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Thread: Coldest Hunt?

  1. #1
    Member H20Dogg's Avatar
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    Default Coldest Hunt?

    I just got a beautiful girl in 20A this last weekend at about 20 below. It was cold to a point, but the thing I had the hardest time with was my gloves getting soaked in blood then taking them off and having them freeze. Glad I brought 4 pair. What have other people been out in and at what point do you say its too cold?
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    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    -30 was cold enough for me. The meat was freezing while we were working on him.
    One trick for bloody gloves is to use some polypro or wool glove liners and use nitrate or latex gloves over the liners. Throw away the bloody latex gloves when done.
    Congrats on the harvest.

    Steve

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    Man he looks tasty! As a matter of fact so does the lil lassy above!

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    Good Job on the Moose - That temperature can be a challenge on both man and machine. My coldest was -26 for my wife's Bison a few years back - added darkness for the butchering just for the extra challenge. It was so cold I was happy to stick my hands in warm guts and blood to keep them warm.

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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    -40 overnight on a winter 20A hunt -20 to -30 during the day for 4 days. I didn't know anything about inversion layer so I was looking for moose in all the wrong places!! Delta cow moose we finished butchering it out at -14. It was around 0 for most of the hunt but we caught her in the open right at dusk so it was headlamps and hurry to get the job done. Really that wasn't too bad the moose gave off a lot of heat and I was in a light jacket for most of it.

  6. #6

    Default cold hands

    We used to hunt the slope in November for bou and it got rather cold up there during that time of the year. Somewhere in the range of -25 to -40 at times. What I found worked the best are the neoprene guanlet style glove for gutting and butchering. Slip those long neoprene gloves on to do the dirty work then when you are done slip your warm hunting gloves back on. If you let the neoprene glove lay out in the cold for about 3 or 4 minutes all of the blood will freeze then you just slap them against your leg or the ground and all of the frozen blood falls off. Nice and clean, ready to go next time.

    You can get them at Sportsmens Whorehouse or I think even Wal-Mart has them some times. Best $20.00 I have ever spent.

    Nice swamp donkey. Good eating.

  7. #7
    Member chico99645's Avatar
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    I shot a cow with my bow last Jan on Ft. Rich It was -20 when I shot here, and warmed up to -15 while we took care of her. I wore some thick orange rubber gloves that were insulated with hand warmers in each palm. Worked well and I never got cold. I'd do it again if I get drawn.
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    My cold weather work away from the village follows these basic temps;
    -20 to -30 I wll hunt/gather off trail, most anywhere.
    -30 to -40 and I will only ride on a trail, point A to point B.
    -40 and colder, I wll only go out IF I MUST.
    Gas dosent vaporize well at -40, shocks die quickly, things break.
    -50.....Gotta be Life or Death only, and the later more likely.

    I also have my exceptions, such as if my ride is dependable, and I have my gear , I will hunt Fur at -40 so as to get the critters while they cant sit still, and cant run fast, but I usually have a partner and I stick to an area with no exceptions and lots of people knowing what Im up to. I take a small tent and a sleeping bag even if Im going out for the day........Skin 'em at home too.

    Hunting in the cold is usually no problem, but the "Pain" factor is higher in the deep cold.
    Thisng on your ride will stiffen up, your hands and back will too ~~LOL!!~~
    No , really, say your out getting wood/meat.....a draft of -30 up your sweat soaked shirt will ruin your backs day. Makes it really stiff. Same happens to cold hands, getting stiff and cold, right down to useless.

    I carry several pairs of gloves, and a designated set for driving ONLY with, so my hands will definitly get home happy.
    I also carry a small towel to wipe off the blood that gets on my hands. Its invaluable.

    I usually skin game right away in winter. I often use my Cotton working gloves to make my cuts in the skin, then I pull off the skin, and my hands atre bare. I use my work gloves again when I dissassemble my meats and remove them when I gut, last. I warm my hands in the guts and them use my towel to dry them, then put back on some gloves. I smoke it if I got it, drink it if its hot and prepare my ride to leave. I load my sled last, as most of the meats will have the outter parts frozen hard now, and my meats/skin wont freeze to each other. I load my sled, tie down, put on my driving gloves and go.

    When my ride is feeling better, Ill be back out there.
    If you can't Kill it with a 30-06, you should Hide.

    "Dam it all", The Beaver told me.....

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    Default Cold weather

    I butchered a Bison once at -30. If I ever did it again I would build a big fire first. From your picture, it looks like you have extra fuel and firewood around. Several changes of gloves is a must and maybe a few rags. A warming fire would have been nice! It would be well worth the time it took to get it built.

  10. #10
    Member Phil's Avatar
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    Default Too Cold

    Now that my right index finger is shorter than any other the cold really gets to me - gloves or not - so - upper teens is plenty cold enough for me and I'm not sure I have butchered anything in those temperatures for some time.

    I read a book (The Flying North) and according to it, the first pilots used to quit flying their open cockpit planes at -50 deegrees. I certainly admire anyone who will fly or butcher in minus temperatures.

    I would think the idea of warm gloves with latex over them would be almost as helpful as a BIG fire.

  11. #11
    Member mainer_in_ak's Avatar
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    Default Coldest Hunt

    Trying to get VA college bennefits

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    I walked in the five miles off the Haul Road in Atigun Pass one October in -30 weather. I didn't really get concerned until I pulled back the hide on the caribou after it had been dead five minutes and saw ice crystals already starting to form. My hope of warming my hands on the meat was lost, and I momentarily panicked. I worked up plenty of heat pulling two caribou out on a sled, though. Lucky me - my hunting partner had dropped his sled a couple miles back.

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    Member Smokey's Avatar
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    Default Like H20 Dogg

    I took off my gloves to dress out 2 bull elk my partner and I shot in Montana in '89 - it was - 20 degree's and the gloves froze solid from my own sweat! We thankfully started a big warm fire first and later put our gloves on stick by the fire to thaw out. We did have back up pairs so life would have not been so bad. We ended up dragging 3 bulls out of a wilderness area 1 at a tilme with a hired horse and wrangler - best $150 I ever spent! Shot bulls at sun up on way in to retrieve one from day before and was dark when we got last one out Brrr.... -20 is about my limit for sure for fun!

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    Default Rex

    Tried the Rex cow hunt a couple winters ago. No wood stove or heat source beyond the hand warmers on the sled. Left the parking lot at a balmy 5 below at about 8:00 PM. Rode back about 35 miles and pitched a four season Northface. By the time we woke up it was real cold. Saw one cow but on the side of the trail that had already been closed. Went back to camp in the late afternoon. We had agreed that -20 was to be our limit when planning the hunt and had picked time when the forecast was to be above that. We did not know the current temp. but it felt real cold. Back at camp, a couple of machines stopped on the trail and we overheard them say it was -27. Realizing it would only get colder after dark and we to leave the next day anyway to head back for work, we decided another night out was far from worth the short hunt we would have in the morning. Packed up and headed for the heat of the automobile.
    Everything that lives and moves will be food for you.
    Genesis 9:3

  15. #15
    Member bushrat's Avatar
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    Got a moose once on winter solstice at -35, lost the dogteam same time I shot moose. In the sled were my bear mitts (I'd tossed them in the sled when I spotted the moose and pulled the rifle out) spare clothes, thermos, axe and saw, and my snowshoes. Snow was pretty deep that winter too. And it had just snowed 8" the day before.

    Took a half hour to find the moose, was one of three that had recently come down from the hills to the river and fresh tracks were everywhere, no blood trail, finally found moose in middle of a willow bar, and debated whether or not to start skinning and butchering or go in search for dogs. They had taken off upriver after the two other moose that ran ahead.

    Knew the moose would keep for a bit, walked upriver four miles on very soft trail, and where the trail went up a creek (trapline) the dogs instead kept following those moose up the main river breaking new trail. Knew I didn't have it in me to keep going and make it back to the moose...was a tough decision as I didn't know if the dogs would make it overnight. By the time I finally got back to the moose I was pretty whooped, sweaty, and cold, and all I could think of was drinking some blood.

    Only had the gloves I had on, and was four miles home from where the moose was, so knew I couldn't get them bloody. Took them off before starting on the butchering, and kept hands warm by either holding them under hide against warm flesh or just putting them through a hole I cut in flank into the gut cavity. Worked as fast as I could to get to the femoral artery, skinned carefully a foot all around that until I had a good section exposed, cut one end and sucked for all I was worth. Man that blood was warm and good, and I could feel my body warming up from the inside and my strength coming back.

    Got half the moose butchered, guts and organs out, and by then it was dark thirty. No headlamp (was in the sled), and no moon. Blood had dribbled down my beard and I'd ended up getting it all over my carharrt overalls and parka too when butchering and moving meat to bury under the snow. Got about a quarter mile and my leggings were just frozen solid and was hard to bend knees to walk.

    Not sure how long it took to get home, but I was at that stage where I had nothing left in me and wasn't staying warm walking, and kept falling off the narrow trail in the dark. A mile from home the trail veers into the riparian woods and across a flat, and there was a large spruce with overhanging boughs and what I figured would be a nice semi-snowless area near the base of tree...I crawled in there and laid down all curled up and 30 seconds later as I was dozing off realized I wasn't gonna be waking up. Thought of my wife and daughter back home, and got back up.

    Took forever to go that last mile, had two dogs still at home and they barked at my approach, and my wife opened door holding kerosene lamp. Naturally she was pretty worried about me, as I hadn't intended to be out that night. When the light caught me my wife let out this involuntary gasp and jumped back...apparently I looked pretty horrible all covered in blood.

    All in all, I had walked twelve miles sans snowshoes in very soft trail. It was a freak year cuz we hadn't gotten a moose that fall and we were running out of rice and beans, and I'd brought back half the heart in one parka pocket and a part of a tenderloin in the other. Handed that to my wife (the heart and tenderloin were frozen, which gives you idea of how long it took to walk back <grin>). I lasted all of half hour after getting all my clothes off, smelled the heart and meat cooking just as I was dozing off.

    Went upriver the next day with the two remaining dogs pulling my five-year-old daughter's little toboggan, with overnight gear in it, me on snowshoes in front. Didn't take too long to go the eight miles where the dogs had started breaking new trail. Turned out they were just around the next bend, had got into some overflow then out and then tangled in the lines, but none of them were hurt. Or frozen. Extremely lucky on that score. Got them all hooked back up with some new lines and towing my daughters rig, got half the moose home that same day too.

    I like wintertime hunting, real clean in the snow butchering, and the animal provides a lot of warmth too if you aren't wearing gloves. Past a certain temp though, like Stranger says, it can be a pain.

  16. #16

    Default Cold hunts

    The bull moose I shot this winter was in -40 degree weather. Not a big deal. Have shot many caribou in -40 to -50 degree weather. Had no problem with hands getting cold. Use rubber gloves now and will warm them if needed on my fan cooled machine. Usually not needed.

  17. #17
    New member AKDSLDOG's Avatar
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    -48, Cantwell caribou hunt. Wore heavy rubber gloves (fueler gloves) lined with thin wool gloves. Shot, gutted and drug back to the truck, loaded both bou up whole and skinned/quartered back home in a nice garage. Won't do it again!

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    Default You need to write a book!

    Jeez Mr. Richards,
    That was one helluva story! It was like reading a Jack London book.
    Never heard of anyone drinking warm blood like that either. It goes to show that the best laid plans can sometimes go awry. Quite a harrowing moose hunt that's for sure.

    My two cents was 3 weeks ago, I field dressed two cow elk in NewMexico at -5*. I had thought of it before and brought a pair of old silk gloves and slipped latex gloves over them. Perfect for both animals and I saved the silkies for next year.

    Building a fire was a good suggestion too if conditions warrant it.

    Lastly, you guys sure hunt LATE up there!

  19. #19
    Member Roland on the River's Avatar
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    Smile Coldest Hunt

    Hey from post #1 H2oDogg to post #18.
    Do you realize the first liar doesn't stand a chance?
    No hard feelings meant sure an interesting site!!!! LMAO FOTFLMAO

  20. #20
    Member AKFishOn's Avatar
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    Default DEC 06 Rex Trail

    Not sure how cold when shot but after quartering and riding about 35 miles back to the truck it was -27. http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...6&d=1166557754

    Another hunt that was colder was DEC 01, 40 mile Caribou Hunt about -15 to -20 during the heat of the day but there was plenty of wind.

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