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Thread: Float Hunt Foot Wear...What do you think?

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    Default Float Hunt Foot Wear...What do you think?

    I've been struggling with this question for a while now. I will be doing a DIY float hunt for Moose this year and as I fine tune my gear list, I'm trying to figure out what all to bring. I'll be wearing my chest waders while floating, so I need my wading boots. I want a pair of camp shoes. I need a pair of hiking boots. Holy cow, am I really going to bring 3-4 pairs of footwear on this trip? As I was researching this topic, I came across this link that shows a pretty innovative boot system idea. I may be able to eliminate a pair or two. What if I just used this system exclusively and a pair of camp shoes? Anyone ever try it?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tur-...ature=youtu.be

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    Crocs make fantastic camp shoes and only weigh a few ounces and pack down. Even on backpack hunts they or something very similar go with me.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Fatrack View Post
    I've been struggling with this question for a while now. I will be doing a DIY float hunt for Moose this year and as I fine tune my gear list, I'm trying to figure out what all to bring. I'll be wearing my chest waders while floating, so I need my wading boots. I want a pair of camp shoes. I need a pair of hiking boots. Holy cow, am I really going to bring 3-4 pairs of footwear on this trip? As I was researching this topic, I came across this link that shows a pretty innovative boot system idea. I may be able to eliminate a pair or two. What if I just used this system exclusively and a pair of camp shoes? Anyone ever try it?


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tur-...ature=youtu.be
    or could a guy just hunt out of his wading boots the whole trip? I'm a little concerned about packing out a moose in my wading boots though...not the best support!

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    Been float hunting rivers in AK for years and never needed anything other than Xtratufs. Unless you are running class 3+, rainpants over xtratufs keeps out the splashes. Unless you are clumsy, they are fine for get ting out of the boat. Of course, if you hunt swamps, then you might need hipwaders, but that doesn't have anything to do with the floating part.

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    I have struggled with the same thing as you are and I ended up gong with the Neo's river treker because I did not want to hunt in my chest waders and wading boots. However, I wish I would have taken breathable chest waders and wading boots instead and wore them the entire time and just took a pair of light shoes for camp. The Neo's worked fine, but I think chest waders would have been more comfortable and definitely would have helped keep the rain out as well, whereas the hip boots didn't help much with that and wearing rain pants over the hip boots was not very comfortable and caused me to get about as wet from sweating in them as I would have it if I had just gone without. On the system you posted it seems to me like once your boots got wet it would feel like you were walking with concrete blocks attached to your feet. Wading boots don't absorb water, but most others sure do.

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    On our Float hunt we all wore wading pants and wading boots. I'd highly recommend them. I used a high quality wading boot from Simms with the BOA Lace system and loved them. Others skimped and used regular laces and they were blocks of Ice come morning and almost impossible to thaw out. I hunted and floated in them with ease. I did bring a pair of gators and Kennetrex boots but found more often that not I just hunted in the wading pants and shoes. I like the idea from the Youtube you linked but I'd be worried about the leather hiking boots soaking up water and freezing each night whereas the Wading boots are a little lighter weight and designed to be wet and with the BOA lace system who cares if they are frozen because they still work.

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    I have hunted and floated for a few years. Seems to me that that what works best for me is lightweight chest waders. I have ones with neoprene "socks" so I wear a water shoe over them that doubles as a camp shoe. I tend to float rough water so I snug the top of the waders upbtight then put my life jacket over the waders and wear a rain jacket over it all. If you're wearing chest waders do not leave your life jacket at home. Did I mention take your life jacket? Wearing a life jacket is a must if you float any rough deep water. I've been lucky to kill all of my animals while float hunting close enough to not need much ankle support to move meat. Remember get good at calling and call those big boys to you. Every step he takes closer to you saves you a pile of work. Make them do the work for you.

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    thanks for all of the comments, especially from guys that have "been there and done that"! I think its a mindset thing too. I live in MT and aggressively hunt elk through the mountains close to home. They sometimes come to me; but more often than not, I'm bringing the game to them. So, I by nature think about moving, hiking and stalking while hunting. I've read that patience kills moose; I know this is going to be a challenge for me as I'll want to move around. Not only to locate moose, but to explore the country. This trip has been a bucket list type hunt for me, and I do really want to harvest a bull. So....I'll need to work on my patience.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sambuck12 View Post
    I have hunted and floated for a few years. Seems to me that that what works best for me is lightweight chest waders. I have ones with neoprene "socks" so I wear a water shoe over them that doubles as a camp shoe. I tend to float rough water so I snug the top of the waders upbtight then put my life jacket over the waders and wear a rain jacket over it all. If you're wearing chest waders do not leave your life jacket at home. Did I mention take your life jacket? Wearing a life jacket is a must if you float any rough deep water. I've been lucky to kill all of my animals while float hunting close enough to not need much ankle support to move meat. Remember get good at calling and call those big boys to you. Every step he takes closer to you saves you a pile of work. Make them do the work for you.
    What kind of shoes do you wear over your waders? do they dry out enough to be a camp shoe?

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    I'm not sure what kind they are. I've had several over the years. I'm in need of new ones. I'll look for some that look like they will dry rather quickly and be gentle in my boat. I've not been too concerned with the idea of a shoe with too much ankle support. I'd concern myself with getting better at calling the big boys to you. I limit myself to hunting less than 1/4 mile from my mode of transportation. You can figure a moose will be 7-8 trips of roughly 100 lbs each. How far do you want to haul that? Me personally not far. The key to calling moose is timing. You can generally get bulls to go where you want them if you're patient and good at calling. Watch how to movies (think Troy Session's Up Close and Wild), pay attention to what the animals are doing, buy a good set of optics, be patient. Let the bulls bring the game to you. Every step a moose takes the right direction is 5 steps (times 7-8 trips) that you don't have to haul him once he's dead. It all adds up.

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    Oh and September up here is typically rainy so I find myself hunting in my light weight waders so even if the shoes are still wet your feet stay dry.

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    If your wading boots don't give good ankle support, you have the wrong brand. Difference between top shelf and bottom el cheapo is only about $100-150 in the wading world; peanuts compared to hunting boots, where the difference between the top and the bottom is closer to $400. Korkers, Simms and Patagonia are what I've experienced: I have very wide feet with a high arch, and Simms makes several styles that fit me very well. Get the best fitting, best built wading shoe you can. If your feet go, your hunt goes. Try them on with heavy wool socks and your waders. I guide float hunts now: just as if I'm fishing, I put my waders on when I get up and take them off when I get into camp. I wear chest waders and roll them down if I'm too warm. I find the extra layer over my torso really helps on cold wet days; basically Alaska weather. There is no "gap" wetness between the top of my pants and bottom of my raincoat- sure you've been there. Want to sit down on a wet tussock or log? no problem. They are noisy in the brush; lightweight fleece pants pulled on over them fixes that. You can buy Neoprene wading socks and wear your wading shoes without waders if conditions warrant it. i.e. hot sunny weather and hunting dry, high grassy mountainsides. If you buy the boa system boots, be sure to bring a repair kit. When they break in the field, life starts to suck.

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    http://www.hardcorehogdogs.com/Dan_S_HIP-WADERS.html

    I bought a pair of these for a Kodiak trip a year or so ago. They are special order and you pick the type of boot you want them attached to. The hip waders are bullet proof. I wore a pair of rain pants underneath and never had a problem with moisture. I can hike miles, pull up or down depending on conditions, and hike through alders without fear of ripping. Also, they are cheaper then a lot of other option on the market.

    Only complaint is a draw string on the top would help seal them up even more.


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    https://danshuntinggear.com/froglegs...ter-chaps.html

    This is a better website for the hip waders.


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    I have used the same pair of Cabela's breathable waist waders on three moose hunts and will carry them on another this fall. They have incorporated boots that lace snugly and in which I have walked far even through alders. I am tall so the lower height as compared to chest waders has not yet been a limitation. I have packed moose in them without noticing much compromise.

    In camp, I have used regular sneakers but my feet would get wet when raining. Crocs are lite weight, but they have holes in the vamp and are not secure to the feet. Instead, I recommend goretex shoes such as Merrells and Keens. These are sturdy enough to serve in packing or dry hiking too. You could still carry the crocks without much hassle for making forays from the tent when those needs arise. You could take a sturdy boot if you then want to carry a third pair of foot wear. The terrain upon which you hunt ultimately dictates the necessary footwear. The waders (hip, waist or chest) are absolutely necessary. Everything else is a compromise.

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    It will be nice when Alaska figures out the felt sole ban is ridiculous, and we can stop sliding backwards three inches for every step we take..

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    Breathable chest waders is a must. Get a good pair of wading boots or a good pair of hiking boots for your wading boots. Being able to sit down, lay down, kneel without getting wet is nice. Bring some aqua seal or repair gel to fix holes in the waders if you get any. Aqua seal dries fast next to fire. I took hip waders like the ones in the video on my first trip, not the best choice. Chest or waist high breathable waders were much better. I wore the chest waders all day every day for 12 days straight, i never got wet, except when i fell over board in the river. After my not so graceful swan dive into the drink, we stopped built a fire on the gravel bar i took my wet waders off and turned them inside out and dried them next to the fire. The wader material dried fast next to fire. My hunting buddies laughed a lot, took some great photos of me half naked drying my wet waders on the gravel bar. Once the waders dried I put them back on, and we were back to floating. Do not bring any cotton clothes, synthetics dry much faster.

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    I have been float hunting for years and I always use my very old Cabelas "Brush Busters" hip waters. In and out and you stay dry and if I have to get after a critter in a hurry no problem hiking in them along the river drainage. I always pack my hunting boots and most of the time change out when I am headed out for the day but in the Raft its hip waders.

    Walt
    Northwest Alaska Back Country Outfitters
    Float and Drop Camps-SOAR Canoes state wide....almost
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    Although I have yet to go on a float hunt, ( I was a packer last year to finish qualifications for assistant guide license) I am going on one this year. While packing for moose, bear, and goats I used Kenetrek Mountan extremes for hiking. I had Simms G3 chest waders with the Rivertek 1 BOA boots for some nasty swamps. And my camp shoes were flip flop. I'm moving to Crocs this year because of how light they are and my Kenetreks are getting resoled so I'm taking my Scarpas instead. This set up worked really well for me especially the waders. I would do good hunting boots, Crocs, and some High quality waders. Just my 2 centsJay's moose.jpg

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    Every situation is different, and I can't speak to yours.

    In my case, nearly 100% of my time on float hunts is spent in the riparian area near the river. That means I expect to run into water just about anywhere. So I keep it simple and wear chest waders the entire hunt. You can change out to camp shoes if you like (and I often do), but there's always a risk that you'll see a bull from camp and have to make a quick move on him. You could lose the opportunity when you have to change back to those waders. But for those night-time jaunts to relieve the bladder, nothing better than a slip-on shoe of some kind. I don't prefer crocs for this, because you often run into wet grass and the like, and you're socks will get soaked if it's raining.

    The chest waders even apply on hunts where we're climbing the surrounding high ground in order to glass. If I see something down on the flats below, I don't want to waste time changing out my footwear. There are times when you have to move NOW or lose the opportunity.

    This means I need a good wading shoe that will work in many contexts. For that, I go with Korker's Convertible Wading shoes. You can change out the sole for other soles if you need to. They've worked pretty well for me, but I still haven't found a good sole that doesn't slip on mossy rocks. Really miss those felt soles.

    Hope it helps!

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