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Thread: Snow shoes

  1. #1
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    Default Snow shoes

    After we build our cabin next summer(north of Fairbanks) wanting to get out and hunt some bunnies during the winter. The non-res. lic. is fairly cheap for small game. So a good way to get out and enjoy the outdoors and maybe gather a little meat for the table. Thinking we'll need some snowshoes though. Just don't now what type/style to buy. Was looking at the ones cableas has for sale.

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    I picked up a pair of the Yukon Charlies at Costco and used them last week. For ~$70 they come with adjustable poles and did just fine tromping around the woods in +/- 24" of snow. There are higher tech versions, but for the money these seem just fine.

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    I'm afraid the answer is somewhat elusive 'cause different snow requires different shoes. I like the lightweight aluminum shoes with the way cool bindings and built in crampons, but they aren't all that good in our deep and very dry interior snow. The best shoes in my experience are the same ash cross-country shoes - the big ones - I've used for decades. Now someone from southcentral or the Kenai might chime in with a different experience 'cause their snow is wet and the aluminum shoes are likely great. But here in the interior you'll likely do better with a very large snowshoe IMHO. I try not to use them anymore mostly because if I need them than my pointing dogs are likely struggling too hard to get around. When out hunting ptarmigan I'll often tough it out down low and push directly up through to the more exposed areas where the dogs and I can get around much better.

    Jim

  4. #4

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    In my experience for the tight quarters of bunny hunting, you want to stear clear of the newer "hi tech" variety that place you up toward the front of the shoe. Better is an older style with more "toe" in front of your feet. That's cuzz you'll be mostly working flatter country and the stability of the older style will be welcome for shooting, as well as when digging dead bunnies out of the alders and willows.

    Poles are good too, as is a sling on your rifle or shotgun, especially if the snow gets deep. If you ever lose your balance and fall sideways off the snowshoes, you'll get to measure how deep the snow really is, as well as struggle to get back on your feet and out of the hole- all while wearing snowshoes. I fell chest deep into snow one time without poles, and played bloodyhell getting back on top of my shoes on top of the snow. Never again.

  5. #5
    Member Bradchrist's Avatar
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    I've tried longer sinew shoes and hated them in the alder but my MSR Denali Ascent shoes work perfect. They're fairly compact, plenty of float, tons of traction and if you need to hike uphill they have a flip up ascent bar.

  6. #6
    Member Buck Nelson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim McCann View Post
    I'm afraid the answer is somewhat elusive 'cause different snow requires different shoes. I like the lightweight aluminum shoes with the way cool bindings and built in crampons, but they aren't all that good in our deep and very dry interior snow. The best shoes in my experience are the same ash cross-country shoes - the big ones - I've used for decades. Now someone from southcentral or the Kenai might chime in with a different experience 'cause their snow is wet and the aluminum shoes are likely great. But here in the interior you'll likely do better with a very large snowshoe IMHO....
    I agree with Jim. It really depends on the snow. Where it's steeper and the snow is dense the aluminum 'shoes with crampons are tough to beat. But in deep, fluffy snow the the bigger snowshoes "float" better. Most snowshoes sold nowadays are too small (used mostly on trails) to float properly in fluffy snow, so I'd say when in doubt, choose a larger size. I also think the old snowshoe makers had it right when they used webbing to let the snow sift through. Wikipedia has a pretty good article.

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    Thanks to all. Think I"ll take the advice of jim and buck as they live in the area.

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    Member SkinnyD's Avatar
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    Maybe this belongs in a different thread but someone mentioned it above. Can one of you tell me more about a sling for a shotgun? I never even thought of using one until I got here and found that my hands got pretty stinkin cold holding onto a gun all day. Obviously I don't want to put a sling on my double, but can I just drill into the stock of my pump gun and attach it like I would a rifle? I think I can unscrew the forestock and attach the other end there, right? And does a composite stock mess up when you drill a hole into it?
    Passing up shots on mergansers since 1992.


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    Skinny,

    There are slip on slings that don't require drilling and permanent installation. Not sure about how to answer your other installation questions. I'd just have a 'smith do it so I didn't mess it up. I'm not very handy with tools, unless we were referring to guns as tools!

  10. #10

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    Hey guys, I saw costco has a sale on a snow shoe/pole combo for $80.
    http://www.costco.com/Browse/Product...US&Sp=C&topnav=
    It's called "Yukon Charlie's Pro-Guide Aluminum Snowshoe Kit". They do have quick release bindings, which I like.
    How useful do you think these would be for hiking around south central?
    Nothing to serious, just trapline trail breaking and little alpine ptarmagin hunting.
    Any thoughts?

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    i have a pair of the yukon charlies and really there has to be better out there for starters the plastic toe adjuster broke, then one of the heel bucles broke and a rivet tore on the base of the snow shoe. I have a pair of Iversons I need to get relaced and might try the MSR's

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by FloorGuy View Post
    i have a pair of the yukon charlies and really there has to be better out there for starters the plastic toe adjuster broke, then one of the heel bucles broke and a rivet tore on the base of the snow shoe. I have a pair of Iversons I need to get relaced and might try the MSR's
    Ya, I read reviews and they said the same thing. I'm gonna pass. Thanks.

  13. #13
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    I've used a pair of Yukon charlies for a couple of years yes they wore out but they lasted me a good time and were worth it for me. As far as the cabelas shoes go my dad had a pair and he bought the bigger size because we thought they might run small and you have to think of the pack you'll be wearing a gun and whatever else to add into your weight. His cabelas shoes were fine but he found himself skiing down hill sometimes even with the crampons on the bottom, where as mine did not ski at all. We have switched and tried each others and the cabelas shoes definetly liked to ski. It was kind of fun coming down the mountain on the trails we had put up though but is also kind of dangerous.

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