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Thread: favorite boot for float hunt

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    Default favorite boot for float hunt

    We are coming up on a float hunt next fall for moose. what are your favorite/best boots for this?
    I am thinking muck hip waders? I duck hunt alot and wear neoprene chest waders and can see how they would be nice but they are heavy and hard to walk in very far.

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    I wore wading pants with my regular wading boots this fall and they worked great. Having waders that only came up to my waist kept me from overheating while rowing lots throughout the day, and made it easier to add/remove layers to my torso. But when combined with a rain coat provided plenty of waterproof protection. One thing about float hunting, you're in and out of the raft a TON throughout the day and sometimes you end up doing much much more walking or dragging than actual floating, so get something that is comfy.

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    Member Birdstrike's Avatar
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    Leave the neoprenes at home. If you go the wader route choose breathables - either waist high pants or chest waders that you can roll down if you are hot. I know others will suggest hippers, but there will be times getting in and out of the raft that you'll wish you had higher coverage. You can always bring regular hunting boots for times when you're away from the raft if the area is not too wet.

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    Hip boots while rafting usually results in your nuts gettin wet. Least with a kayak paddle and a packraft. However that was an observation made considering the water was pooling on my waders. lol
    We do not go to the green woods and crystal waters to rough it, we go to smooth it. We get it rough enough at home; in towns and cities; in shops, offices, stores, banks anywhere that we may be placed

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    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    I've been using breathable chest waders like the ones made by Orvis (there are many other brands), with a neoprene sock foot topped by a lug-sole wading shoe like the Korkers Convertible Wading Shoe. The Redington Eco Grip Wading Boots look good too, if you're looking for an alternative to felt soles (which don't provide much traction in icy or steep conditions you may encounter away from the river.

    I used to use Lacrosse Ankle-Fit hip boots for years, and they are extremely durable, however your feet will be damp for your entire hunt, starting about 20 minutes after you don the boots. You won't get them dry on your hunt.

    With the breathables you can turn them inside-out at night, placing the feet between your synthetic sleeping bag and pad, and by morning they will be dry. Nothing like starting each day with dry feet. A couple of other pluses of the chest waders is that you can sit down without getting your rear wet, and you don't really need rain pants.

    -Mike
    Last edited by Michael Strahan; 09-29-2011 at 17:38.
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    Last year during our first 16 day float hunt we all wore gortex chest waders with neoprene socks and found the same results Michael lists above. It was very handy to be able to bail out of the boat knowing you would stay dry. We did experience one down side to the waders during the days that got down below freezing, which was about half the trip, if we floated more than two hours at a time our feet got very cold and we would have to stop, get out and walk around to get the circulation going again. There wasn't much else we were able to do to keep our feet warm. While hunting and moving around outside of the raft we didn't have any problems staying warm.

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    I too get cold feet when rockin my Korkers Streamborn boots so I'm opting for a set of the heavier Simms.

    Although the boot will carry water, it won't be just a light shell around your foot leaving the neoprene stocking to do all the insulating.
    We do not go to the green woods and crystal waters to rough it, we go to smooth it. We get it rough enough at home; in towns and cities; in shops, offices, stores, banks anywhere that we may be placed

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    I keep hearing breathables are the way to go. What about durability? The ones I have will not take the hunting punishment. Maybe they are just cheap and I need to upgrade and maybe i am just hard on things. Neoprene boot waders might be a little hot yes but the main thing is walking alot in boot waders. Needs to be a good compromise. thoughts?

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    Still hard to beat those ankle fit LACROSSE hip boots--- must be the Louisiana "coon ass" in me with web-feet---The trick is to bring, what's left of our local news paper- lay a bunch flat in the bottom of your dry bag. When you pull your boot liners out at night just stuff the ADN balls in and all is well, when you get ready for another day. Just put your liners at the bottom of your sleeping bag with damp socks an you will be "right". Old school-- but works. Also that ADN paper will keep clients busy on those tent days, start fires, drain bacon, and keep the tent floor in much better shape.
    Just some thoughts from someone that has tried it all.
    Goo
    Last edited by Michael Strahan; 10-06-2011 at 05:47.

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    My brother and I just completed a 12 day hunt. Me hiked and lined canoes for about 20 miles.

    We both used Lacross breathable waders. They never leaked a drop. They were also comfortable and cool.

    As a duck hunter, I like bootfoot waders. They seem to fit my foot better and they do a much better job keeping your feet warm.

    I was very impressed.

    http://www.lacrossefootwear.com/hunt...dr-waders.html

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  11. #11

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    I wear SealSkinz socks over my SmartWool socks, then into the Simms wader sock, and into the boot. Makes a big difference when it gets below freezing.

  12. #12

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    I use the cheap(60 bucks) cabella bootbottom waders. I get them large enough to put a good felt sole in them(I always carry two pair).. and a good pair of socks(one thin one thicker if cold) with some wiggle room. I can get in and out of them really quickly.. and evey time I stop I take them off, and change insoles...(rolling the waders down over the boots to dry out) and put on my crocks.. dry out, and repeat. They don't breathe, but they are extremely tough, and easy to patch. I gave up on "breathable" waders a while back.. waterproof seems more important to me, and the breathable ones seem to end up leaking all the time. The cabellas can be easily mended from inside even with duct tape... and they just don't leak very often.


    One thing I did find was when it froze at night.... the felt soles were a blast to walk on, on frozen ground.... I was wading the river in the AM to get to my stand quietly, and it was a slide fest on the far bank.

    I carry the cabella chest waders, a pair of insulated extra toughs and crocks.

  13. #13

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    ]I keep hearing breathables are the way to go. What about durability? The ones I have will not take the hunting punishment. Maybe they are just cheap and I need to upgrade and maybe i am just hard on things. Neoprene boot waders might be a little hot yes but the main thing is walking alot in boot waders. Needs to be a good compromise. thoughts?


    My thoughts are the same about breathables.. I constantly see people taking them off and pouring a cup of water on the ground.. they seem to always leak!!

    I have gotten 4 years out of the Cabella boot foots... and I beat the crap out of them... in and out of my skiff all Summer.. walking.. through brush.. they are really tough.. they don't breathe.. but they don't leak either..lol

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    If you think you'll be in waders 2 dozen or more days a year just spend the money on Simms G3's or G4's. They are expensive, but tough and have a great warranty. If guides can spend most every day for half the year fishing/hunting in them they will definitely work for those of us who spend less time in the water.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sasquatch View Post
    I wear SealSkinz socks over my SmartWool socks, then into the Simms wader sock, and into the boot. Makes a big difference when it gets below freezing.
    I used to wear SealSkinz when I hunted in LaCrosse hip boots, in order to keep the inside of the boots dry. Dunno why I abandoned that when I switched to breathables, but it would certainly make a difference in cold weather.

    Good tip!

    -Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
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  16. #16
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by anchorrivercrowds View Post
    ]I keep hearing breathables are the way to go. What about durability? The ones I have will not take the hunting punishment. Maybe they are just cheap and I need to upgrade and maybe i am just hard on things. Neoprene boot waders might be a little hot yes but the main thing is walking alot in boot waders. Needs to be a good compromise. thoughts?


    My thoughts are the same about breathables.. I constantly see people taking them off and pouring a cup of water on the ground.. they seem to always leak!!

    I have gotten 4 years out of the Cabella boot foots... and I beat the crap out of them... in and out of my skiff all Summer.. walking.. through brush.. they are really tough.. they don't breathe.. but they don't leak either..lol
    I've never had leaking to that degree with breathables. Usually it starts with a small leak (that you can't find) in the neoprene sock foot. Once that starts happening I chuck them and get a new pair. I get a couple of seasons out of mine, including fishing and hunting. Sounds like your situation is different; four years on a pair and a lot of hard use. They have not been out on the market all that long... so you must be on your second or third pair? It might pay off to change brands. I've had good experiences with Orvis waders.

    "Rabbit trail alert:" Addressing the comment about having to do a lot of walking in them... That's really about hunting style and everyone has a different way to do things. But our moose hunts are a pretty sedentary activity. Same with bear. We just don't do a ton of walking, because I think it stinks up the place. Instead, we spend most of our hunt on a spotting hill or in a campsite on a river that offers good upstream and downstream visibility. A case could be made that the hunters who sit longer take more moose and bears. Not always, but generally speaking. In my opinion the toughest hunters to take this advice are elk hunters from the Northwest. They're used to walking all over the place looking for the herd. And I suppose in their neck of the woods that's what it takes to be successful. But if you try that in moose country, you're gonna wear yourself out and run the game out of the country. Especially on drop camp hunts. Colin Brown ("Brownie" to those who know him), a long-term guide from Galena, once told me that the best thing I could give my hunters is a lawn chair and a good paperback book. It forces them to sit. His success rate proved the value of his tactics over the years. Of course, the walking starts when you're stalking and then when you're packing. Hopefully you've had better judgement than to shoot your moose a couple of miles from the river... :-)

    Finally, a comment on frozen felt soles. You're absolutely right. Once they freeze, it's like walking on grease. That's a good reason to switch out to Korker's boots or some other brand that offers better traction. With the abolition of felt soles in the Lower 48, there are some pretty good rubber compounds now that seem to grip on wet rocks pretty well, and have enough of a lug sole to work for climbing and such.

    -Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
    CLICK HERE to send me a private message.
    Web Address: http://alaskaoutdoorssupersite.com/hunt-planner/
    Mob: 1 (907) 229-4501
    "Dream big, and dare to fail." -Norman Vaughan
    "I have climbed my mountain, but I must still live my life." - Tenzig Norgay

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Strahan View Post
    I've never had leaking to that degree with breathables. Usually it starts with a small leak (that you can't find) in the neoprene sock foot. Once that starts happening I chuck them and get a new pair. I get a couple of seasons out of mine, including fishing and hunting. Sounds like your situation is different; four years on a pair and a lot of hard use. They have not been out on the market all that long... so you must be on your second or third pair? It might pay off to change brands. I've had good experiences with Orvis waders.

    "Rabbit trail alert:" Addressing the comment about having to do a lot of walking in them... That's really about hunting style and everyone has a different way to do things. But our moose hunts are a pretty sedentary activity. Same with bear. We just don't do a ton of walking, because I think it stinks up the place. Instead, we spend most of our hunt on a spotting hill or in a campsite on a river that offers good upstream and downstream visibility. A case could be made that the hunters who sit longer take more moose and bears. Not always, but generally speaking. In my opinion the toughest hunters to take this advice are elk hunters from the Northwest. They're used to walking all over the place looking for the herd. And I suppose in their neck of the woods that's what it takes to be successful. But if you try that in moose country, you're gonna wear yourself out and run the game out of the country. Especially on drop camp hunts. Colin Brown ("Brownie" to those who know him), a long-term guide from Galena, once told me that the best thing I could give my hunters is a lawn chair and a good paperback book. It forces them to sit. His success rate proved the value of his tactics over the years. Of course, the walking starts when you're stalking and then when you're packing. Hopefully you've had better judgement than to shoot your moose a couple of miles from the river... :-)

    Finally, a comment on frozen felt soles. You're absolutely right. Once they freeze, it's like walking on grease. That's a good reason to switch out to Korker's boots or some other brand that offers better traction. With the abolition of felt soles in the Lower 48, there are some pretty good rubber compounds now that seem to grip on wet rocks pretty well, and have enough of a lug sole to work for climbing and such.

    -Mike
    Mike

    Not about to argue the point that you kill more game sitting still..absolutely no doubt that is correct. I try, and sometimes even succeed at it. It drives me crazy. What it eventually comes down to is I am hunting for my enjoyment, and I do like to move. Trying to call it subsistence is ridiculous when I take a month off work, and spend over a grand doing it..lol What I've noticed through the years though(I may be wrong here) is that northern moose are more sensitive to scent, and noise in the woods. Around the Tanana, and Fairbanks areas in particular the moose are as jittery as I have seen anywhere in the state.. every moose, bull, cow, and calf seems to be living in fear, and often running when you see them.... in these areas moving simply does not work. On the Kenai pen the moose seem way more relaxed. I don't go stomping around in the woods, but do move around on the rivers quite a bit. I did find 5 legal bulls this Fall.. one over 60 inches(tough story),.. (not bragging moose gods, I realize this was dumb luck). Do you do anything with scents, and scent blockers? I have a bow hunting friend that always harvests bull urine, denatures it, and spreads it around., and on himself. ... moose are pretty curious critters.

    As for waders, I am sure good quality breathables work better than my cheapy cabellas(at least for a year or two).. and felt is on the way out. The system I have seems to work for me, so I will probably stick with it. What I like about the cabellas is I can get in and out of them in seconds, and they dry out REALLY quickly... the felt sole absorbs all the moisture around my foot, and the body of the wader dries with ease.

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