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Snow shoes

11/17/14 @ 4:09 PM
User since 8/8/11
We deer hunt in n vilas county and already have lots of snow.

Would snow shoes be a good investment? Are they easy to hunt from?

Any recommendations i have no idea what to get ?


11/20/14 @ 8:55 AM
Cold Front
MEMBER since 7/9/01
You use them when it is easier than trudging. Depends on your height and stride. I am thinking mid shin level is the crossover point. I bought a pair of bear paws last year for hiking. I was surprised that you actually sink down in the snow quite a bit but they do make getting from point A to point B easier. The bottom of each step seem more stable when you are on them. They make the effort level of walking kind of halfway between walking in snow and on grass. If the terrain that you will be crossing is rather flat and doesn't have a lot of downed timber on the ground, you won't have too much trouble using them. A logging road or atv trail would be easy. I spent about $130 for a set. The bindings also vary. Some are designed for making your own trails in deep snow. Others are designed for use on trails. I think the difference is that the ones for deep snow don't lock down your heel.If your heel is locked down, you will kick snow up your back. I would check with an outdoor place and tell them what you are using them for. You get what you pay for. Mrt.

11/20/14 @ 12:01 AM
User since 11/19/09
When first using these take a pair of ski poles for balance.

11/19/14 @ 4:45 PM
User since 8/8/11
How much snow do you need, what is minimum before you bring them out?

11/19/14 @ 8:58 AM
User since 5/1/05
Once you get used to them and your muscles get used to walking with them you can fly in deep snow. Once you get a path going it gets even easier.

If you are going to be up there on Friday use them to cut a path to your stand then it should be easy going from there.

I have two sets of shoes. Ojibwa and the high-bred bear paws. Both wooden, one with sinew and the other is leather/rawhide.

Quiet and fast plus great for yote hunting.

11/19/14 @ 8:13 AM
User since 7/20/09
I have a pair of Atlas snow shoes. I don't use them much but am bringing them along. I know my first time using them I didn't realize how much you can still sink into the snow. I'll be using them to check a stand on Friday and to make a little trail to it.

11/19/14 @ 8:03 AM
Foundry Rat
User since 1/21/10
You can make a fairly decent pair out of plywood. Modified Bear Paw is the easiest to hunt with. I can't use Mich. style. My legs don't work right.

11/17/14 @ 6:49 PM
User since 8/2/01
Snowshoes are great if your going to use them, I prefer the wooden Huron style. Re varnish every fall, about every other year need new binding. I use mine a lot in the winter.

Now as far as hunting from, I have and you certainly could but your experience with not spending much time on them is going to be frustrating for you. They certainly are better than walking if you are forced to walk in 15 + in of snow.

I typically use mine for trapping, cut a trail keep using it, you can really make time once you have your routes established. If you are cutting a new trail any way you cut it its going to be more work, but not as bad as trying to slug through the snow.

Later in the season I will make trails for the deer between bedding and feeding areas, drop a few popples in between.

I think if you have a stand you are going to use and want to cut a trail to it that would save effort over a few days. If you plan to hunt from them on day one and have not spent anytime on them it could prove to be a frustrating way to hunt. Depending on the type of shoe, terrain, brush, there is some skill involved.

I'm not trying to turn you away, just make you realize its still going to be work especially since it will be new. But it will be better than bucking snow drifts.

Like anything there are many ways to go with shoe styles, and just as many opinions you really have to try it to know what will work for you.

I pick most of my shoes up at garage sales for little or nothing. Not uncommon to find a 150.00 pair of nice white ash shoes for 10 to 20 $

Good luck

11/17/14 @ 6:37 PM
User since 4/11/08
I don't know how I could live without mine. It sounds like you don't have any experience with them so if the plan is to strap them on opening day and go for a walk with your rifle you may be a little disapointed. Breaking trail in this early loose snow is a challenge no matter how fit you are, and no matter what style of shoes you are wearing. I started busting trails last weekend so I can get in and out without snowshoes next weekend. Breaking trail with all your gear on is a major sweat which doesn't bode well prior to a long sit, especially with the predicted temps. I primarily use a 30" X 9" shoe from Yukon Charlie. They have good bindings and have held up well over 10 years and many miles.

11/17/14 @ 4:43 PM
User since 10/24/12
Snowshoes are a great investment...if you spend a lot of time outside in the Winter. Otherwise, they end up gathering dust in the garage like most "toys". I've only had to hunt from them once. They do what they're supposed to do: keep you higher up on the snow. That allows you to cover more ground w/ less energy. The only draw-back is they have a tendency to get snagged a bit if you're working through thicker cover.

If you plan on logging several miles through un-tracked snow, it may be a good idea to have for this coming weekend in the North Country. I'll be bringing mine. Heck, I may even go more crazy and bring up my Fat Bike. I don't even know if my truck w/ be able to bust through some of the snow depths they're talking about up there.

PS - I use Atlas snowshoes.

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