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trailratedtj

minnesota valley wildlife refuge

17 posts in this topic

anyone every hunt this? just looking for a close place for this weekend. i was looking at rice lake, if anyones ever been there then is the lake shallow and able to walk in.

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It can be a mad house at times. cars, lines to get in the area. if you are willing to get away from the crowds, can be good hunting. lots of sky blasters and rude people. just be willing to go in further than most.

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With Deer opener it may be a good weekend to try this spot! It is always busy down there and there is a good variety of birds down here.

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do you guys know if its wadable? whats the majority of ducks out there?

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Go scout it in the daylight, alot of guys just use waders and leave the boat at home.

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Rice froze up pretty hard 11/1. There was about 1/2" of ice. It should open back up with the coming weather.

The only place that may be a bit deep for the waders is the creek channel you access from. The rest of the lake is 1' - 2' deep with a very mucky bottom. Its wadable, but not a lot of fun to go long distance(pull your boots off type muck).

Rice does offer some excellent hunting opportunities when there isnt 300 people out there. The traffic has slowed down since last weekend with no more than 5 hunting boats(no shoreline skybusters) in a day... the problem is, its locked up with ice and the birds are using the river.

Its mostly mallards and other puddlers.. tons of geese in the area, watch out for swans, lots of them too. Next year rice is changing to a lottery area and only 4 hunting parties will be allowed to use the lake a day.. thats all the information I know on the lottery.

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yeah i went out saterday and it sucked. over an inch of ice and almost got serverly stuck twice trying to get out to setup my dekes. needless to say i didnt get anything. there were some birds but all the ones i saw were up high. ended up going to my normal spot for the afternoon and getting some divers

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I stopped by sunday morning and there were 7 boats already.. and I was pretty early. The ice had rotten some, but I wasnt going to break ice to have someone come sit on top of me.

The duck hunter traffic picked up when deer hunting started.. go figure.

I went to another lake and busted ice. Most of the ice should be gone everywhere, or easily breakable with this warm weather. Hunting pressure or not, I like the open water because more birds come to land on all of the lakes. It looks like we will have a couple more weeks of hunting in the greater metro unless the temps drop severely again. A little cold and its not going to take long to end the water hunting season.

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The good thing about the recent cold weather is it froze up all those smaller ponds that hold ducks and gave us a shot at them on the larger bodies of unfrozen water.

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A good percentage of the larger bodies of water were frozen last saturday, or a large portion froze. This warm spell has given us some ice relief for the time being.

I will be out in various areas nearly every day now before everything freezes up again, its not going to be long if the cold air moves back in!

Its one thing breaking ice in 3' of water in a pothole, its a bit more concerning over 40' of water on a large lake powered by a motor! One hole in the boat at 4:30 a.m. can mean hypothermia quick.

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any one you guys use kayaks? how are they on icey lakes or potholes?

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Kayaks on ice are tough to paddle, better have a push pole, put your knees on the seat and push it backwards. They tend to ride on top of the ice until there is enough of the boat's weight on the ice to break through. It can be slow going.

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kayak... only if the ice is VERY THIN. If your referring to Rice lake within the minnesota valley refuge, that ice will normally get too thick overnight on cool nights. Its common to get my 14' V hull on top of the ice when im by myself, or the ice gets thick enough to stop the boat dead with a passenger.

You better be comfortable shooting while floating also, 98% of the cover you are floating if your near the water line.

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i wouldnt use it on rice. mainly just to get out to my normal spots. i usually only use about 4 dozen dekes which i can get into two bags no problem. i guess i am mainly concerned about towing them out with the kayak. usual spots are about 3/4 of a mile away from the nearest landing.

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Pick up an Otter sled and use it as a *trailer* behind your boat. I used to pull a medium sled around with 2 big bags full of decoys and it didnt create all that much drag... much better than ending up overloaded.

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good idea i need to get my otter sled down and cleaner out anyways

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Speaking of the refuge- does anyone have any experience hunting the Louisville swamp unit down by Jordan? I went down there last weekend- looks... interesting...

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  • Posts

    • BringAnExtension

      Posted

      I am not a hunter and I live in southern Minnesota, so I don't know how to identify this bird.  It walked into our campsite at Tettegoche State Park last week.  I am thinking a grouse?

      20160917_105407.jpg

    • BringAnExtension

      Posted (edited)

      I don't have much to report, as I have not been fishing much lately, but wanted to add a topic on our quiet forum.

      I finally got a chance to go out on Mazaska this past weekend.  I tried my usual methods with almost no luck.  Fatheads on a jig and under a slip bobber.  From 9 feet down to about 25 feet.  I had a couple of bites, but that was it.

      Water temperature was still a balmy 68 degrees and a stiff wind was coming out of the southeast.  Even though I caught nothing, it was a beautiful day to be on the water last Saturday.

      One day closer to hard water season ...

      Edited by BringAnExtension
    • phillyfacks

      Posted

      We've got a cabin up on Pelican and I've definitely noticed less cormorants on the lake this summer.  The state did grant the owner of Gooseberry Island a permit to kill cormorants, which was done this Spring.  I talked to a DNR officer on the lake this summer and he said they had shot almost 400 birds, I don't recall the exact numbers but it was somewhere between 350-400. 

    • Consider me in on a personal boycott of The Landing. Horrible horrible horrible customer service skills by the owners/management.

      1) it is much quieter on the water without the big blasters running up an down the lake from the Landing.

      2) Had a craving for wings while out fishing one night. Called ahead ordered up some wings- great taste- tiny crappy wings. Asked for a side of Blue Cheese and Celery - upcharge of like $3.00 for those. Washed it down with a bottle of Coors Light. $23.50

      Large group went in one night and they usually tear up the bar. Were told they can't play jukebox until after 10 pm it was 9:40 PM- ONLY GROUP IN THE BAR.  "They are trying to build up an Ambiance"

      Got their bar tab and they were done. Yearly group that dropped a lot of cash in the past. Never again until new ownership is on board.

      Unfortunately they have deep pockets.

      As soon as new ownership / management takes over the crowds will return.

    • Big V Bobcat

      Posted (edited)

      That place is sinking faster than a boat anchor! I couldn't figure out why they were putting in so much money into it, especially since every time I'd drive by at dinner hour, there'd be at best 5 cars parked there. Always a good crowd at the Crescent of course. I don't mind the lack of view...since I'm usually on the lake most of the day already. I remember the days of Judd and Jack, and the place was lively and included the locals. Now it is mostly oblivious resort guests who see it as the only option. Very "pretentious" place that would be better suited in the Brainerd lakes area. My wife's co-worker told her that he was there this summer and they charged him $2 for a glass of water and .75 for mustard (in a stainless steel cup of course). I'd like to check out Wolf Bay, but I need a faster boat first! Don't even get me started on the $7 beers....

      Edited by Big V Bobcat
    • OhioVike

      Posted

      My entire family loves coming up to the lake. We make it part of the routine to stop at the landing at least once per trip.  At the end of the day a few extra bucks per entree is no big deal. Our meals have always been good, service has varied with the crowds which is true everywhere up there.  Run the per pound cost on your walleye catch. The few meals a year you eat there would pale in comparison.  I hope they stay open, it is a fun part of our trips!

    • FrazerBay

      Posted

      Have to agree..food is great..best place in the winter on snowmobile..

      but..the dock situation could use a big upgrade.

      1 person likes this
    • LakeofthewoodsMN

      Posted

      Walleyes and Saugers continue to move closer to the south shore. Good fishing in 23 feet of water outside the Lighthouse gap and all along the south shore. Shiner minnows in the area keeping large schools of walleyes active! The bite will continue to improve in the coming weeks. Anchoring and jigging with a shiner minnow successful with gold or pink/gold the colors of choice. Some crankbait action in the afternoons to cover water to find active schools. Lots of ducks and geese in the area as local waterfowl still around. Should expect a good northern push in a few weeks as it gets colder.

      The Rainy River continues to get better each day as more shiners and walleyes push into the river. Fall walleye fishing on the Rainy River can be some of the best! Sturgeon are being boated up and down the river daily. 

      Up at the Northwest Angle, walleye and sauger action is hot. Drifting with a bottom bouncer, spinner, and a minnow doing great. Anchoring and jigging with a minnows doing good as well. Look for deep holes and mud areas in 18-30 feet between Oak and Flag Island. Also look for points with depths of 8-18 feet as shiners have started moving into bays. On the Ontario side, walleye fishing is red hot as the feed bags are on to bulk up for the winter. Use electronics to locate schools of fish in 18 to 28 feet and use a jig and minnow. Bottom bouncers with spinners can be used to cover water to locate fish. Crappies over 15 inches are stacked up in sharp drop offs and around flooded timber in 30 feet. Muskie action has turned to trolling large minnow baits in 10-18 feet. Plenty of waterfowl in area with local birds still around.

    • Big Kype

      Posted

      People are getting smarter.

    • Big Kype

      Posted

      Northern Minnesotans are strong supports of the SS rule. Shoot and shut up.



  • Posts

    • BringAnExtension
      I am not a hunter and I live in southern Minnesota, so I don't know how to identify this bird.  It walked into our campsite at Tettegoche State Park last week.  I am thinking a grouse?
    • BringAnExtension
      I don't have much to report, as I have not been fishing much lately, but wanted to add a topic on our quiet forum. I finally got a chance to go out on Mazaska this past weekend.  I tried my usual methods with almost no luck.  Fatheads on a jig and under a slip bobber.  From 9 feet down to about 25 feet.  I had a couple of bites, but that was it. Water temperature was still a balmy 68 degrees and a stiff wind was coming out of the southeast.  Even though I caught nothing, it was a beautiful day to be on the water last Saturday. One day closer to hard water season ...
    • phillyfacks
      We've got a cabin up on Pelican and I've definitely noticed less cormorants on the lake this summer.  The state did grant the owner of Gooseberry Island a permit to kill cormorants, which was done this Spring.  I talked to a DNR officer on the lake this summer and he said they had shot almost 400 birds, I don't recall the exact numbers but it was somewhere between 350-400. 
    • Sorgy
      Consider me in on a personal boycott of The Landing. Horrible horrible horrible customer service skills by the owners/management. 1) it is much quieter on the water without the big blasters running up an down the lake from the Landing. 2) Had a craving for wings while out fishing one night. Called ahead ordered up some wings- great taste- tiny crappy wings. Asked for a side of Blue Cheese and Celery - upcharge of like $3.00 for those. Washed it down with a bottle of Coors Light. $23.50 Large group went in one night and they usually tear up the bar. Were told they can't play jukebox until after 10 pm it was 9:40 PM- ONLY GROUP IN THE BAR.  "They are trying to build up an Ambiance" Got their bar tab and they were done. Yearly group that dropped a lot of cash in the past. Never again until new ownership is on board. Unfortunately they have deep pockets. As soon as new ownership / management takes over the crowds will return.
    • Big V Bobcat
      That place is sinking faster than a boat anchor! I couldn't figure out why they were putting in so much money into it, especially since every time I'd drive by at dinner hour, there'd be at best 5 cars parked there. Always a good crowd at the Crescent of course. I don't mind the lack of view...since I'm usually on the lake most of the day already. I remember the days of Judd and Jack, and the place was lively and included the locals. Now it is mostly oblivious resort guests who see it as the only option. Very "pretentious" place that would be better suited in the Brainerd lakes area. My wife's co-worker told her that he was there this summer and they charged him $2 for a glass of water and .75 for mustard (in a stainless steel cup of course). I'd like to check out Wolf Bay, but I need a faster boat first! Don't even get me started on the $7 beers....