasels instead of muskrat.
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Originally Posted by Hick Industries View Post
Many states require a 24 hr check, which makes good sense for water trapping, but it limits the number of predator traps you can set, especially since you are running the line on foot. It also limits you if you are planning on trapping fisher, marten, or wolves in the deep snow.
I have to check land sets every calendar day. Drowning sets are every three, but since most everything will be frozen I probably won't have any. Any traps under the ice just need to be pulled by the end of the season, or before the ice melts (whichever comes first).
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hick Industries View Post
How many traps will you be taking?
Around 50.

Trap X Quantity
110 conibear X 12
*Squirrels and weasels
120 conibear X 6
*Mink
220 conibear X 3
*Fisher
330 conibear X 3
*Beaver or bobcat

duke 1 X 6
*Mink or coon
duke 1 1/2 X 12
*Fox
duke 2 X 6
*Coyote
dogproof X 6
*For trapping coon if they come around camp.

^^ I have less than that currently, so open to adjustment.

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Originally Posted by Hick Industries View Post
Have you asked for ideas at www.trapperman.com?
Their members are very knowledgeable and they love helping a new trapper.
You might even find someone with a used traps or an Outfitter tent.
The trapshed is a buy/sell digital flea market.
Yes! I actually just registered with them yesterday!
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Old 12-13-2017, 12:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Old fart View Post
+1000 on the bear precautions. You may also want a can of bear spray. Check before you go on the legality/necessity in that area.
I have a decent rifle (7.62) with 30 round mag, so should be good with that? No grizzly population to worry about, just black bear. I worry more about wolves, there are a lot up there, mostly because if they see the dog I expect they'll follow us. No cougars either.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Old fart View Post
+1000 on the snowshoes. Spare bindings and tools for repairs. The round fat type are more stable/spread your weight out better, and the longer thinner type you can move faster, but you are more likely to fall.
Thanks for the tip! Snowshoes are a must.


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Originally Posted by Old fart View Post
Make sure you have necessities for your dog, including a copy of vet/shot records, photos with dog and you together (help prove ownership).
He's got his rabbies tags on him and I have a binder with lamanated pages which include his shot records. Also have some topo maps, a park map, pictures of tracks to help with identification, and DNR rules and regs.
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Old 12-13-2017, 12:46 AM
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Originally Posted by coolhandluke View Post
Advice on ice fishing, it might not be legal to leave your tip ups out if your not there. Donít forget you need bait like minnows for those tip ups for northern.
Right, I won't be spending too much time on the ice, just while I'm at camp. I've been trying to think of something to use as bait. I don't think minnows will work because there's no way to keep them alive and not frozen that long.
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Old 12-13-2017, 07:36 AM
ljcygnet ljcygnet is offline
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Originally Posted by a bear named smokey View Post
Right, I won't be spending too much time on the ice, just while I'm at camp. I've been trying to think of something to use as bait. I don't think minnows will work because there's no way to keep them alive and not frozen that long.
If you have sunfish and it's legal to use them as bait, you can catch them on a lure or a bit of leftover meat from your meal (or a bare hook, if they're hungry enough) and then use them as bait. Around here, sunfish are a major nuisance and game and fish loves it if you use them for bait. Whole and live, the small ones are great bait for cats, bass and walleye; chunks catch everything else, including more sunfish.

Otherwise, pieces of chicken or turkey gizzard work well for bait.
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Old 12-13-2017, 09:37 AM
lasers lasers is offline
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Originally Posted by a bear named smokey View Post
Right, I won't be spending too much time on the ice, just while I'm at camp. I've been trying to think of something to use as bait. I don't think minnows will work because there's no way to keep them alive and not frozen that long.
Check the laws and see if you can use a minnow trap in MN. If so they work good if you can find and put them near/in a spring on the lake.

Also I think MN allows spearing of northern. To do that during the day you need a dark house though otherwise you can't see into the water. At night you could do it by setting your tent up on the lake with a hole in the ice then removing the snow from the ice outside the tent down to clear ice and light a fire or set up your lantern at an angle, the light from the fire/lantern lights up the water and from in the tent you can see the fish. With spearing you can't be in water deeper than about 6-8 feet.
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Old 12-13-2017, 10:12 AM
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Originally Posted by a bear named smokey View Post
No rain here, I appreciate the input! I'm going to head up there a couple weeks early, without the dog or heavy gear, and set up a supply cache near egress / entry point, scout out the area a bit, and if I can lock down a suitable camp site hang some food so I don't have to carry it when I actually set out. I'm also going to have the guy that drops me off swing back through two weeks later to bring additional supplies, check on me and give me the oppurtunity to get out if I've had enough. I am all about mitigating risk, and I'm thankful for the input received on this thread.

I don't know your skill or experience level other than what you have posted but if I was in your situation I would want either my vehicle left there so I can leave at any time it things get too rough, or have someone check on me after the second or third day(for the same reason) or at minimum have some type of reliable communication through cell or radio.

If you are planning to make your own tent you really need to try it out somewhere safe for a night or two before take it on a long trip where it will be your main way to get out of the weather. Winter cold at night is unrelenting and is even worse if you are damp from working during the day. The cold doesn't care if you live or die. I think a lot of people somehow think they are special and nothing bad can happen to them or somehow it is guaranteed they will get through. But in winter all it takes is one bad choice or accident to make it a life and death situation(most likely by falling into water and not being able to get dry or warm)

As a precaution you should always keep plenty of tinder, kindling and small firewood in your tent so if you come back wet you can get a warming fire going quickly. It also isn't a bad idea to carry a lighter, matches and some tinder & kindling in a waterproof container against your body at all times when you are out of the tent.
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Old 12-13-2017, 10:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by a bear named smokey View Post
Northern MN. Moderate to heavy snow (I think, but can't predict) and definitely cold (NOAA predicting below average temps this winter). This will be end of December / beginning of January time frame. I'm looking at a five mile radius between me and the nearest road, so only a few hours hiking in good conditions. The terrain is mostly flat until I get about 4 miles south of where I'll get dropped off. Then there are some hills. Lots and lots of lakes and streams.


Mixed line, so I guess it depends what signs I see. I could see Coons, foxes, coyotes, fisher, mink, maybe a bobcat. Wolf and Lynx are both off limits, but I think I'm too far east to worry about Lynx. There is a pond and some wetlands nearby, so I could get lucky and find a beaver lodge, or some muskrat burrows, but it sucks trying to get through the ice. I'll probably use the 110's for squirrels and weasels instead of muskrat.

I have to check land sets every calendar day. Drowning sets are every three, but since most everything will be frozen I probably won't have any. Any traps under the ice just need to be pulled by the end of the season, or before the ice melts (whichever comes first).

Around 50.

Trap X Quantity
110 conibear X 12 *Squirrels and weasels
120 conibear X 6 *Mink
220 conibear X 3 *Fisher
330 conibear X 3 *Beaver or bobcat

duke 1 X 6 *Mink or coon
duke 1 1/2 X 12 *Fox
duke 2 X 6 *Coyote
dogproof X 6 *For trapping coon if they come around camp.

^^ I have less than that currently, so open to adjustment.

Yes! I actually just registered with them yesterday!
Midwinter, rivers frozen, possible deep snow.

You could build some ground level log cubby sets prior to season, add bait and trap later.,
Some trappers use square plastic pails, others cut a hole in a large log with a chain saw.

You could also consider some plywood mink/marten cubbies sized for 110 conibear and fastened to trees.

Another set that works in deep snow is a sapling tree cut well above the snow line, and bent over at an angle (like a ramp).

In very cold conditions, coil spring traps are hard to keep from freezing. You might consider buying some coyote sized (#3) double long spring traps. I have both older Victor and new Sleepy Creek DLS.

Just for comparison, here is my primary trap list, (120) Total,
(24) Newhouse 1 LS, (24) Bridger 1-3/4 coil, (24) MB 550 Coil, (24) SCM 3 DLS, (16) Bridger 3 Coil, (4) 110, (2) 150, (2) 220 Conibears.
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Old 12-13-2017, 10:49 AM
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Originally Posted by a bear named smokey View Post
You can have two unattended lines in the winter as long as you are in sight of them. Trot lines are prohibited though, which is unfortunate.
Please research this more
Unattended lines are never allowed and viciously enforced.
You have to be watching them
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Old 12-13-2017, 11:37 AM
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Default Winter Trapping Camp (30 day)

Your going to want to go to a heavier trap for coyotes, if you have an incidental wolf catch they are going to trash those #2ís. I use a Bridger #3 4 coiled with base plates and jaw laminations.

Forget the dog proof traps the coon are denned up for the winter unless we get some warm temps. Iím not sure the regulations for setting 330ís on land in mn but in mi itís a good way to get a visit from a game warden, might want to check on that.

Skip on the #1 dukes, use the 110ís for mink and muskrat. If you can set up a drowning set for mink use the 1 1/2ís the pan is bigger and the trap is heavier. If you use drowner locks remember the peak of the roof goes up when you put the lock on the wire.

Have you looked into setting snares for coyotes and other predators? They weigh A LOT less than traps.

What is the lake like where you are going to be? Is the water really tannic or is it spring fed? Also be careful on the ice if there are beaver there the ice can get thinner where they are active I learned the hard way.


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Old 12-13-2017, 01:34 PM
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Northeast Minnesota can get pretty darn cold. Without a trapping mentor, I have reservations relative to your trapping plans. You probably will see a lot of snowshoe rabbit tracks - they will be a difficult quarry to locate and get a shot at. Squirrels, depending upon the area, but I doubt you'll see many, if any, in NE Minnesota (north of two Harbors/Silver Bay) but if in North Central Minnesota, your chances greatly increase. I say this because I spent 3 weeks in a cold camp in that area years ago - forget about reading books at night but a couple small LED flashlights might come in handy.

A one burner stove such as those offered by Primus, Jetboil and others on the market just might come in real handy when you need a cup of coffee and a bowl of oatmeal to keep going and oatmeal just before bed can be comforting feeling. There will be a definite need for a couple packs of baby wipes to keep baboon arse at bay.

I wish you well and look forward to reading your report on returning.
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Old 12-13-2017, 01:36 PM
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Originally Posted by 3cyl View Post
Please research this more
Unattended lines are never allowed and viciously enforced.
You have to be watching them
I promise you, tip ups are legal in MN lol. I have been ice fishing in MN my whole life.

97C.321 RESTRICTIONS ON UNATTENDED LINES.
Subdivision 1.General prohibition. A person may not take fish by angling with a set line or an unattended line except as provided in this section and rules adopted under the game and fish laws.
ßSubd. 2.Ice fishing. A person may use an unattended line to take fish through the ice if:
(1) the person is within sight of the line; or

(2) a tip-up is attached to the line and the person is within 200 feet of the tip-up.
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Old 12-13-2017, 04:03 PM
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Jan 2017, Fur market report.
Coyote, $30-45
Beaver, $8-12
Lynx Cat (western bobcat), $150-400
Canadian Lynx, $100-135
Marten, $80-100
Fisher, $35-50
Otter, $35-45
Muskrat, $2-3
Raccoon, $10-20
Red Fox, $20-25
Grey Fox, $10-12
Badger, $40-60
Weasel, $1-3
Wolf, $100-200
Wolverine, $250-400

Source, Furfishgame magazine
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Old 12-13-2017, 07:25 PM
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Huh. Bobcat's that high again? They're everywhere around here. Arizona's trapping laws are a PITA but I know quite a few people who go after them with a .22 and an electronic caller and get furs that way.

I have a low-level hatred of bobcats and wouldn't be averse to thinning out the local population a bit with some added financial incentive. I have a few bobcat stories when it comes to bobcats and goats, and bobcats and dogs.

Need to see about getting a rabies vaccination for myself before doing that, though, just to cover my bases. We're having a rabies outbreak here. Hrmmmm.
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Old 12-13-2017, 08:19 PM
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Originally Posted by a bear named smokey View Post
Right, I won't be spending too much time on the ice, just while I'm at camp. I've been trying to think of something to use as bait. I don't think minnows will work because there's no way to keep them alive and not frozen that long.
Use them frozen?

We only buy frozen minnows up here and use them for bait. They work well.

Or worms.

No live bait allowed (fish).
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Old 12-17-2017, 06:53 PM
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Much advise has been given in several pages already on gear/equipment/laws, etc., so I would just add to have a good durable photo/video camera with a tripod, a few memory cards, and plenty of long lasting batteries (that are to be protected from the cold of course). Perhaps solar charging options could be explored as well. Documenting such an epic trip would be a must I'd think. Perhaps we'll see an update here in a couple of months.
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